By John R. Ingrisano, CLU © 2016

Okay, I’m old school so old school that, when I started in this business, there were only two choices: term or whole life.  That was it.  Period.  (Oh, and just for the record, I worked with dozens of companies to introduce many of the new products that came along, including universal life, variable life, variable universal life, etc.)

Back in the dark ages (actually, it was only the late 1970s), the philosophy was that whole life was the best choice possible.  “Only offer term for short-term needs or if the client cannot afford a permanent life insurance product.”  The only professed advantage of term life was that it was cheap … at first.

Eventually, it became fashionable to push term under the trend to “buy term and invest the rest,” freeing up more dollars for equity products.  It wasn’t a totally bad idea as long as (1) those investments kept on going through the roof and (2) the insured never got older.  Neither of those assumptions was realistic or worked out as hoped.  

Fast forward 40 years.  That six-figure term policy that was downright cheap back then now keeps getting more and more expensive each year.  Most were dropped right at the age when the insured is most likely to need it.  Meanwhile, those investments have bounced around like a loop-d-loop ride at a fun park.  

A better idea (and one well suited for 2016):  If your clients purchase a permanent life insurance policy, one with cash value growth potential, that policy likely will not go up in premium cost in the future.  Plus, there will likely be cash value for emergencies, college funds, or even retirement  income.  Imagine that.

The bottom line:  Sure there are times when term is appropriate.  However, help your clients look ahead to the next four or five decades.  There will be plenty of times when the best choice is still good old fashioned whole life or a variation thereof.

Good luck and good selling. 

* * *

John Ingrisano is a former insurance agent, business journalist, sales trainer and “marketeer” who has developed sales programs, newsletters and marketing campaigns for dozens of major insurance and financial services companies over the last 35 years.  He is also a public speaker and author of several books, including “The Back to Basics Book of Selling:  A Guide to a Successful Sales Career” and “The Back to Basics Book of Money: A Couple’s Guide to Financial Peace.”   John can be contacted by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

Copyright © 2016 John R. Ingrisano