Infinite Banking, in All Its Glory

DisclaimerWe are not suggesting that you are actually creating your own bank or that you are actually becoming a banker.

Rather, we are stating a concept of taking back control of your money. You want to adopt a new paradigm of thinking so that you think like a banker thinks and use your personal finances in much the same way that a bank would.

The following 7-step plan to creating and using an infinite bank (putting to practical use the infinite banking concept) using life insurance as your foundation will help shed light on how you can find financial freedom and independence away from banks.

7 steps to creating your own private banking system:

  • Step 1: Cash Value Life Insurance
  • Step 2: Life Insurance Riders
  • Step 3: Fund your Bank
  • Step 4: Finance Your Purchases
  • Step 5: Recapture Your Money
  • Step 6: Repeat
  • Step 7: Plan Your Estate

Step One: Cash Value Life Insurance

Step one is the “capitalization” period.  The good news is that a properly funded insurance policy will begin to accumulate cash value almost from day one, however, for maximum cash accumulation access to these funds may take a year. 

In Nelson Nash’s book, Becoming Your Own Banker©, he recommends you spend years in the capitalization phase. However, the good news is when properly funding a policy the cash value in the policy builds quickly and you will have access to the cash value sooner rather than later.

A lot of people are confused by the fact that infinite banking is based on life insurance, which leads many people to ask “Is infinite banking a scam?” However, there are many different vehicles you could use to start your own private banking system.  Some examples would be a checking or savings account, CD, Mutual Funds, Bonds, etc.

Although you can use different vehicles and assets when practicing an infinite banking strategy, the best asset to use is life insurance. When we say life insurance, we mean cash-value life insurance (permanent policies that have a built-in investment component) with an emphasis on CASH.

One of the primary benefits of using cash value life insurance to create your own private banking system is because of the tax advantages provided under IRC section 7702.  Under the code, neither the policy interest accrued (IUL – Indexed Universal Life) or the dividends paid (Participating Whole Life) are reported as taxable income. The cash value grows tax-deferred and is accessed tax-free via policy loans.

As Tom Wheelwright of Rich Dad Advisor fame so eloquently says, the tax code is a series of incentives. And thanks to IRC 7702, cash value life insurance is one such incentive.

Now there are many different carriers in the marketplace that provide good cash value policies.

In our experience, choosing a yield IUL will often (but not always) be the best choice for a policy designed for infinite banking, as long as you can wait a year to access your funds. 

We say often, but not always because we at The Life Insurance Safe Zone believe that each person is unique, and each person has unique goals and objectives.  Often participating whole life will meet those individual goals and objectives, but other times, some type of universal life insurance might be the better fit.

The key is that we assess who and what is the right fit—for you—based on your specific goals and objectives.

Your Goals and Objectives

Typically, the main goal of an infinite banking policy would be to maximize cash value and minimize the initial death benefit. The reason we do this is so that more of your premium goes into the cash value of your policy.

Now some people might want a large death benefit.

Know that, while a “banking policy” is not designed to have a large death benefit at first, (although over your lifetime it will grow and grow), a larger death benefit can be acquired through one of the life insurance riders discussed next.

Step Two: Life Insurance Riders

Properly designed permanent cash-value life insurance may include any or all of the following life insurance riders to a whole life policy to maximize cash value at the onset of the policy. When an IUL (Indexed Universal Life) policy is used for infinite banking these riders are not necessary. We find the IUL to be more flexible, more designable, and based on historic numbers much quicker to build cash value.

Paid Up Additions Rider

Paid-up additions can be defined simply as additional insurance that is paid in full at the time of purchase.

The Paid-Up Additions Rider allows the policy owner to purchase more death benefits and increase the policy’s cash value growth.

One way this comes in handy is when the annual dividend offered by participating life insurance companies is used by the policy owner to purchase paid-up additions.

This process is not necessary when using an IUL.  An experienced agent from the Life Insurance Safe Zone will show you how a policy can be designed to meet your specific needs.

Life Insurance Supplement Rider

The Life Insurance Supplement Rider (LISR) blends low-cost term life with permanent life insurance. The term life portion goes down as you make your payments until only permanent life insurance is left.

Additional Life Insurance Rider

The Additional Life Insurance Rider (ALIR) allows the owner of the policy to make increased premium payments in order to purchase additional participating paid-up life insurance, increasing the policy’s death benefit and cash value growth.

Term Life Rider

Not to be confused with the LISR above, the Term Life Rider or Renewable Term Rider offers straight-up term life insurance that can be, but won’t automatically be, converted to permanent life insurance sometime in the future.

The term life rider is a fantastic option for young adults just starting out who want to practice infinite banking and want a sizeable death benefit to protect their family. because the rider provides additional death benefit coverage that is often converted to permanent coverage down the road.

Guaranteed Insurability Rider

The Guaranteed Insurability Rider (GIR) is not necessarily going to increase your cash value growth initially. Rather, the GIR is a guarantee that you can purchase additional insurance without having to answer health questions or take an exam.

This is a great option when considering life insurance for children as it provides them with an option to increase their coverage down the road.

Again, the above riders are all focused on the Participating Whole Life policy, not the IULs.

Step 3: Fund Your “Bank”

Your policy is now set up, so you need to fund it, i.e. put money into it. Now the idea is to over-fund your policy right before the point, but not to the point, where the life insurance policy becomes a modified endowment contract, AKA “MEC.” The IRS has rules that prevent someone from putting too much money into a life insurance policy because such a policy may be seen as a tax haven.

The goal is not to “MEC” the policy. However, we do want to fill it up to the brim with as much cash as possible to maximize early cash value accumulation and growth. That is why we need some or all of the riders listed above for the participating whole life policies, and not the IULs, which help us to supercharge your cash value growth right from the start.

And you may qualify for backdating your policy to save age, which allows you to fund the policy with more money in the first year than you normally would be able to.

Once you have built up enough cash in your policy it is time to put it to use.

Step 4: Finance Your Purchases

Please note: for a true banking policy to work properly you want to borrow from the policy rather than withdraw money.

When you withdraw, you are depleting your cash value.

But you borrow from the insurance company, using your cash value as collateral, your cash value continues to grow inside your policy.

As you build up a nice amount of cash in your policy, you are now able to utilize that cash value as collateral through a policy loan.

The company lends you money using your cash value as collateral and in turn, you use the money to do anything you choose.

When you use your cash value as collateral and take out a policy loan, the money in your account continues to grow via uninterrupted compound interest.

The implications of this are that your money is working for you in your policy and your money is also working for you as you use it for various pursuits.

Here are some suggestions on what to do with policy loans:

Buy Cash Flow Assets

The primary asset that comes to mind when I think about cash flow is real estate. Real estate can create cash flow and offer additional tax incentives. Now here is where the infinite banking policy really makes sense.

Infinite banking simplified is about loaning yourself money and recapturing that money. As you use your policy loan to make a down payment on an investment property, you can then use your monthly cash flow from the property to pay back your policy loan, with interest.

Don’t cheat yourself here. Charge yourself the current interest rate that a lender would charge you.

As you use your cash flow to pay back your loan with interest, you are increasing your death benefit and cash flow growth.

By doing this you are creating even more opportunities for personal financing down the road, which makes this one of the best real estate wealth-building strategies.

Loan Money to Your Business

One quick disclaimer, we are not offering tax advice so please consult a tax professional.

One great way to maximize your cash value is to use the policy loan to loan money to your business. Then have your business pay you back with interest for the loan you made to your business.

You then recapture your own interest and replenish your policy. And your business may be eligible to write off the interest payments, making you even more money. Talk about a win-win!

Purchase Large Ticket Items

Why pay all cash, or worse, finance through a bank, when purchasing large ticket items, such as vehicles or education? Instead, loan yourself the money.

Then recapture the interest that you would have paid a banking institution or that you would have lost had you paid cash and not recouped your money.

And the best part of personal financing is that you are the banker! You get to choose what interest rate you pay yourself back if you choose to pay yourself back at all. However, when utilizing the strategy of infinite banking it pays to pay your policy loan back with interest.

Step 5: Recapture Your Money with Interest

[I.E. Put it Back in Your Bank]

It takes a disciplined person to implement an infinite banking strategy, especially when it comes to recapturing your principal and interest on your loan.

For those strong-willed individuals that can do this part of the strategy, the sky is truly the limit on how big your banking policy can get.

Just know that this step is probably the most important step in becoming your own banker. If you don’t pay yourself back, you are basically “stealing the peas” as Nelson Nash would say.

Paying back your loan is a critical step in the process because it is the plan of action that yields amazing returns over your lifetime.

As you continue to build your banking policy, you continue to store up cash that can be utilized for tax fee income via loans.

A Brief Point About Interest Rates

One primary way banks make money is via interest. You deposit your money with a bank and the bank pays you interest, currently somewhere around .005% in most major banks.

The bank takes your money and loans it out for much higher interest. Even if the bank loaned your money for 3% the bank’s profits are 10 times greater than what the bank is paying you. Does a 1,000% return sound good to you?

Now instead of the bank making all the money, you as the borrower, the lender, and the bank, get to make all the money once reserved for banks utilizing the fractional reserve system.

And guess what happens to your life insurance policy once you start recapturing principle and interest? Yes, it grows and grows!

Now, here is another reason to grow your personal “bank”: Protecting your money from gain-based taxes, creditor demands, judgments, liens, lawsuits, and bankruptcy,

depending on the state you live in.  If you live in a favorable state, the money in your policy is protected from creditors.

Step 6: Repeat Steps 1-5 Infinitely

After you pay back your policy loan you don’t want your money to sit idle. Instead, you need to repeat steps 1-5 again and again and again.

Each time you go through the steps to build your own bank you will have more and more capital to work with.

This is a far cry from parking your money in some government-designed fund and putting your life on hold. That is why we consider the 401k plan not to be in your best interest.  Rather, enrich your life in the here and now and start banking on yourself today by employing infinite banking.

Step 7: Plan Your Estate & Your Retirement

We need to add an additional step here because, after your entire legacy of wealth building, you will have a sizeable estate to leave behind.

Proper estate planning at this point is critical for passing on as much of your legacy to your family as possible.

There is a myriad of ways to best do this, while you are alive and upon your passing. However, the important thing is to plan so that your family can receive the full extent of your disciplined work.

With your estate in order, your cash value continues to grow, with a guaranteed death benefit passing to your heirs, you will be in a strong financial position to create a lasting legacy.

Now that you are at retirement age, you have the option of tax-free retirement income.  You see, tax-free retirement income is the other side of the infinite banking coin.  You really can have the BEST OF BOTH WORLDS!

Contact us at the Life Insurance Safe Zone so that we can show you how it is done.


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