Newsletter 10-2-17 Guest

Symetra is releasing this month their first IUL.  Before they did one of its designers joined IULDigest (unbeknowst to me at the time) to gleam what they could about what were the good and bad features of an IUL from all the different reports, to make sure they did it RIGHT!
They did.

Don’t you think it would be of value for YOU to be a member TOO?!

Isn’t it also of value to you (and your prospects) for a few $’s a month (pro rated)
to know who the top (and worst) IUL’s are?  And Why?

Just the “Best Way to Design IUL” report can EASILY increase your income 30% year!
That MORE than pays for IULDigest!!


  There is not one but TWO new IUL companies debuting their product this week:  Ohio National on Oct. 2nd and Symetra on Oct. 9th.   These IUL’s are complete opposites: Symetra debuts at #1 on the CV Ranking Charts and I give it an overall “A+”.

  Unfortunately Ohio is a major disappointment: the costs are low, but it also has a Low Cap and other “missing features”. Its Yr 40 CV (net loans/M50) is only about 14% that of the top IUL.  For those combination of reasons I have to give it an “D” at best and recommend DO NOT SELL or BUY.   This is an IUL only a captive agent or one ignorant of how others perform, could present to anyone.  I take no pleasure in saying this.  How can a co. take so long to design their IUL and do it so poorly?

“Retraction”.  My initial report for Ohio National stated that the expenses were high years 21+.  This was based on an erroneous illustration day 1 because of a software issue which has been corrected.  The revised report shows the costs are actually low relative to other co.’s.  Even so the long term performance with loans remains poor relative to other IUL’s because of the low cap and not having a VLR cap, which is why the grade of ‘D’.

[For MORE Details on Symetra and Ohio IUL’s including Ranking you need to join IULDigest]

  • Symetra – NEW IUL Co. / October 9th

About 4 months ago I became aware that Symetra was designing their initial IUL.  This came about as their product designer* is an IULDigest member and he let me know that he was using a lot of the report information on the site to assist them in designing the features of it.   Early in Sept. they sent out an announcement to their brokers that it will be available Oct. 9th (except NY and CA [expected to be approved by then in CA but is not yet]).

(* He also designed one of the original IUL’s 20 years ago – his comments on the 2 yr index are below).

They also provided me in advance with illustrations to do a comparison analysis.  Out of the gate – with the new JPM Efficiente index it is one of the top ranked IUL’s on the ranking list – an A+!


  • Ohio – NEW IUL Co. / October 2nd

The long wait is finally over, but it is a bit disappointing.  There are 3 index options (1 yr. pt-pt only): S&P, Russell and EuroStoxx 50.  The cap on the S&P option is only 10.5%:

Deal Breakers:

  • [Members Only]
  • see ‘Retraction’ above


  • Zurich – NEW IUL

The Accumulator is better than what they had (and still do) before.  The S&P option has a cap of 12.25%.  Another S&P option has a 0.5% annual Asset Fee with a 14.5% cap.  It seems to perform better than the no asset fee choice, but it is very expensive.  In comparison the new Symetra year 40 costs are only 1/3rd as much and the net cash value (after loans) is double.

   New Features:

  • 12% guaranteed bonus on gains starting year 10. Paid on loans.
  • Variable Loan Rate (no cap). Can switch annually between Fixed Loan Rate.
  • MSCI EAFE Index. Designed to measure the equity market performance of developed markets in Europe, Australasia, the Far East and Israel, excluding the U.S. & Canada.


  •  LSW – New IUL: Peak

Designed for Estate Preservation it has a  $1 million minimum face:

  • Fixed Requirement (1 year expenses)
  • Bonus starting Year 6: 15% of annual gain with 1% Cap of Account Value.  Not guaranteed.

Reduced face amount (so it is presumed costs) per $ of premium vs. the Flex and Provider.  Otherwise the policy features/mechanics are the same (except Bonus).  Does not have as many rider options.


The 20 year charts for all the above are on the site, as well as updated reports (for members):



The Truth Behind Whole Life Premiums

WL isn’t bad.  I don’t have anything against it.  It can be a good tool when understood, properly implemented and well managed.  I even own some.  There!  I’m not trying to dis WL.  What I am going to do is tell the truth.

  Train Wrecks

WL crashes and burns too!  I see it all the time.  The remnants of misunderstood and unmanaged policies litter my desk.  In fact, though less frequent, the WL problems that find their way too me are clearly the most disastrous train wrecks I see.  But how can that be when WL incorporates guarantees many other modern life insurance policies don’t?  Because WL doesn’t work like most consumers, or even advisors, understand.


3 Big Mistakes That Can Screw Up Even the Best Retirement Plan

Mistake #1: Underestimating how long you’ll live

Mistake #2: Failing to estimate how much you need to save

Mistake #3: Not realizing how much you can boost your income by postponing Social Security


Don’t Make These 3 Pro Athlete Retirement

Mistake 1: Seeing your balance and thinking it’s a lot of money

Mistake 2: Assuming you’ll get to choose your retirement date

Mistake 3: Planning to retirement, then not having something to do in retirement


Six Reasons You Won’t Retire In A Lower Tax Bracket

It’s a story you hear over and over, from retirement planning experts all around the country. “When you retire, you’ll be in a lower tax bracket!” Sure it sounds good, and it’s certainly something we want to be true, but this fallacy is hurting the people who don’t know any better than to believe it.


2 Huge Things People Get Wrong About Retirement

So much for the “golden years.”  Some 28% of recent retirees complain that life is actually worse in retirement than it was when they were working, according to a recent survey.  An average 66-year-old couple retiring this year will require 59% of their Social Security to cover their total health care costs in retirement. A 55-year-old couple retiring at 66 will need 92% of their benefits, and a 45-year-old couple will need a frightening 122% of their Social Security benefits to cover their retirement health care needs.


A college degree or a comfortable retirement?

According to the Sallie Mae report “How Americans Pay for College—2016,” the average parent pays $11,000 out-of-pocket for each year of college. That’s $44,000 per child. (This number, by the way, does not include loans, which average $7,700 per year.) If $44,000 per child seems high, it gets worse. Much worse.

A 2013 New York Times article stated the average age of a parent with a 17 year old was 46½ (45 for women, 48 for men). Let’s say they pay the average amount out-of-pocket to send little Johnny to college. Furthermore, let’s say they pay this in lieu of contributing to their 401(k). That’s $11,000 less per year into their retirement savings account.

If we growth that annual “missing” contribution of $11,000 per year for four years at 8 percent per year until the required minimum distribution age of 70½, we’ll see a shocking revelation. Those parents might have thought they paid out only $44,000 for their child’s education, but, in reality, the number was much higher. The retirement value at age 70½ would have been $270,000.

Here’s where it gets much worse. If we assume a 4 percent withdrawal rate, our unfortunate parents are out $11,000 a year in retirement (assuming the portfolio’s grows at 4 percent per year; thus, keeping the total post-retirement value of the “missing” contribution the same).

So, that $11,000 tuition payment isn’t just a four year thing, it’s a forever payment during the parents’ retirement years. The parents would be better off having their child take out more in loan money.


Seniors Are Less Happy in Retirement Than Ever Before

The percentage of seniors who’d describe their retirement as “very satisfying” dropped from 60.5% back in 1998 to just 48.6% in 2012. That’s the first time that number has ever dropped below 50%, and it means most seniors are experiencing at least some degree of disappointment with retirement.  What’s making seniors so unhappy? Though the report doesn’t specify, it’s no secret that countless retirees experience financial troubles as a result of not having ample savings. Others, meanwhile, struggle with health issues that can turn retirement into one extended period of disappointment.


A tiny town’s massive pension trouble

Cussins, 56, believed his city pension and the Social Security payments he and his wife received would bring in enough to provide a decent retirement in the tiny, old timber mill town in the Sierra Valley.  Then a letter arrived in October. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System was cutting his $2,500-a-month pension by 60 percent, bringing it to about $1,000 a month.  “I was really shocked when I found out about it,” Cussins said. “We thought the pensions were there for the rest of our lives.”

Loyalton’s four retired city employees became the first in California to see their pensions sliced by CalPERS because of a city defaulting on its payments to the fund, but hundreds of other government retirees across the state may soon face a similar fate. At the same time, financially strapped local governments that considered pulling out of the state pension system, some hoping to find more affordable alternatives, have found it next to impossible to do because of the large termination fees they must pay CalPERS if they do.


Why October is the scariest month for your retirement

October is the month when the Social Security trustees generally announce the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) to recipients’ monthly checks. In recent years, the paltry percentage increase has been downright frightening. Roughly 43% of older, unmarried recipients rely on that check for 90% of their monthly retirement income.  The average monthly check is $1,369 (pre Medicare fee) …  If you wait until age 70 to start collecting, your benefit will be about 32%  more than if you took it at 66 (only 2% of men and 4% of women do).


How Working in Retirement Affects Social Security Benefits

A paycheck can temporarily reduce Social Security payments if you’re drawing benefits before your full retirement age.  (Age 64) you can earn up to $16,920 in 2017 with no impact to your benefits (the cutoff generally increases by a few hundred dollars each year). If you earn more than that, the Social Security Administration will withhold $1 in benefits for every $2 you earn over the limit.

The cutoff is higher in the year you reach full retirement age.  People who turn 66 in 2017 can earn up to $44,880 until the month they reach full retirement age without affecting their Social Security benefits. The SSA will withhold $1 in benefits for every $3 in earnings above that level.

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