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Excellent debate folks. I do have an aside input on 2old4bs statement of:

"Many years ago (1952) an insurance salesman talked my mother into whole life policies for her husband and her kids (me + 2 others). My mother was VERY low income and had to scrimp and save to make the payments on these policies. Mine had a face value of $250. When my mother passed away in 1995, the cash value of my policy was $900. I almost cried when I thought how hard my mother had scrimped to pay for this. Keep in mind that in 1952 you could buy a slice of pizza and a coke for 15 cents, and now it would cost about $3.00. I think even if she had invested in one of the mutual funds that were available at that time she would have done better than this return over 43 years! With so many more investment options today and easier access to information, an interested person has a much better chance of beating this return.

After my parents passed away I found almost exactly the same thing on my sister and I.

However, imagine if you had passed away early on in life. Conventional investments would not have covered funeral expenses, so at the time possible this was a good decision. Also, back then the average person really did not have the stock market available to them.

Different times, different situations. Hindsight really is 20/20

Just something to think about from the hills north of Fairbanks.

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