According to Wikipedia, and in the narrow sense of the word, you can be financially independent if you have sufficient personal wealth to live indefinitely without having to work actively for basic necessities.
It is a well-documented fact that the typical American family spends 34.5 cents of every dollar of disposable income (after-tax income) in interest payments to banks, credit card companies and other financial institutions. This type of individuals amounts to 80 to 85% of the population and they are always leveraging their future income to pay for the items they need now. They are always in debt and not saving any money for their future. If they could redirect those 34.5 cents of every disposable dollar towards them instead of away from them, wouldn’t they be closer to be financially independent?
There is other type of individuals that amounts to 10 to 15% of the population that have more discipline and save to be able to pay cash for most mayor purchases. Although these types of individuals do not pay interest to others, once they purchase something, they lose forever the compound interest that they may be earning on the money used for the purchase, the so-called lost opportunity cost. The fact is that we all finance everything we buy, either by paying interest to others or by losing interest in the money we use to pay cash for our purchases.
Is there a better way to get closer to be financially independent? Yes, there is, and unfortunately, it is practiced by less than 5% of the population. What about if you could find a financial instrument that grows the money you deposit in it in a contractually guaranteed and consistent manner, allows flexibility in the amount of money you can contribute to, guarantees access to credit, provides tax benefits and a tax-free legacy? Well, it exists, and it is a custom-designed participating whole life insurance policy.
By using a custom-designed participating whole life insurance policy to pay for mayor purchases, you borrow the money from the insurance company using the cash value of your policy as collateral for the simple-interest loan, and although that cash value serves as collateral, it continues to earn compound interest and dividends at the same time. By paying the loan to the insurance company in terms dictated by you and not the insurance company, you are recycling your money for additional future purchases, and if you pay your loan to the insurance company at a rate higher than what they are charging you, the excess payments go to increase the cash value, which is continually compounding.
What about if you are medically uninsurable or highly rated insurance wise? No problem as long as you are the owner of the policy and you have an insurable interest on the life of the insured. As the owner of the policy, you control the cash value and all the financial benefits described above.
With enough patience and discipline, you too can get a step closer to be financially independent.
Written by: Pedro A. Palicio, MBA, Ph.D.