Variable Universal Life Insurance horror - need help

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My new wife, age 31, has a $500,000 VUL policy with Transamerica that she bought before she met me. It was purchased in April 2009 and she has paid $242 per month into it up until now. Every month, $71 comes out in fees for the insurance and for the admin fees. To date, she has put $22,022 into it, yet today, its cash value is $22,183 with a surrender value of $20,247.  Since 2009, she has earned a whopping $161 while the stock market has almost tripled which is very disconcerting to me. I understand VUL pretty much as expensive term + investments with exorbitant fees.

My fear is that this account will implode on itself if the market crashes and she is at a point in her life where the cost of insurance has risen to a level that will rapidly eat away at whatever cash value she has built up leading her to reduce the death benefit. Or the policy will just completely collapse. In the last 7-8 years, this account has not really moved the needle while the general market has tripled. I can’t help but imagine how ugly it can get.

The fund her account is invested in is:
TFLIC FREEDOM ELITE BUILDER II, which looks pretty crappy as a growth oriented fund. It’s a mish mash of Transamerica funds that look like they were put in there to maximize fees. For reference:
https://www.tflic.com/media/binary/stream/109/64749 

Our options are:
1) Surrender the policy and take the hit. Buy term and invest the difference/401k/Roth IRA
2) Rollover the surrender value into a $500,000 Whole Life 65 policy with Northwestern mutual with a monthly premium of $241 until age 65. The total lifetime outlay will be the surrender ($20,247) + roughly $97,000 in premiums. Total lifetime outlay is $117,000 give or take.
3) Rollover the surrender value into a $500,000 Whole Life policy with Northwestern mutual with a perpetual annual premium of $1697 where the death benefit will not grow until age 80.
4) Increase the premium amounts we pay into the VUL and hope the market doesn’t crash as the cost of insurance keeps rising.
5) Change funds within the policy…I’m not a fan of any of the subaccounts offered.

My wife and I have fought over this policy in the last month. She’s not the most financially knowledgeable person. She was basically sold this policy by someone she knows personally and I called this someone a snake who didn’t have her financial interests at heart. Naturally, when I confronted this snake, they showed us a VUL statement from another client who max funded their VUL annually and saw outsized gains. I ripped them a new hole when they showed me that crap. Apples to oranges comparison you know? Although I've caused a major social rift,  I think my wife is slowly coming around to doing something about this policy now that I have more control over all of our finances, but I’m torn about the best route to take.  She is NOT maxed out in her 401k but I have maxed out her ROTH IRA account. We rent and have 1 child. What is the best course of action? The middle ground option seems to be the best – rolling her over into a Life 65 policy so as to preserve the death benefit she's so worried about. Thoughts?

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Agreed.  Have policy reviewed by a seasoned professional in insurance that is not trying to sell you something
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dhodson (Mar. 14, 2017 @ 11:51a) |

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Why throw more good money after bad? Definitely don't choose #4 or #5. The first 3 choices are all good options.

I got roped into the same thing 18 years ago by my parents. They were convinced by a Western Reserve Life salesman. This was before Transamerica took over WRL. They kept telling me it's an investment for my future. Obviously, they just wanted a nice payout in case something tragic were to happen to me. For some reason, they had to take a sample of my blood as part of the application process. I wanted to surrender the policy after the first few years but the stock market had just taken a nosedive. The sad thing is, I'm still paying $100 each month into the Financial Freedom Builder. It's on a paperless, auto-pay system so I don't even notice it. I have no idea what it's worth today. I just logged into the Transamerica website and it won't tell me.

In order of priority: 
1.  Don't screw things up with your SO.  Life is too short and money is way down the list of priorities.  Make nice first, then worry about money later. This sounds like a bit of an emotional issue for her and a mathematical issue for you.  That is a tough gap to bridge.  Recognize that.  Talk through that together in a calm cool manner.  

2.  Sunk costs are irrelevant.  Let go of any angst you may have about the salesman, the poor performance, past mistakes.  You are only interested in moving forward, and from the sounds of it... slowly.  Let your SO ease in to things as you slowly go over things.  Very slowly. 

3.  Regarding moving forward:

For most regular income folks, the typical FWF response is to buy term and invest the difference in some low cost (low fee) manner -- first through things like IRAs and 401ks, then in a taxable account. With all options, watch the fees -- be it an ETF, mutual funds, adviser directed fund, whatever.

For a 31 year old non-smoker, your term insurance rate should be very low. Look up some solid low cost providers on your own. You can get 20 year level term policies that guarantee your premium won't go up, if you are worried about that.  Remember what life insurance is for:  replacement of income loss in case of death.  Do you need this protection for your SO?  Is your SO going to work after having kids?  What is her income now and expected to be later?   Maybe you want something in the $200,000 to $1,000,000 range?  I went with $250K on my SO and for me, I got a million, as I recall.  Replacement of my income was going to be a bigger deal than issues related to her death.  See next paragraph)

I had life insurance on my wife when our kids were little even though she didn't work.  I knew that if she died, I would all of  a sudden have to deal with child care.  My career would no longer be on a higher growth track.  I'd have new expenses related to day care.  I'd probably end up with higher food costs and perhaps some cleaning costs... so even though she didn't earn an income in dollars, if she was gone, I would be better off with a pile of money to deal with added expenses.  Keep that sort of thing in mind also.  

Since life insurance is really only for the above mentioned things for the average income earner, you don't need life insurance for a long time.  Once you have enough investments to take care of things, then you can ditch the policy.  

Search FWF and other sources for a different story about various whole life or UL policies wrt very high income / net worth individuals.  That can be a different story.  

For most mortals, go with term and invest the difference in low fee vehicles.  

 

As others have suggested, the greater risk is the narrative between you and your wife.
Not only is this a sunk cost, it's a product that's been sold to the best among us..
I've seen marriages end because a spouse heard one sentence in a fight about finances that sowed doubt.

Others have made better comments on the insurance aspect, but I would like to make an comment on risk and wealth.

There are ultimately three legal ways to improve economic mobility, in order of least to greatest effort.
- Invest in the SP500/Total Market Index Funds, and passively reinvest the dividends
- Invest in Real Estate, and build cash flow, using leverage
- Start your own business, and overcome the odds by failing quickly and restarting.

All of the above are subject to risks that are greatest at the beginning of the venture.
Even though they will always beyond your control, the risk will drop as your portfolio becomes more diverse.
Three years ago, I could have said the stock/real estate market was at it's top, with 0% interest rates.
If the market plummets in your 30s, you can buy cheaper piles of bricks using rental income, and cheaper stocks using dividends and monthly investments. Risk is a luxury people later in life don't have because they're unable to recover from losses and time to compound. 

Finally it's been my experience bargains will always be more expensive and overpriced items are cheaper then I've anticipated.

In conclusion, I would invite both of you to challenge yourselves to rethink your finances and your tolerance for risk.
By saving a few dollars in a correction, you risk losing thousands in potential growth through lack of exposure.

RobMoore said:   My fear is that this account will implode on itself if the market crashes and she is at a point in her life where the cost of insurance has risen to a level that will rapidly eat away at whatever cash value she has built up leading her to reduce the death benefit. Or the policy will just completely collapse. 
 You seem overly concerned about her personal business. Do you plan on knockin her off?

First buy cheap term to cover your insurance needs and that won't likely be NWM

2nd surrender the policy. To make matters worse transamerica if I'm not mistaken is one of the companies that has even further increased cost of insurance on old policies beyond the normal scheduled UL increases. Those increases that you know are coming actually aren't the guaranteed rates. They can charge higher.

3rd, never purchase any life insurance product as an investment

Google unmet promises life insurance for an article by insurance folks giving you an idea how this will perform under less than ideal market returns. You have already seen how it performs under a good market.

explain sunk cost fallacy to her.

Clark Howard is a nationally syndicated common sense and financial radio and TV talk show host. I believe he strongly recommends AGAINST Variable Universal Life Insurance.

On his website he recommends the Consumer Federation of America service that will analyze your policy and make a recommendation on what to do with it. The review costs $100, but it seems like a reasonable amount compared to what has already been spent.

http://www.clark.com/service-will-crunch-the-true-investment

My wife had a Genworth policy that she had prepaid 1 year in advance to get a $5 discount. A few months later, we cancelled the policy b/c we found something better. Genworth basically told us we weren't getting the rest of our money back (even though the policy was cancelled).

Thank you everyone for the input. I do believe that doing term + investing or rolling over into a whole life policy will make the most sense like SLC39 mentioned. I'm not fond of the whole life policy, but she wants something guaranteed to pay out so that makes it a palatable compromise.

My wife was sold this policy as an investment/security vehicle by someone close to her when she was fresh out of college in 2009 making $12 an hour with a little bit of student debt. It's absurd how badly this person screwed her in hindsight after my wife decided to attend nursing school to become the RN she is today. Like debentureboy stated, it is an emotional topic for her because of the salesperson involved and it's a numbers issue for me since I invest on the side so it is a very tough gap to bridge. On a personal level, I don't believe in life insurance as an investment and I won't bend on that belief which compounds the issue when combined with my belief that this VUL is a black hole. And for her, I think dealing with the reality that this salesperson basically shafted her is just a jarring experience. I've made some headway in terms of explaining to her how the cost of insurance (COI) aspect works over time within her policy and how the future performance may be really ugly if the last 7 years are any indication. And to Atikovi, why wouldn't I be concerned about her personal business with regards to this policy? It affects me, our son and our finances every month...even later in life when I'm gone. I'm sure I'll die before her. Last thing I want is for her to be strapped to a policy that will implode without her knowing.

As for diversification which ThomasPaine mentioned, I have a pension, I've been maxing out my 401k, Roth IRA and I have made 8.5% per year on average since 2005 in the stock market, amassing a decent nest egg to pass along to her and our son. I'm 34. My wife (31) on the other hand, she's been putting in very little in her 401k but she has been maxing out her Roth IRA the last 2 years after we took care of her nursing loans. I have a tough time talking to her about finances because she just doesn't have the interest in it so she has basically entrusted me to handle everything. But the VUL just strikes this massive nerve with her. We live in NYC so diversifying into physical real estate is frought with financial risk for us. NYC is renter friendly and it would basically require us to liquidate most of our assets just to own and rent out.

And Dhodson, I'm a big fan of your stuff on this forum and on bogleheads.

$500k is probably conservative for her in terms of coverage amount but that'll be a discussion for later when she finally decides what to do. William Penn seems to be a good option at $398 annually for a 30 year level term at $500,000. In fact, that's what I have along with $250,000 term coverage from work due to its hazardous nature. I also have disability insurance and with a $100,000 payout upon death so all of that + what I've saved up should cover my wife and son should anything happen to me.

As I'm sure you know, I don't recommend any permanent insurance as an investment but IF you must buy WL then be sure its overfunded to MEC limits or if you just want guaranteed death benefit consider a no lapse gUL realizing it won't have any cash value to surrender or loan against.

Keep in mind stocks in a taxable account get the same step up in basis at death and it's easy to pick an index fund that has very low tax drag with dividends. You really only win with insurance if the company considers you super healthy and you aren't and thus die prematurely.

i like numbers. She may not.
but cmon ... she cant see that 250 a year for term and invest the difference isnt better than 241 a month ?

Dhodson, I'm well aware of your recommendation against, lol. But I think it is the lesser of 2 evils compared to VULs that aren't max funded.

Owenscott, it'd be like going in circles doing that. She'll just say the stock market is unpredictable and that she needs something permanent...and I'll just reply that she's taking the same risk in the VUL + fees which is worse and then I'd chime in that she'd be better off getting the whole life65 and not worry about it imploding when the COI goes way up.

Smart girl, great nurse. She's just a financial lemon.

dhodson said:   First buy cheap term to cover your insurance needs and that won't likely be NWM
 

Why do you say no NWM? I thought they are one of the better companies to deal with.

Not sure what you want from us here then since she didnt seem to know that the VUL was also interested in the stock market but with more fees. WL is primarily invested in bonds. Might want to show her a trend of WL dividends over the last few decades and ask her to predict where the bond market is going. WL will mirror it. She does realize that over 80% of the time permanent policies fail to be permanent until death?

Depends on what you mean by better i guess. There is no evidence that one company is better at paying death claims then another that im aware of (im not in the insurance industry by the way). Just check their prices. Higher under most circumstances. Somebody has to pay for all their commercials.

RobMoore said:   Dhodson, I'm well aware of your recommendation against, lol. But I think it is the lesser of 2 evils compared to VULs that aren't max funded.

Owenscott, it'd be like going in circles doing that. She'll just say the stock market is unpredictable and that she needs something permanent...and I'll just reply that she's taking the same risk in the VUL + fees which is worse and then I'd chime in that she'd be better off getting the whole life65 and not worry about it imploding when the COI goes way up.

Smart girl, great nurse. She's just a financial lemon.

  Why does she think she needs permanent insurance? What peril is she insuring once your child(ren) completes college?

The numbers are the numbers, meaning I would get the policy analyzed by Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®) in addition review directly with Transamerica. The nuts and bolts of the policy would not be an emotional decision. In California we are not allowed to sell a policy using an illustration of another client. Meaning you could lose your license. The person who sold the policy has a contract with Transamerica. If Transamerica looks at the history of that agents behavior, illustrations and sales..............they would be very interested to see if the agent is not being ethical. Transamerica does not like dirty agents. Surely, your wife would not mind if the policy was analyzed by the company and an experienced CLU to see what you have Approach them and ask for a review to see what you have and go from there.  In addition, you re not required to keep speaking to the original agent.  You can ask for the agent of record to be removed and work directly with Transamerica.

The thing with Northwestern Mutual like Dhodson mentioned is that they're better known for their permanent insurance than their term which is more expensive than what you can find using a well known site to comparison shop. Northwestern only offers a few term options: term 10,20 and 80. Their term80 is cheaper in the earlier years, but doesn't stay level and it basically kind of pushes you into converting it into whole life from what I understand due to the rising cost annually. Correct me if I'm wrong.

My wife is one of those hands off people...she doesn't know much about investments and figured a VUL wouldn't require much of her attention and she was sold on the fact that the market gains would help her maintain the death benefit over her lifetime. Doesn't look like it will work out that way obviously. I just found out she had this policy and I don't have too much experience with life insurance except from the bits and pieces I've read here and some personal research I've done when I'm free so I wanted to get some more input here. That's all.

She felt she needed permanent life insurance in 2009 out of a fear that her parents would need financial support if she were to die because they basically depleted all of their savings on putting her through school. Her family grew up poor so kind of understandable. She still feels that way to a certain degree even after paying them back most of the money they used to help her through school. In fact, she still has her mom listed as a co- beneficiary even after adding our 5 month old son.

I've already explained to her that her VUL doesn't seem sustainable when she hits her golden years and that we can achieve a number similar, maybe even better than her death benefit amount with term, 401k/IRA and index funds without much success. The death benefit is important to her so best compromise option may be a whole life permanent policy or GUL...but the quotes I've obtained on GUL don't appear to be that great. $2000  a year til age 100.
 
I think I just need more time to let her digest it at this point. I don't want our relationship to sour if I keep pressing the issue.

I am willing to accept the red. Been with my wife 16 years. A significant portion of marriages end because of finances. If the $242 a month makes her happy and it is not taking food off your table then why fight over it? She is an RN/lpn and makes significantly more than that to make 242 a small portion of her monthly income.

I have a similar wife. Knows nothing about finance, loves shoes and purses, is an RN and makes 70k+ a year. I take care of the retirement nonsense, she could care less but i tell her when ẃe hit milestones in our savings which keeps her minimal interest peaked. I have managed to get her depositing into her 401k to get her max company match but it took a few years to get there.

Sunk cost also applies to emotions. Stop making emotions about a small amount of money and try and keep her included in the savings by telling her when you pass a number. For me it is each 100k we have a bottle of wine or bubbly. The $242 will become a smaller portion of your net worth over the years.

Make sure you are making smart choices in the rest of your savings, enjoy the woman you married and let her have the $242/month. It may suck but so does fighting and it really is not worth it.

Flame away.

On the non-humor side that is why ex-agents like me retired at 55. They were nice commissions. But in realty why would a 31 year old single person buy 500,000 of life insurance. Plus why didn't she follow the investment account and manage her money in it. They can and do work if a person follows them like any investment. You have to be informed and manage your accounts same as if it was stock or mutual funds.

One of the problems with that line of thinking is that the $242 a month is unlikely to work. You do understand that the policy will eventually lapse with just putting that amount in? Its going to cost more and more to keep it afloat over the years. If there are really no gains during great market years, you do realize that as cost of insurance increases and bad years occur that its very likely to go bad and lose every cent placed into it? I dont red people personally but you dont seem to understand the insurance product and how your advice isnt actually going to work. I dont consider it loving to allow someone into a train wreck. If the OP wants this policy to work for whatever reason then he needs to start overfunding it and see if there are more reasonable investment options within the policy to chose from.

Rechtien, you have valid points, I do love my wife, but it would be irresponsible for me to allow her to just keep throwing money into something that already looks like it is going to be a candidate for catastrophic failure. In 7 years, the market has tripled and this policy only has a $161 gain on $22000 of contributions. That is absurd. The policy isn't entirely at fault, it's the salesperson who should have sold her term when she was making $12 an hour in 2009 and it's also my wife's fault for not overseeing the account to make sure it was financially stable and for electing to pay a smaller premium. A quality agent would have steered her into the most affordable insurance, not the most expensive one available.

If I let her continue on this trajectory without saying anything, she will have expended $117,000- $120,000 til the age of 65 for next to nothing if the performance thus far is any indication. When you factor in the rise in insurance cost as she ages, the cash value will just keep depleting until a lapse occurs or she reduces the death benefit to maintain an affordable premium or she pays up the nose to maintain it in its current state. Moving her to a bond based subaccount would not help matters late into her life because it simply will not keep pace with the cost of insurance.

I don't know about you, but I don't think most ordinary folk would not be keen on watching $120,0000 worth of wealth get vaporized in the slowest and most painful manner possible.

Overfunding the account just doesn't make the most sense. If the market goes south, we will get completely wrecked...not that it will necessarily, but it is a possibility. We aren't well off enough to take that risk.

If you aren't willing to look at a bond like sub account then WL can't make sense either.

With inflation $242 a month and 100k becomes significantly smaller dollar value over the years.

If you want to keep fighting with her over it then do it. Everyone on this board will tell you to cancel the plan and invest elsewhere. The only issue is you need her signature. If you want to fight for it then by all means do it.

You can try tell ing her, "but honey, all these random people on the interwebs said it is terrible." Report back after that conversation and tell us how it goes.

Or you can let it rest for now. Hope it collapses early and ends the pain or address it later. I know it is not the smartest financial decision but only you know if the marriage cost is worth the $242/month. I can honestly tell you it is not.

Let me phrase it differently:

Imagine I came here to post this -

My wife of X years makes 70k+ a year and spends $242 dollars a month on purses, shoes, starbucks (or insert frivolous spending here). This is a stupid investment for 1. X, 2. X, or 3. X. We have fought about this for a month. Please help me with this.

I would tell you the same, she earns money and likes what she does. If it makes her happy and doesnt hurt you significantly then why fight about it?

I'm surprised no one's asked... Pics? (for context)

It's not going to be 240 a month.

OP maybe you should ask the insurance company for the guaranteed cost of insurance going forward and the current illustrated till age 90.

It's 22k and whatever additional payments are made that are going to be lost unless some change is made. It's not pocket change for most people.

dhodson said:   It's not going to be 240 a month.

OP maybe you should ask the insurance company for the guaranteed cost of insurance going forward and the current illustrated till age 90.

It's 22k and whatever additional payments are made that are going to be lost unless some change is made. It's not pocket change for most people.

  
this is probably the biggest problem with locking in anything with the expectation of rising rates in the future. That backfired with life insurance rates. Wonder why they've dropped so much... 

Rechtien, I understand where you're coming from, I just want my wife to be on solid footing financially if I were to die and she's left to handle all the finances. I want her to make logical informed long-term choices, not emotional/instant gratification choices. She's not only making decisions for herself anymore. Granted, that's why she added our 5 month old as a beneficiary on her policy...but that only works out if the policy doesn't lapse which appears possible right now without additional contributions.

In my line of work, there's a higher probability that I don't make it home at night. There are only a few occupations like that so I'll leave it at that. So there is a bit of urgency when it comes to our financial planning especially with our new addition to the family. At least for me any way.

Dhodson, good pt. on the whole life/bonds thing. I'll work on obtaining the guaranteed cost of insurance going forward and the current illustrated till age 90. I'll have to bring this up to the wife since she has to make the call. Then it'll be a process of making sense of everything.

If she is that emotionally invested in this, even if you change her mind, she will remember you told her she was wrong. Community property, no fault state? How does the money for this stack up against divorce?

dhodson, i wont pretend to understand WL in a way you do. You are addressing this from a purely financial position discounting the OP statements that he and his wife have been fighting for a month. I said from the beginning that i would get red and say something slightly unpopular. I know the life insurance portion grows as age increases combined with poor performance will lead to drawing on the principal value at some point causing the policy to collapse. Overfunding early combined with growth of principal can help create a self funded permanent life insurance. I refer back to throwing good money after bad. I made it clear that perhaps he should let it rest for a bit. It may take years for her to understand. Perhaps the best time to show her is the first statement that shows decrease in value of the policy.

robmore is there any reason to not approach the insurance company and a qualified Chartered Life Underwriter to compare the facts? This way it is not about you but, the product?
PS BAD idea to add the 5 month.as beneficiary  I am sure the people on this board (with insurance experience would agree )

rechtien said:   If she is that emotionally invested in this, even if you change her mind, she will remember you told her she was wrong. Community property, no fault state? How does the money for this stack up against divorce?

dhodson, i wont pretend to understand WL in a way you do. You are addressing this from a purely financial position discounting the OP statements that he and his wife have been fighting for a month. I said from the beginning that i would get red and say something slightly unpopular. I know the life insurance portion grows as age increases combined with poor performance will lead to drawing on the principal value at some point causing the policy to collapse. Overfunding early combined with growth of principal can help create a self funded permanent life insurance. I refer back to throwing good money after bad. I made it clear that perhaps he should let it rest for a bit. It may take years for her to understand. Perhaps the best time to show her is the first statement that shows decrease in value of the policy.


Actually I'm not. Some how you think allowing a train wreck to happen just bc she has wrong thoughts about the product will help their marriage. How much fighting is going to occur after more money is wasted? We just don't really know that him letting this go will help his marriage. It wouldn't help mine if my wife later learned I allowed her to make a large monetary mistake. Maybe it would his but neither of us know that.

Just wanted to chime in ... as I'm in a similar situation! Was convinced by my mom at graduation to take a VUL policy long ago, but w/ Prudential. I pay $1200/yr for $250K death benefit. I had second thoughts during 2008 meltdown; I felt horrible; gains were all lost.  But it's been doing great since then! Others have shown me how I can change around my investments in the various mutual funds that are offered in my VUL. I'm using this for diversification since it's ONLY mutual funds. I normally trade stocks in my ROTH and other accts. Though this probably wasn't the right way to do things (combining investments w/ life insurance), I will definitely stick to it. I learned a lot (and still learning) on how to trade various mutual funds.

My question to you is: What does your prospectus look like for your (wife's) VUL? Can u post a link or pdf or screenshot?

Feel free to check out my prospectus:
http://www.prudential.com/view/page/public/12992 

OP, you have mentioned that your wife has added your infant child as a beneficiary on the policy.

This is a really really bad idea.

Better that she leave the money to you to take care of the kid.

If she wants to leave some of the money to her parents, that could get really sticky too depending on how many siblings your wife has and how her parents' estate planning is set up. There are scenarios where what ought to be your marital assets would eventually up getting distributed amongst her siblings.

I would propose addressing this whole issue through an estate planning attorney who can help you avoid making any catastrophic mistakes, and would likely have some unbiased suggestions about your life insurance situation. Which I imagine might include recommending getting term and ditching the VUL while your CSV is about the same as your basis (I.e. Making the tax hit almost nothing).

debentureboy said:   In order of priority: 
1.  Don't screw things up with your SO.  Life is too short and money is way down the list of priorities.  Make nice first, then worry about money later. This sounds like a bit of an emotional issue for her and a mathematical issue for you.  That is a tough gap to bridge.  Recognize that.  Talk through that together in a calm cool manner.  

2.  Sunk costs are irrelevant.  Let go of any angst you may have about the salesman, the poor performance, past mistakes.  You are only interested in moving forward, and from the sounds of it... slowly.  Let your SO ease in to things as you slowly go over things.  Very slowly. 
 

  
I agree from the perspective of geting along with your SO.... But if you're referring at all to the friend who sold them the Universal Life then I heavily disagree.

No "Friend" will financially screw you over. That's just a salesman that you think is your friend, which is exactly what their job is.... make it seem like you are their friend. Don't believe me? Go to a car dealership and see how many friends you can quickly make with your checkbook showing.

Is there an update? Really think having policy reviewed by a professional disinterested party is good for you. Many times my clients will fight about fiction without confirming the facts.
Math is math. No opinion. Start there. Good Luck !

A lot of these sales people are fresh out the college with a useless degree and went straight into the "executive training" program in some lame hotel conference room. They often no idea what they are selling to friend and family are total piece of s**t. Often, they drop out the program after a year or two, if that.

the industry knows this and know that they will get their worth of of these people with the build-in network of family and friends. It's a sad sad racket that has been around as long as I can remember. Quite a few of the girls I dated have these type of whole-life bought from a classmate.

Agreed.  Have policy reviewed by a seasoned professional in insurance that is not trying to sell you something
Order  this from the insurance company and then evaluate.  Again, the math is the math1.  "We want in force illustrations for all of the policies"2.  "We need the current cash value, death benefit, and available amount for loan on all policies"

Skipping 2 Messages...
While getting an inforce illustration is a good idea, you need to realize this is a VUL so the performance will vary based both on the insurance component (some companies have decided to increase cost of insurance above usual scheduled increases on old policies) and whatever investment sub accounts are used which almost always has higher expense ratios.



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