How to Use Life Insurance Living Benefits to Build Wealth and Buy a House While Alive
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Life insurance serves more purposes than just relieving financial burdens on surviving family members. It is a great tool for accumulating wealth. Your life insurance policy can help you buy a house, build wealth, and enjoy other living benefits in several ways, including taking out loans against it, receiving accelerated death benefits, cashing it out, and selling it. Having access to funds while you are still alive is one of the advantages of purchasing a life insurance policy with living benefits.

Use Life Insurance While Alive

While still alive, policyholders of certain types of life insurance can withdraw the cash value. One common reason people purchase life insurance is so that they can leave money for their loved ones when they die. It is possible to access a portion of or the entire death benefit from the policy’s cash value.

You should give this important choice a lot of thought. Taking money out of your policy will change how much it pays out in the future, but if you want to be able to use your life insurance while you are still alive, it might be worth thinking about. 

How to Use Life Insurance While Alive

You can use the money from your life insurance policy to buy a house or even build wealth while you are still alive in the following ways:

#1. Borrow From the Cash Value of Your Policy

You can use the cash value of your policy as collateral for a loan with certain types of policies. There are fees involved in withdrawing the money from a whole life insurance policy, but the interest rates are typically lower than those of personal loans. It is crucial to make responsible use of the money you borrow against your policy and keep up with your payments.

In certain cases, you can supplement your retirement income with the cash value that accumulates in a permanent life insurance policy. One common strategy for doing so is to invest in an annuity that provides a steady stream of payments.

Find out what your loan entails. Policy details vary for life loans. Think about the interest rates, length of time you have to pay, and other terms of the loan before you sign it. The insurance company will take the amount you owe out of the death benefit if you die before paying back the loan. This means that your beneficiaries will get less money.  

#2. Accelerated Death Benefits

Accelerated death benefits are another choice to think about. There is no obligation to repay with this choice. Instead, you get a portion of the death benefit paid out while you are still alive so you can spend it however you like. 

People in certain situations are the only ones who can get accelerated death benefits. You may be eligible if you are terminally ill or need a lot of medical care.  

Access to the death benefit becomes possible upon the diagnosis of a terminal illness or a chronic illness that meets the policy’s requirements. While you are still alive, you can use your life insurance funds to do anything you like, be it medical bills, vacations, or even buying a house.

Learn when and how you can access your death benefits early. The majority of policies that provide this coverage only make payments if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness, suffer from a severe disability, or are a permanent resident of a nursing home. Any benefits you got before you died will be taken away from the inheritance your family will get in the future. 

#3. Cash Out Your Life Insurance Policy

The cash value of a life insurance policy is the total of premiums paid to date that can be received upon surrendering the policy to the insurance company. By taking this action, you will no longer have to make premium payments on your policy. While it may be tempting to tap into your life insurance policy while you are still alive, doing so could reduce the amount your loved ones receive upon your passing.

Think of some other options. Taking money out of a life insurance policy is a significant move. Think about your other investment opportunities or personal property that you could sell to raise the necessary funds. 

#4. Sell Your Life Insurance Policy or Life Settlement

If none of those choices work for you, you could also sell your life insurance policy to an investor. In exchange for the right to receive the death benefit upon your passing, this investor will pay you a lump sum now. Life settlements are the last option for policyholders looking to liquidate their life insurance policies. Life settlements are when you sell your old life insurance policy to an outside investor for cash.

The lump-sum payment received from a life settlement is usually greater than the policy’s surrender value but lower than the death benefit. Because of this, you might be able to get a large amount of money that you can use to pay for important things.

There are no limits on how the money from a life settlement can be used. Your choices are unlimited when it comes to how to spend the money, whether it is on necessities or just to make your life better.

Remember that selling your life insurance policy will remove your beneficiary from the death benefit and coverage. The new policyholder will choose a new beneficiary and pay the premiums going forward.

How to Use Life Insurance to Build Wealth 

Permanent life insurance plans like universal life, whole life, and universal variable life can help you get rich over time. Your payments to such policies will eventually yield a cash benefit. Because of the return your insurance company will pay, you can amass wealth over time. However, term life insurance is only in effect for a set period and does not add to the policyholder’s wealth in any way.

With a well-balanced investment portfolio that includes life insurance, you can increase your net worth. The primary reason people buy life insurance is to protect their loved ones financially in the event of the policyholder’s death. Payment from a life insurance policy can help a beneficiary with financial obligations such as a mortgage or tuition while they look for work. Your heirs may even have some money left over to save for their retirement. There are also times when you can use a life insurance policy to build wealth for yourself, while you are still alive.

An individual who wants to use life insurance to make money should purchase a permanent policy. You may be able to convert your existing term life insurance policy to a more permanent type of coverage.

Ways to Build Wealth with your Life Insurance While Alive

When it comes to making money off of a permanent life insurance policy, most people choose one of these strategies:

#1. Withdraw Cash

A large cash value in a permanent life insurance policy could allow for substantial withdrawals in retirement, providing a welcome income boost. Your heirs will receive a smaller payout upon your passing, but if retirement savings were your primary goal all along, this could be a good strategy. 

#2. Take Out a Loan

You can get a tax-free loan using the savings you have built up. As with any loan, interest will accrue, but it is typically much lower than what you would pay with a traditional lender. You will not be required to repay the loan, but if you don’t, you will leave less money to your heirs and have less flexibility in the future.

There is a death benefit and a cash value component to a permanent life insurance policy. They can use the money for a variety of things, including paying premiums, getting a loan at a better interest rate than banks offer, and supplementing their retirement income.

#3. Consider Permanent Life Insurance

The benefits of permanent life insurance, also known as whole life coverage, are twofold: not only does the policy provide a guaranteed death benefit, but it also accumulates cash value. A permanent life insurance policy is similar to a savings account in that respect.

Gains that are consistent and not subject to the same market swings that make stocks and bonds risky. Borrowing against your cash value allows you to pay your monthly premiums, help pay for a family member’s education, or increase your income in retirement. 

To rephrase, for people in their twenties, thirties, and forties (who pass the underwriting requirements, which include a medical exam), permanent life insurance is one of the simplest and fastest ways to begin building wealth immediately.

If you use life insurance to save money, your loved ones will be secure financially and able to continue making strides even after you pass away. Saving money is another important reason to have insurance. The first thing you need to do to get rich is to save money. Without giving up your insurance coverage, you can access your savings when you need them most, like when something major happens in your life. 

How to Use Life Insurance to Buy a House 

You can use the money from your life insurance policy to buy a house. Put the cash value of your permanent insurance policy toward your mortgage, or use it entirely if you do not need a mortgage at all. When you want to buy a house, mortgage lenders sometimes require borrowers to pledge life insurance as collateral. This is to help them protect their investment.

Your chances of being approved for a mortgage and/or receiving one at a lower interest rate may increase if you put up collateral. Withdrawals, loans, and policy cancellations are all ways to access cash value.

How to Use Your Life Insurance to Buy a House

#1. Collateral Assignment of Life Insurance

To qualify for a mortgage and buy a house, some people use their life insurance policies as collateral. A loan can be secured by pledging an asset of value as collateral. Lenders can take the collateral to cover their losses if you do not pay the loan back. It is common practice to use a life insurance payout as security for a mortgage. If you have a mortgage and die before it is paid off, the life insurance payout will go toward that. Your heirs will receive any remaining assets after you pass away.

With life insurance as collateral, getting a mortgage loan becomes easier. They may also grant you a reduced interest rate, which will reduce your repayment costs both monthly and over the life of the loan. The value of collateral depends on the type of life insurance. Whole life, universal life, and variable universal life policies are the most acceptable types of permanent life insurance for mortgage lenders. These insurance plans are valid forever. As long as you keep up with your payments, they are permanent.

As part of a collateral assignment agreement, you have promised to keep your life insurance policy active and current on premium payments. In addition, you must inform your insurance provider of the agreement. If your lender discovers that you have canceled your life insurance, they may decide to raise your interest rate. Until the loan is repaid, you may not have access to the cash value of your policy.

#2. Life Insurance Cash Value

Certain permanent life insurance plans include cash value. With each premium you pay, money accumulates in your insurance policy. Your cash value will earn interest from the insurance company as well. You can use the cash value of your life insurance policy for the down payment to buy a house, or as additional funding for your mortgage.

#3. Withdrawal or Partial Surrender

A withdrawal is one method of removing cash value from your insurance policy. Your insurance company determines the maximum amount you can take out. You can maintain your life insurance protection even after making a withdrawal or partial surrender. You can withdraw cash value but must keep making premium payments to replenish it for future use. 

Making a withdrawal will not affect your life insurance coverage in any way. You can take out tax-free cash up to the amount of premiums you have paid. However, if you take out more than you put in through premiums, you will be subject to income tax on the difference.

You are unable to repay the cash value withdrawal. Withdrawals from a life insurance policy’s cash value will reduce the policy’s future growth potential. Furthermore, a withdrawal reduces the amount your beneficiaries will receive upon your passing.

#4. Take a Loan

You can get a loan against the cash value of your life insurance policy. The cash value loan from your life insurance policy will accrue interest if you still have a balance. This is a lower interest rate than you would pay on a typical personal loan. You can repay the loan from your life insurance policy whenever you are ready.

A loan has the disadvantage that interest payments from the insurance company will increase the total amount you owe. The insurer may terminate your policy if the loan balance is greater than the cash value. A portion of your death benefit will cover the repayment a loan if you pass away before paying it off. Your heirs would receive his remaining assets.

#5. Full Surrender

To completely surrender your life insurance policy is to terminate it. You will receive the full amount of your life insurance policy’s cash value. Then you can use the payouts from your life insurance to buy a house, if you so desire. Gains are subject to income taxation if they exceed premium payments. It is also possible, depending on the terms of your policy, that the insurance company will assess a surrender fee.

In the event of a full surrender, no further premium payments or interest on any cash-value loans are due. However, there is a major downside: you will no longer have any life insurance. This might only make sense if you have decided you do not need the life insurance right now.

Best Life Insurance with Living Benefits

Life insurance policies often include “living benefits,” which allow the policyholder to access the death benefit of the policy while they are still alive. You can add “riders” to your policy to get more coverage for things like hospice care, chronic illnesses, and other medical expenses. You should be ready to provide your insurance company with documentation and medical records when requesting access to your life insurance “living benefits” funds.

What Are Living Benefit Riders?

A living benefit rider is an optional addition to a life insurance policy that provides benefits during the policyholder’s lifetime. Some policies will let you cash out a portion of your death benefit if you have a terminal or chronic illness. The policy itself will define the terms and maximum payout. Any living benefits paid out of the death benefit will be subtracted from the amount your beneficiary gets. The money from this payout is meant to help you get through the end of your life in comfort and to cover your medical bills. When looking at living benefit riders, you should think about the following:

  • Death benefit riders for terminal illnesses allow you to receive a portion of your payout before your time of death has come.
  • A critical illness rider guarantees that your insurance company will pay for your medical care if you are diagnosed with one of the specified critical illnesses.
  • You can add long-term care riders to your policy to help cover the costs of a nursing home or of providing care at home as you get older.

Best Life Insurance Companies with Living Benefits

The term “living benefits” is used to describe the portion of a death benefit that can be accessed during the policyholder’s lifetime due to a terminal, chronic, or critical illness. The following companies provide a life insurance “living benefits” rider:

#1. Mutual of Omaha

The addition of two accelerated death benefits (for chronic and terminal illness) is typically free of charge from Mutual of Omaha. It does not cost extra for its Term Life Express and IUL Express policies to come with accelerated death benefit riders for people with chronic, critical, or terminal illnesses.

Coverage options from Mutual of Omaha include term, whole life, universal, accidental death, and children’s whole life. You can apply for insurance and get a quote online, over the phone, or in person, depending on each policy.

Death benefits under the universal policy can be paid out early in the case of a terminal illness or other chronic condition. A long-term care rider can be added to your life insurance policy to provide a monthly payout equal to 1, 2, or 4 percent of your death benefit.

The Living Promise Level Benefit Plan is a permanent plan that pays out a set amount no matter how long you live. Death benefits greater than $25,000 are not available for online quotes on universal life or whole-life policies.

#2. John Hancock

John Hancock’s stellar reputation and comprehensive set of extras included in every life insurance policy helped it rise to the top. They provides a variety of life insurance options, including term and permanent universal coverage. Formal and final expense policies can be applied for and gotten quotes online, but you have to call to get quotes and claims on permanent life insurance.

Both term and permanent insurance from John Hancock are eligible for the accelerated death benefit rider. For a modest premium, this firm offers supplemental coverage for situations like long-term care, critical illness, disability, and unemployment.  

Heart attack, stroke, cancer, CABG, major organ failure, kidney failure, and paralysis are all considered critical illnesses that entitle you to receive between 10 and 25 percent of the policy’s face value (up to $250,000). You can access either half or all of the death benefit ($1,000,000 maximum) early.

If you are completely unable to work for at least six months due to your disability, you may qualify for a premium waiver. If you require assistance with two or more ADLs (bathing, dressing, eating, continence, toileting, or transferring), you may be eligible for monthly payments from a long-term care insurance policy at a rate of 2% or 4%.

#3. New York Life

The term, whole life, and universal life insurance, as well as a variety of riders, are just some of the options available from New York Life. You can get a quote or apply for a policy by filling out a short form on the website and waiting to be contacted by an agent.

In the event of a terminal illness, you may be eligible to receive a portion of your life insurance’s death benefit early through the company’s living benefits rider, which can be added to your whole life policy. You can get premium waivers for disability and chronic illness, among other riders. A portion of your death benefit could be made available to you through the chronic care rider. You can access your policy management portal or call to speak with a customer service agent on Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET.

#4. Haven Life

This insurance company offers two different types of life insurance policies, Haven Term and Haven Simple. Haven Term is accessible nationwide. Unfortunately, states like Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota, and New York do not have access to Haven Simple.

Both the permanent and term Haven Life policies feature instantaneous death benefits, and the latter also feature an additional set of living benefits known as Haven Life Plus. You can pay extra for a premium waiver rider. The hours of operation for Haven Life’s customer service department are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

The accelerated death benefit rider allows you to receive a large portion of your death benefit if you have less than 12 months to live. If you buy the premium waiver and then become disabled as a result of illness or injury, you will no longer have to pay your premiums.

#5. State Farm

In addition to term and permanent life insurance, State Farm also provides universal life insurance, which provides a variety of living benefits. There are some policy limitations based on where you live, but you can buy life insurance from an agent in any state.

A flexible care benefit rider is available from State Farm, and it includes such features as premium waiver upon disability, accelerated death benefits, and long-term care protection. You can get in touch with State Farm’s support staff via phone or their mobile app.   

The flexible care benefit rider allows you to withdraw up to 2% of your death benefit each month if you develop a chronic illness or require long-term care services. The premium waiver for disability could allow you to avoid making payments for the duration of your disability. The best way to find out how much the flexible care benefit rider will cost is to have a conversation with a broker.

#6. Transamerica

Those searching for affordable life insurance living benefits need to look no further than Transamerica. Transamerica offers riders their whole life insurance policies that provide accelerated death benefits in the event of a critical illness. This rider may be useful in offsetting some of the costs associated with treating a chronic or critical illness.

Some of the many available riders include a premium waiver in the event of disability, additional income protection, extended-term coverage, and a child benefit. If you are looking for an affordable way to get a living benefit rider, Transamerica’s policies may be just what you need.

Can You Use Your Life Insurance While You Are Alive?

Permanent life insurance policies will make it possible for you to access the cash value of your account even while you are still alive. It indicates that you can utilize the accumulated cash value or death benefit while you are still alive, depending on the benefit that is used. Term life insurance, on the other hand, does not provide its policyholders with access to a cash value component.

Can You Use Life Insurance at Any Time?

If you have a permanent life insurance policy, you may be able to access the cash value of the policy while you are still alive. 

How Soon Can I Borrow From My Life Insurance Policy?

You will not be able to take out a loan against your life insurance policy as soon as you get started. You will not be able to withdraw any money from your policy until the cash value reaches a certain amount, which may take years. Each insurance company has its minimum cash value requirement for a policy loan. Until the cash value of your policy has grown sufficiently, you will not be able to borrow against it.

How Do I Cash Out My Life Insurance While Still Alive?

  • Loans, withdrawals, and surrenders all allow you to access the cash value.
  • Make a living benefit application.
  • Life settlements.

Can You Use Life Insurance to Buy a Car?

You can borrow the money rather than taking a cash withdrawal from your policy. Money for a down payment on a car, retirement, or unexpected bills after losing your job can all be obtained quickly and easily through a loan against your life insurance policy.

You can also buy a house with life insurance. You can borrow money against your policy to get a mortgage.

What Type of Life Insurance Can You Borrow While Alive?

Life insurance loans are available for both whole life and universal life policies, as well as other permanent life insurance products that feature a cash value component. The cash value of your insurance policy will grow as time goes on. A loan from your insurance company is an option if you have enough equity in your policy (minimums vary by provider).

Can I Use My Life Insurance to Pay My Mortgage?

Yes. Life insurance on a mortgage is an option. In contrast to traditional life insurance, mortgage life insurance pays off the loan in full upon the death of the policyholder instead of distributing a death benefit to the beneficiaries. 

Can You Use Life Insurance Without Dying?

If you have a permanent life insurance policy, the cash value is available to you at any time, not just at death. Under certain circumstances (terminal illness, certain medical conditions, etc.), a life insurance policy’s cash value may be accessed before the insured’s death.

At What Point Is Life Insurance Not Worth It?

If you have no financial obligations to others, a small budget, or alternative plans to ensure their financial security in the event of your death, you may not need life insurance.


If you have permanent life insurance, do not let the cash value build-up before you decide what to do with it. Additionally, make sure the cash value is depleted and repurposed later in life to prevent it from going to the insurer after your passing.

Knowing the value of your life insurance policy while you are still alive can help you improve your financial situation, provide for your immediate needs, and take charge of your financial future. Before committing to an insurance plan, it is important to get the advice of experts and weigh the pros and cons thoroughly.

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