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on March 13, 2009
I am not an insurance agent or an affluent investor, but was given this book by my financial advisor who wanted me to make up my own mind on utilizing a Univeral Life Insurance policy for more than just the death benefit.
I was very suspicious at first, wondering why he did not just direct me towards a mutual fund or something more 'sophisticated sounding.'
This book was very easy to comprehend and a breath of fresh air.
Kelly doesen't talk over your head, and for once financial advice that makes perfect sense.
Every hardworking person (middle class especially)should read this book.
We are spoon fed our retirement options (401k's and 403b's) and we HOPE that we are doing what's in the best interest of our family and our future.

Kelly asked one question in this book that sent bells off in my head: (paraphrasing) Based on the current and potential future tax implications why is saving all my money in a Tax Deferred account a good thing? Furhter, who's retirement am I saving for, mine or the governments?
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Universal Life Insurance is Patrick Kelly's answer to a "Tax-Free Retirement" if you earn over $160,000 and want to save more than $4,000 per year. He says a Roth IRA is better if you save less than $4,000 a year, have no need for life insurance and are close to retirement. Individuals who are close to retirement may not have enough time before the withdrawal phase to properly fund the insurance option.
Kelly says Universal Life Insurance can be structured to work similar to a Roth IRA as the taxes are paid upfront from your paycheck. Both generate interest, allow tax-free withdrawals of earnings after 59½ , don't require minimum withdrawals after age 70½ and the account can be passed on to heirs where they won't owe a penny of tax.
The LIVING benefits of Universal Life Insurance are many. Clients can take out a loan against the cash value with little or no interest and do not need to pay it back during their lifetime as long as they stay under the contribution maximum. This means the first amount of money withdrawn can come out tax-free as a withdrawal up to the total contribution amount. The rest of the money can be taken out as a loan (tax free) from the insurance company for ½ % to 0% interest. (The client is charged 5% interest for the loan and their Life Insurance Policy earns 5% interest.) Since it's a tax-free death benefit it is important that the policy stay in force until the client's death. If the life insurance is used properly there is no need for record keeping or tax forms.
Kelly also shows how to avoid the nine common financial landmines: Planning, procrastination, interest, instant gratification, following the masses, inertia, get rich quick, lack of generosity, acting as if there's no future.
I wish I'd read this book sooner. I'd have chosen a Roth over a traditional IRA.
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on March 17, 2011
Unfortunately most opinions that put down on Permanente Life Insurance are not from a credible advisor. They really don't know what they are talking about or they got their information from their friend the mechanic. Or maybe they are sold on selling just one investment. Most opinions are worthless for lack of credible investment knowledge with no real proof of what they are saying here.
There is a place for every investment, and every investment has a place, including Permanente Life insurance. Over funding Permanente life insurance gives the client several options that other investments just don't have. Death benefit protection for the family, liquidity, use and control at all ages, has safely averaged 5% to 8% annual tax deferred and tax free growth, and has tax free distributions. I am an advisor and have sold and bought myself just about every investment there is. And I can tell you with certainty that in the last 11 years nothing has come close (with safety of principal) to the returns of over funded life insurance. In the last 11 years most of our clients that have max funded Indexed Universal Life Insurance as an investment strategy have averaged well over 6% annual returns tax free. There are at least 10 A rated insurance companies that offer a 100% participation of the upside potential of the S&P 500 up to 14%, and a 0% down side risk. What other investment has that kind of returns with safety of principal tax free in the last 11 years? I challenge anyone with credible proof to refute what I just wrote. You must; quote me the investment, the insurance Company, the years of the investment, and the returns on that investment or policy, or as far as I am concerned, and as everyone else should be, you're just not a credible source of information. By the way I'll give you two insurance companies that I used for my credibility: Minnesota Life and Penn Mutual, and they have both done very well. Get in touch with a credible insurance agent/advisor and ask him to run illustrations for the last 11 years. Good luck
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on April 20, 2012
I am both a commission and fee adviser. Licensed and registered in Texas in three disciplines. I ALWAYS make sure conflicts of interest are out of the way up front. I think people (normal) respect that an insurance agent or anyone else who works for a living should get paid their due. We don't question attorney fees, or doctor's do we? Insurance contracts are based on an insurance company paying the agent a commission unless the agent is registered to charge a fee and has that arrangement. Most are not. All that aside. The Tax Free Retirement concept makes all the sense in the world. I believe people are tired of Wall Street, Washington and biased advisers telling them what to and not to do and decide upon. READ THE BOOK and come to your own conclusion! It makes sense. I am not being self-serving because I sell insurance. In fact, I make sure a person reads it and is very comfortable with the concept and signs off on disclosures before I take a check payable to an Insurance Company. Intelligent people in fact. As an adviser I believe it is a sensible approach to saving for retirement. Not the ONLY approach however, but certainly a sensible option for high income earners who qualify for the underwriting. It's not written to be a technical book. Who would read it except some JAR HEAD adviser? What novice wants to read about life insurance charts and graphs? PEOPLE SIMPLY WANT THEIR FINANCIAL PROBLEMS SOLVED. This is why advisers get paid. Just like a doctor, lawyer, CPA..., If we don't solve a problem then we do not earn our keep! This product does just that for a limited portion of the population who will have huge tax issues when they retire. In fact qualified plan distributions have been called a tax time-bomb. Good for the government VERY BAD for the retiree. Especially those in high income and tax brackets. I agree the masses likely can't afford this to work for them properly because of affordability but it is still a good option among just a very few others.
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on November 15, 2008
Patrick Kelley really opens up readers eyes to the advantages of a universal life policy. This is an extremely specific book and well worth the read if you have maxed out other tax protected options such as IRA's or 401(k)s. This book is really meant for a very affluent individual, however I think it is an important read and it helps to understand options other than traditional means. It is biased towards life insurance, there is no doubt about it, because that is simply what the book is about.

I guarantee if you read this book your eyes will be opened to an additional tax-free retirement option that is unique and untraditional. Don't expect to get the same old securities approach. Read and be enlightened!
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on January 17, 2010
I work in the back office of a licensing department and recently passed the Life, Accident, and Health insurance exam. My friend, who works in financial services, introduced this book to me. Interested in learning about retirement planning and being nowhere near retirement yet, I thought it wouldn't hurt to read. As soon as I picked up this book, I wanted to finish reading. Patrick Kelly wrote this book for almost anyone, even those without a financial background, to understand. This 162-page book was an enlightening and quick read. I highly recommend it to anyone that contributes to a 401k or Traditional IRA, wants to save beyond the limit of a Roth IRA, or doesn't qualify for the Roth IRA. This is a MUST-read for anyone that wants to understand the role of insurance in retirement planning.
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on February 2, 2009
This book does a great job of presenting something that isn't widely known. As such many of the concepts are able to illicit feelings that generate a response either way. As someone who started out as an investor, I love the option, but not everything is right for everyone. I recommend speaking with someone who does both, and ask for the percentage. For upper middle and high income individuals, this plan can't be beat, including fees, especially when you take into account the flexibility. (I plan on retiring at 50, and would like to have access to my money!) So far as the sub accounts go, they are all different! Choose the balance of risk versus return that's right for you! Or, again, consult with someone who's an expert on the subject. You may be surprised at some of the names you are able to choose from in the sub account.

Like anything else, check it out! Make an informed decision based on needs and numbers, not feelings, or you'll end up in the same boat as others that believed they were professional investors. They react based upon feelings, use your feelings to create the plan, not to change it in the middle!
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on June 21, 2015
Excellent explanation of the concept (Indexed Universal Life Insurance). Here's 5 questions:
Do you think that tax rates will a) go down, b) go up or c) remain the same when you retire and start drawing your IRA/401k?
If you were a farmer, would you rather pay your taxes on the seed or the harvest?
Would you rather a) have the return of your principal with market based gains guaranteed, b) put your money at full risk of loss in the market or c) have it earn less than inflation in a money market?
Do you like being restricted to $2000/yr to your IRA?
Do you like being required to start taking distributions from your IRA/401k around age 70 (or the government will take it as a penalty)?
Your answers to these 5 plus your age and health are the key considerations for Tax-Free Retirement. Patrick Kelly explains it all clearly and concisely.
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on August 5, 2009
I found Patrick Kelly's book insightful and very layman in reading. His humor and sincere interest in people make this a great read for a financial book. Everyone looking to the future of retirement should be armed with the information contained in this book. I especially found the last chapter about Legacy Planning to be moving and thought provoking.
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on February 15, 2014
This is a must read for anyone wanting to secure their financial future. I have read many other books and this one reads like a story and incorporates entertainment into practical knowledge.

The pro's: This is an easy read with easy to understand concepts.

Con's: You will need a skilled professional with special training to properly implement the strategies for maximum results. (your CPA, financial adviser or rich uncle will have no clue how to help you)
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