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Author: TMFBuster Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 17931  
Subject: Re: New Fool Insurance Center Date: 11/3/2000 12:13 PM
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Hi Ted,

I'm the guy to blame for most of the insurance content and I'm absolutely all ears when it comes to making it better. I'd very much appreciate any help the board can provide towards improving the content. I've learned a lot in the past from this board and will continue to do so. That's what TMF is all about: interactive learning!

I agree that the life insurance section is simplistic. This is by design. It's designed for term-life shopping.

My editorial constraints are tight. If folks want to buy whole, universal or variable life insurance, they will need a lot more help than can be provided in a simple Q&A format. In the Q&A, I listed a few "flags" that might send people to a financial planner to talk about these more complex forms of life insurance. I can always add more, so bring 'em on :)

As time goes on, I can write feature articles on more complex topics and link them to the center, and I will be very appreciative of any help I get from the board there too. The current content is intended to provide the basic structure.

As for your characterization of cash value savings as a "reserve" designed to pay future insurance premium costs, I couldn't agree more that this is the best use of these policies. It seems to be the only simple way to get the money back out and exactly how we are accessing some savings housed in a whole life policy purchased many years ago by my wife (when she had absolutely no need for life insurance coverage, I have to add).

And, I also see how this idea begins to blur the line between cash value policies and multi-year term policies. Thanks. Good insight.

However, I would also add that I've never spoken with an insurance representative on the topic -- and I've spoken to many -- that emphasized this (originally intended) use of cash value savings. In my experience, they focus on tax-advantaged savings for future non-insurance costs like kid's education, retirement planning and estate tax avoidance. This is how the policies were sold to me by the few agents I've gotten serious with in the past. If people want to save in an insurance plan for these events, they need to read a lot more than a life insurance Q&A.

Multi-year, level term policies may be slightly more complex than annually renewable term, but still they are simpler, more flexible and easier to price shop than cash value policies. No?

Thanks for being patient with me while I work to make our content perfect. It'll take time, but my mind is open.

Best Regards,
Paul
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