Yes, it is possible to use life insurance as a savings vehicle to fund your child’s college education. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of using life insurance for this purpose:
- Tax benefits: Life insurance policies offer tax-deferred growth, which means you won’t have to pay taxes on any gains until you withdraw them. Additionally, the death benefit paid out to your beneficiaries is generally tax-free.
- Guaranteed returns: Some life insurance policies offer a guaranteed minimum interest rate, which can provide a stable and predictable rate of return. This also helps parents not to worry about down markets when kids are at school.
- Protection for your family: Life insurance policies provide financial protection for your loved ones in the event of your untimely death. By purchasing a policy, you can ensure that your child’s education will still be covered even if something happens to you.
- The Cash value portion of the life insurance is not considered an asset for EFC calculations (FAFSA application) and thus does not impact the financial needs of your child.
- If your child gets merit-based scholarships, the funds in the cash value life insurance can be used for other expenses like buying a car or retirement or leaving it as a legacy.
- High fees and expenses: Life insurance policies can come with high fees and expenses, which can eat into your returns if it’s not properly designed. While designing a life insurance plan for kids’ college savings make sure to do max funding. It’s important to carefully review the policy terms and fees before making any decisions.
- Limited investment options: Life insurance policies typically have limited investment options compared to other savings vehicles, such as 529 plans or mutual funds. This can limit your ability to diversify your investments and maximize your returns.
- Limited flexibility: Once you purchase a life insurance policy, you may be locked into the terms for a set period of time. This can limit your flexibility to make changes or cancel. But if you are clear about the timeline and can benefit your situation, it may help.
Overall, using life insurance as a savings vehicle for your child’s education can be a viable option, but it’s important to carefully consider the pros and cons and consult with a financial advisor before making any decisions.
Attend our FREE webinar to learn about various options for college savings and maximize student financial aid.