The Motley Fool Discussion Boards

Previous Page

Retirement Discussions / Retired Fools


Subject:  Re: Viatical Settlements Date:  7/19/1999  2:01 PM
Author:  TMFSelena Number:  663 of 19741

Below is an explanation we ran in our weekly newspaper feature (for more info on how to get it in your local paper:


Q. What do you think of viaticals as investments?

A. Viatical settlements have grown in popularity in recent years. But they're not without risk and they may make some people uncomfortable.

Viatical settlements are when a terminally ill person sells his or her life insurance policy to someone else. Imagine John, stricken with a fatal form of cancer. He's 36 and is expected to live only three more years. If he needs cash to pay for medical bills or just to spend and enjoy, he might sell his life insurance policy to Jane. If it's set to pay $100,000 on his death, Jane might pay $66,000 for it. That way he gets a lot of cash now and Jane expects to get the $100,000 in about three years. At that rate, she'd be earning roughly a 15 percent annual return.

There are many risks, though. John may hang on for seven