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Zev - I would stand by VUL as an insurance policy with an investment component. Its claim to fame is its flexibility & utility to provide long-term insurance protection & allow for some capital growth opportunity above the rate of inflation.

Variable Anuunities (VA), on the other hand, are more of a capital accumulation program that have a bit of "insurance" to them. They are best used to supplement other retirement savings programs because they build capital on a tax-deferred basis.

Consider this: If you paid $100/month into a VUL and another $100/month into a VA, at the end of a year the VUL's cash surrender value would be minimal (a few hundred dollars I guess), while the VA's would be $1200 + the actual growth produced by the separate investment subaccounts. Of course if you died at that time the VUL's payout to your beneficiary would be much greater ($100k or so, depending on your actual face amount provided through underwriting), whereas the VA would pay your beneficiary only the actual cash value ($1200+ growth). Another difference for the beneficiary: the proceeds from the VUL are tax-free, but the VA's are taxable to the same extent as they would be to you!

Hope this helps... Good luck & best wishes, PP
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