Indexed Life Digest Home Page

Welcome to

 Indexed Life (IUL) Digest!

 Editor: Brett Anderson

Nationally Renowned Expert on Indexed Life

Author of

Last Chance Retirement


Being Your “Own Banker”
(the only book using IUL)

find both at

This is a Member Fee  Subscriber Site!

[Are you a consumer wanting an IUL with a top co. designed the
best way for “You” and your needs?
Many like yourself have also joined and/or contact me (see ‘Contact’ in
right side column) if you want my help with your IUL] 

  For some reason the most common email I get from non-members is:
“Is the information current?  Are you actively managing the site?”
It is 2018.  I’m here everyday.  If you look in the top left corner you will see the date of the most current ranking chart.

  Next they call me and want me to answer all their product/co. questions without joining.  It doesn’t work that way.  It takes many hours to update and analyze the products with all the companies.  You don’t work for free – neither do I.  If you want information it is only FAIR that you JOIN!

  The explanation of the 3 different memberships is at the bottom of this page.

This is the ONLY site on the internet where you will find Apples-Apples Comparisons and Ranking of the IUL’s of ALL of the Major IUL Companies (36), for both all of their Features as
well as 20 Year Cash Value Performance and Year 40 performance with 20 years of loans,
based on current Cap for all years and actual historical performance of the Indexes!
There are currently 110+ IULs on the Ranking Charts (Updated now to include 2017 gains).

Another favorite report is the IUL Deal Breakers
there are 24 and the report lists which companies have each one!
(see below for more detail)

NO Company Favoritism!

For more about this go to … 

January 14, 2018

“Looking forward to utilizing your expertise with our new IUL rollout planned for late Q1.”

National VP of Product Development from one of the 35 IUL Co.’s


November 8, 2017

The annual renewal is a no brainer & the easiest decision I
have to make all year. The info that you put together is priceless!

Dick G. / 6 year Platinum member

October 25, 2017

  The VP of the IUL Marketing Strategy and Competition dept. for the 4th largest insurance co. (2nd largest IUL co.) in the U.S. has been a member for several months: ‘We* subscribed to your IUL Digest website some time ago and have enjoyed your analysis … we would like to have a regular conference call with you and our product development team to discuss (features and) trends in IUL’.

  Another co.* (below) also joined to learn what to include in their new IUL.  I won’t take all the credit, but for Cash Value projected performance it is Ranked #1 (along with top features)!

  Don’t you think it could benefit you to join too?!   

* BTW – my only remuneration for either co. is their membership fee – same as ‘yours’.

October 2017

  Symetra is releasing this month their first IUL.  Before they did one of its designers joined IULDigest (unbeknowst to me at the time) to glean 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 (see above).

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


26 April 2017
Head of The Competitive Services Group for an IUL Life Ins. co.

“Brett, first off…what a great article about Paclife (PDX)Really, really well done…
some of the stuff going on in the IUL space is frankly disturbing…and disingenuous at best.”

28 April 2017
Brokerage Director at one of the largest agencies in the US

“Your PacLife PDX IUL review which was excellent!”

Pacific Life PDX Indexed Life – do NOT Buy or Sell this IUL!

April 2017.  I have been analyzing IUL’s for about 10 years now and I rarely editorialize about one publicly, but this PDX IUL represents such an egregious abuse by a co. to delude and deceive clients and agents as to how it could perform that I feel I have no choice.  This IUL supposedly includes 2 bonuses and a multiplier that are NOT listed in the illustration or technical guide, and none of them are guaranteed.  Yet they are included in the projection of gains/income in the illustration with an effective rate that is 59% more than the stated AG 49 rate!  For more info (available to public) go to …


Retirement BEAR MARKET Risk

June 2016.   What does this have to do with IUL?  Everything!  Stock times are good right now.  We are in year #8 of a Bull Market.  But since WWII there has been a Bear Market every 6 years that lasts 16 months with an average loss of -33% (plus fees).  The net result is a 0% gain 3 of every 6 years.  Someone who retires in a Bear Market will see their Retirement Income reduced drastically for the remainder of their life.  It can NEVER be made up!  If your savings are in Stocks.   The Forbes article below states many who do so will see their savings entirely GONE within 15 years!  This may be the most UNKNOWN and BIGGEST and most UNPREPARED for Financial Risk in our life!  

Thankfully there is an alternative!  Indexed Life!!  It is just that – Life Insurance.  It’s primary purpose is to be used to guarantee a Retirement Fund (or other need) for a spouse (or other beneficiary).  But the cash accumulation chassis can also be used to accumulate a Retirement Savings fund for the living (YOU!) with gains tied to the market WITHOUT the Retirement Bear MARKET Risk!  And with Tax Free Income!!

Once you understand this risk and compare the cash value and income projections with IUL (IF it is with a Top Co. designed the Best Way!), you will NEVER put another penny directly into either the Market or Qualified Plans!  That is just ONE of the Reports available to IULDigest Members ONLY and it is INVALUABLE!  This knowledge can save each of your clients Retirement and hundreds of thousands if not millions of $’s!  You are “trapped” now because you dare not go blindly into the future with your or your clients retirement savings without being aware of and preparing for this risk.  The Solution is so simple – all you have to do is take it!!

“Navigating One Of The Greatest Risks
Of Retirement Income Planning”

Forbes / 20 June 2016

“The Difficulty lies not in the new Ideas, but in escaping from the old ones.”

John Maynard Keynes / Economist / Time Mag. Top 100 People 20th Century


11 November 2017 / Tony F. (consumer)

“If there is somebody out there who has more knowledge regarding IULs than you do, they can’t be found using a Google search …
Wish I would have found your site sooner.”


16 September 2017 / Chad B. (member since 2014)

“I will be having a workshop on “Living a Tax Free Retirement”,
so I will be utilizing the information quite a bit.”


21 June 2017 / Howard M. (member)

“I have found your information to be more than worth the price of the subscription. I can’t state
strong enough how important your information is to help clarify all the the miss-info out there.”

7 June 2017 / Jim H. (attorney and client)

“Thanks for all the great info.  I am rarely impressed with other professionals.
You are an exception!  Thanks for all of the detailed feedback and capable assistance.”

1 June 2017 / Roy R. (member since 2014)

“I am always amazed at your information!”

31 May 2017 / Tami C.

“Thank you, again. From what I have seen, you are a genius!”

11 May 2017 / IULDigest Member

“I’ve been hired by a company to build their first IUL product and you’ll get a look at (it) soon enough. I headed up product development for a top carrier for over 20 years.  My first IUL product build came out in 1998 when there were about 14 companies and $50 million of target premium industry wide.  It’s been interesting to watch this grow!  (In designing it)
I’ve used your Deal Breaker list as a great feature check list.”

26 April 2017 / Jeff K.

“I really appreciate your research and your providing me with really good value.
I tell many life agents to sign up for your service.  Keep up the good work!”


 10 February 2016 / Gwen W.

“Thank you!  I too have had IMOs trying to tell me how great Minnesota is and there was just something in their illustrations that didn’t sit well.  So your article on Minnesota is worth the whole year’s fee and then the rest are huge bonuses.  Your thorough evaluations of the various companies, indexes, etc.  has made a world of difference for me.

I also saw some of your recordings and inflationizing a policy is something I implemented as soon as I saw it.  Never had an IMO show me that!!

Thanks again for the work you do.  (When do you sleep?)”

New Member / 29 December 2013

“I want to educate Doctors, CPA’s, Attorneys, & Small Business Owners about IUL and do it with Integrity. I told (my agency (also a member)) I wanted to learn everything I can and know IUL’s inside and out. He then suggested I subscribe to your IUL Digest and said,

“If I can only know 10% of what you know then I’ll be in the top 10% of knowledge!”

September 26, 2013 / Kurtis Barnett

“Brett, I just wanted to say thank you soooo much for doing all the leg work for us as insurance agents and financial reps.   I was ecstatic when I found your site!  I have been planning on doing for years what you have already done, but just never had the time to do it. You have made it incredibly easy for me to give clients information in a compact format. I hardly meet with anyone anymore for multiple meetings. Most of them, I just meet to collect a check. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  Secondly, your customer service is second to none. I can’t believe that you just personally CALLED me on the phone to answer an email that I sent to you about one of your books and a scenario that I had.”

1 November 2012 

  Brett, I have had an annual Platinum membership with IULDigest for over two years and consider it to be a real bargain. I get unbiased information on all IUL policies and an apples to apples comparison on each, plus 40 minutes of free consultation with you each month. Best of all, I can call you when in competition with another agent to compare policy features. You truly provide a great service! Steve Patterson / NC


15 August 2011

  Hello Brett, You are, sincerely, a virtual treasure trove of invaluable information. I cannot thank you enough for this astute, erudite, insightful information which, quite frankly, dispels apprehensions for me and my clientele.   Sincerely,
J. Stonehouse / MA

4 January 2012

“I am shocked (this site and  exists) and very pleased with the devine …. that I found you ….by accident.  This (CV Ranking) Chart is INVALUABLEYou have done YEOMAN SERVICE to the financial people selling IUL … I thank you for it!!”
Nosh D. / AZ

If you like paying hefty tax bills, stick with your regular 401(k)


  “If you are looking forward to a retirement spent paying hefty tax bills, a traditional 401(k) plan may be your twisted ticket to happiness.  Once you turn age 70½, you are forced to start taking money out of your traditional 401(k) annually — the more polite terminology is “required minimum distribution” — and every penny you withdraw will be taxed as ordinary income.  The perverse reality is that the more you have socked away for retirement in traditional accounts, the bigger your RMD tax bills will be, even if you don’t need the cash to cover living expenses. And those RMDs just might boost your taxable income to a level that triggers owing more tax on Social Security benefits and being hit with a higher Medicare premium.”

‘Taxes are the most expensive thing in retirement … Think about it,
you pay 30% or so every time you want to access your money.’

  “If that’s not your idea of retirement bliss, chances are pretty good there is a great tax-savings move right under your nose that you’re mistakenly passing up.”

From here the article starts talking about Roths: “Tax Free Income”.  But you can get ALL of that and MORE without all the rules, restrictions and limitations, PLUS MORE Benefits and flexibility (and likely much less cost long term) in a ‘Super Roth’ or Indexed Universal Life plan.   BUT for the best value for your savings (and insurance) premium you need to know which companies have the best plans – but that is not enough!  You also need to know the best way to Design it for the saver and NOT the agent!

Indexed Life is “THE” Insurance and Retirement Plan of Today and the Future
that offers
SAFETY and the Potential for Great Returns for your Clients!

Along with TAX FREE Income!

IUL Digest is the ONE STOP place for the Adviser who is Serious about
how IUL’s work and how to compare them Apples-Apples! 

  • 20 Year Historical Cash Value Charts

On IULDigest is Information on ALL 34 Primary Companies and their Annual Pt.-Pt. IUL Policy’s (and more) AND the ONLY service that Calculates & Ranks their actual past 20 Year (1996-2015) historical NET performance [net of all annual policy costs & today’s Cap for all years]

20 Year Analysis SAMPLE:

Running Gains Report

   You can now show your client both the historical track record of the S&P 500 AND “exactly” what they could earn with their IUL over a lifetime!  This chart shows the GROSS gain for every 1, 5, 10, 20 and 30 year period since 1945 for both the S&P Index and an IUL using an average cap.

 Result: You can “prove” to your clients that the average 20 and 30 year historical gain for the past 71 years when using a “top” IUL is MORE than the actual Index but without the market risk!


20 YR Gains for the Past 71 Years (1945-2016)

 This is the report of the hypothetical NET gains of an IUL for every 20 year period since 1946 (fifty-two of them). This is actually based on 208 twenty year periods and 3 different caps, and gives you an idea of what returns you could “really”expect from an IUL with a top co. designed the ‘best’ way.  There is also a comparison of the actual S&P Index performance with fees of 0%, 1% and 3%.  This is one of the most valuable charts on IULDigest!

The information in this one chart can more than
pay for your IUL Digest membership for the year! 


24 Indexed Life Deal Breakers

Here are 24 Features of Indexed Life policies that if they are missing from an IUL it is an egregious omission and an automatic DEAL BREAKER regardless of how good the rest of the policy may be. If the primary purpose for having an IUL is Retirement Savings and Income the Loan options are the most important after Caps and Expenses. As such, how the money can be taken out of the policy eventually is critical to having it be successful as well as “protecting” the integrity of the policy in a worst case scenario (preventing a Lapse because of loans).  Recently several co.’s have added a bonus in year 11 – but for every co. but one (unlike the top companies) it is NOT paid on loans.   This report lists the Deal Breakers and also the Companies that have them (updated 10/17)



 (non-members can view)

IUL Reports

  • Symetra and Ohio National issue their 1st IUL’s: One an A+, the other a D.

    “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’.

  • Zurich and LSW issue new IUL’s


  • The Truth Behind Whole Life Premiums

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

  • Don’t Make These 3 Pro Athlete Retirement Mistakes

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

  • A college degree or a comfortable retirement?

  • Seniors Are Less Happy in Retirement Than Ever Before


3 Pays – Good Strategy or Bad?  BAD!

   This Report can be read by non-members. 

  Starting the summer of 2014 I have received many queries about the 3 YR Premium concept that is being promoted by several agencies currently.  The concept is moving monies from a Qualified Plan (QP) into an IUL as quickly as possible, and borrow from the new IUL the monies needed to pay the taxes on the distribution from the QP.  This is a BAD deal for your clients (actually Agent Malpractice) for 3 reasons :

1)      Requires a LOT more insurance than a 5 pay.

2)      Reducing the insurance in YR 4 incurs a substantial Surrender Charge.

3)      Both of those more than offset any benefit of a loan to pay the taxes, needlessly incurring Loan Interest vs. just paying the deferred taxes.



“10 Reasons Not to Buy IUL”

  This article from 2012 is full of 1/2 truths and outright lies about Indexed Life.  This rebuttal addresses these along with a dozen Cons about Whole Life that it doesn’t tell you about.

This rebuttal can be viewed by members and non-members:



Article by Brett in Agent’s Sales Journal 5 May 2010

A) Why Indexed Life is a Great Alternative to More Popular Retirement Savings Plans 

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  

* Brett’s Article in Agents’s Sales Journal 7-1-10

“I’ve been in the business even longer than you and pride myself on being one of the better informed
advisers among my peers. HOWEVER, after reading your article, I felt like a rank amateur.
Thank you for your eye opening article … We need people like you, so keep up the good work.”
Jim J., CLU / 8 January 2014

 B) The Misuse Time Bomb of
Indexed Life Variable Loan Rates

   With the right design and company, indexed life may be one of the best retirement savings investments today. But there is one major flaw in the way most agents present projections of future streams of income; consequently, an unwelcome reckoning may be coming.


3) Comparing IUL’s Apples-Apples

Article about this by Brett in Agent’s Sales Journal 1 June 2010

“How to Compare Indexed Life on an Apples-Apples Basis: 2 Mistakes You May be Making” 

Some of the REPORTS on IULDigest



  According to Morningstar the total annual costs for the “average” domestic mutual fund is 3.03%.   How would you like to be able to show that for a “Top” IUL designed the Optimal way that over a Lifetime the Average IUL Fee % is much less!!

  • Best Way to Design IUL

  There are two primary ways to design a UL policy – most agents don’t even know the second way for maximum cash value performance even exists!  The next step to make it even better is to …


How to Best Design an IUL to stay ahead of Inflation, enhance the
policy Cash Value and IRR performance for the “Client”!


How Often does the Co. move the money into the Index Accounts?  This is something most people would not even think about.  Some co.’s do this with 100% of the premium when they get it.  But … –  Do you know which high profile co’s move it only quarterly? –  Or REQUIRE that one year’s expenses ALWAYS be kept in the Fixed Account?  – Do you know which BIG name co. limits the NEW premium for a policy year that can go into the index accounts to what was paid the year before (so if the premium paid last yr was $0 this year ALL premium MUST go into the Fixed account)?!! 

This is just a SAMPLE of the Invaluable Information on IULDigest!

 “I think the service you provide is incredible!”

Harry P. / Iowa / 2-10-12


   The Beginning … In 2007 I had an idea to write a “Different” book about Index Universal Life, HOW it works and WHY it is a Better Retirement Savings asset with its Tax FREE Income, instead of Tax Deferred Qualified Savings. It ALSO shows how to best DESIGN an IUL and RANKS all the companies from best to worst. This book became “Last  Chance Retirement”  ( ) which is very popular with — and has received rave reviews — from advisors and clients! BUT there is a LOT more specific co. and IUL information than what is in the book that changes throughout the year – you will find that here!

  The caps (and so cash value gains) of the companies continually change, as well as NEW companies being introduced into the marketplace  (Do you know which is the top selling co.? And that its IUL comes in dead last in performance?!).  So it just seemed logical to create and provide this service where you can find up-to-date information on ALL IUL plans what their “Actual” Historical Cash Value and IRR could have been so that you can do a “fair” Apples-Apples comparison of the benefits, features and projected Cash Value of all the different plans:

1) BASIC Information on ALL Primary IUL companies and their IUL(s)

 Financial Information on Co. (Rating, Assets)
Index(s) Available
Current Cap
Participation Rate
Index Method (pt-pt, average, etc.)
Loan Options [Fixed, Variable: can you switch between, how often and is there a cap?] 
Overloan Rider [Deal Breaker for Retirement Savings Plans!]
Accelerated Death Benefit [Great Benefit for Singles too!]
Living Benefits [This could cost your clients $1 million over a lifetime!]
Bonus [Guaranteed or Not?! What co. promotes it but won’t even put it in the policy?!]
Minimum Guaranty (CV &/or SV, Lapse)
  [Which co’s have a 0% CV minimum guaranty – but actually DO a look-back reconciliation at a 3% minimum every 8 years (& have the highest industry caps & among lowest cost?!]
– Crediting Methodology
Index Bucket Requirements and Options
  [Which companies lock you into an index for 5-6 years even with annual crediting?]

2) GENERAL Information on IUL
Bear Market Historical
“Lost Decade”
Company Financials
Cap History
Variable vs. Fixed or Participating Loan
No Market Risk
Tax Free Income

3) IUL COSTS Annual and Lifetime Annual Average
   (Lowest Lifetime Average Cost of any “Investment”)

4) IUL NET “Historical” Gains True Apples-Apples comparison of all IUL’s.
– Adjusted Historical Comparison Illustration Rate to use for each co.
RANKING Chart of all companies for 20 YR Cash Value and YR 40 with 20 Years of Loans
NET Cash Value and IRR Analysis based on Estimated 20 Year Average Cap.

  Here are two of the comments I received about this analysis:

LSW Home Office Analyst
“Your spreadsheet seems like a logical and fair comparison. Regarding your product analysis I appreciate and respect your due diligence to benchmark and analyze our IUL products and our competitors IUL Products.”

Major Company Chief Actuary
“Wow. There are some fairly substantial deviations between what you’ve calculated and what the carrier presents. Most of the benchmarking that I’ve seen from advisors, firms or third parties such as the Full Disclosure reporting from Blease Research uses the carrier’s illustration rate based on the carrier’s own lookback calculations. There is no consistency in that approach as you’ve demonstrated. Illustrating each product with the 20 year average rate you’ve compiled for each would provide you with the most comprehensive apples-to-apples comparison that I know of in the indexed life market.”

5) IUL STRATEGIES  Retirement Savings Own Banker / Pension Max / BEST College Savings Plan

6) INDUSTRY Reports – UL, Whole and Variable Life: Actual Historical 20 Year CV and IRR from the Companies! How they really performed vs. how the co. said they would perform 20 years ago!

7) NEWSLETTER (monthly) – Updates on IUL Industry & Co. changes Other Industry News – New IUL Analysis Report by Brett Articles in General related to Retirement Savings (National Debt, LTC, Health Costs, etc.)

(Many agents tell me they are glad they subscribe just for the Newsletter!)


 on “Last Chance Retirment” materials for Gold and Platinum Members:

– Books, Booklets, Power Points, IUL All Co.’s Reference Manual, IUL vs. QP Manual and More! The most comprehensive IUL educational and marketing materials in the Industry including a Consumer Booklet on how an Index Annuity really works and what features to include and avoid; which are the best Co’s!


1) Copper $99 Year

 – Access to Site and ALL its Reports and other Materials
    (NO Discounts on Books, Booklets, Manual and PPTs)

   A number of agents sign up for Copper then want me to answer their IUL questions by email and/or phone.   I CANNOT do that in fairness to those who have a membership that provides that benefit.   If you want that then you need to join as a Gold or Platinum member:

2) Gold $145 Year

– Access to Site and ALL its Reports PLUS Discounts on Last Chance Retirement Materials.

 – Also You can email Brett your IUL questions (limited to response time of 20 minutes a month).

3) Platinum $199 Year

 – Access to Site and ALL its Reports PLUS Discounts on Last Chance Retirement Materials.

 – Also Includes Free 20 minute phone Consultation each Month and/or you can email Brett your IUL questions [$100 Value – Case Design, General IUL Questions and/or Specific Product Questions].

The HIGHEST Renewal Rate is with Platinum Members!!


Copper           (use link right column / top )




I have received NO remuneration of any kind from any Insurance Co., IMO or Agency for any of the information on this website.

All of the information is believed to be correct but is NOT warranted.

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