Why Should I Buy Term and Invest the Difference

Buy Term and Invest the Difference: Common sense or nonsense?

buy term and invest the difference

Buy Term And Invest The Difference Meaning

Buy Term and Invest the Difference is a method promoted by money experts like Dave Ramsey. This practice involves picking a term life policy over permanent insurance and then putting the excess money on different investment channels such as stocks, bonds, and other ways depending on your tactics to boost profit.

The majority of us want to ensure that our life after retirement will be happy and fruitful. To do so, we count on life insurance policies to help us secure our plans.

Since the threats of benefit cutback arise, millions of Americans in the middle class ask how they are supposed to have a proper retirement. That’s where investment schemes like buying term life insurance prove useful. It can help secure your retirement plans.

Families Financial Support

In the prime of our lives, we sustain our family’s economy, and they depend on us for financial support. A time comes when you ask yourself how your family would adapt and pull through without you and the profit you contribute. It is a typical question to ponder, especially when your kids are still young or your spouse stays home. We ask ourselves, even more, when we reach life’s turning points. Every childbirth, wedding, or a family member’s death begs us to answer the most challenging question – what will happen to my loved ones if I die suddenly, and how can I secure their stability without giving up my plans?

For many years, cash value insurance was key to retirement and property planning. A part of the insurance coverage is to disburse a certain amount to a beneficiary if the insured dies. Another portion of this policy is an investment account that can be used to purchase extra benefits, pay insurance fees, or be taken as a loan. Although whole life insurance was impressive at the beginning, term life policies are more attractive nowadays. You can avail of term life for just a fragment of a whole life policy. A good term life plan is only about 10% of a whole life’s price. However, it does not have the investment channels that people love about whole life plans.

From the viewpoint of someone with big retirement and property plans, what would be the best way to deal with life insurance? Is it smarter to avail of a whole life policy or purchase term life and invest the difference between life fees and term life fees? How can you amplify your inheritance and ensure your golden years while securing your loved ones for the time being?

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Buy Term Life Insurance And Invest The Difference

A term life insurance policy can provide the same amount of death benefit a whole life plan can give at a much lower cost. Term life plans are inexpensive because insurance firms assume that majority of the policies will lapse at the specified time without insurance claims.

That’s great because the payments of insured people who are fortunate enough to live longer than their insurance plan fund the death benefits of those insured who died.

Term life is perfect because it enables the insured to give better security to their family when they are still working. By this, the insured can also cut down coverage upon retirement. It is wise to cut down the coverage on your retired years because you can anticipate that fewer people will depend on your profit during this time.

The benefits you need in your 40s and 70s are not the same. Spending premiums for benefits you don’t need is not practical. Term life insurance allows you to suit benefits to your needs with much ease compared to whole life plans. 

A Chart On Why Buy Term and Invest The Difference Works


Buy Term and Invest the Rest Advantages and Disadvantages 

Buy Term and Invest the Difference is a tactic that became popular for its ability to give the average American greater benefits, fewer charges, and better yields compared with a whole life plan or a universal life insurance policy.

The method is easy: purchase a term life insurance with monthly payments. After this, you can put the money corresponding to the payment you would have rendered with a whole life policy is an investment vehicle.

How Much More Income Would I Gain?

buy term and invest the differenceDetermining the exact sum of earnings from an investment is difficult because net gains and losses are inconstant, unlike death benefits. As far as we can determine, investments made on an index fund that is well-expanded are assumed to have an annual yield of around 6% without the tax and deductions.

Let’s say that you are a forty-year-old non-smoking man with a $250,000 surety. Your whole life insurance premium would amount to roughly $347 per month. Twenty years later, the insurance plan will have a secured amount of $70,018, and it would probably grow up to $105,721 because of the investments within the insurance plan. This heightened amount will augment your death benefit to $326,352.

Now, imagine if you will get a term life policy with the same $250,000 insurance. Your monthly premium would only be $23, which is $324 lower than the whole life premium. At an understated annual yield rate of 6%, the Buy Term and Invest the Difference method will grow to $149,700 worth of investment.

A lower premium and better yield would add an extra $45,000 to your savings, whether it’s for retirement or investment. These estimates should encourage you to think about your insurance schemes.

Buy Term and Invest the Difference Pros and Cons

Pros and cons straight life insuranceThe suitability of “buy term and invest the difference” is contingent on your financial situation. Whole life policies might be more appealing to those who pay estate taxes. Whole life policies serve as a means to decrease the size of a high-net-worth person’s property under the state tax restrictions.

Life insurance plans are not considered as an individual’s property. Hence, allotting a part of your riches to a whole life policy can decrease your property’s size by minimizing available cash. At the same time, it can allow you to grow your successor’s legacy via lawfully prohibited property taxes, probate charges, and costly death benefits. It’s safe to say that by allocating a hundred dollars to a whole life plan, you kept your million dollars from property taxes. 

Problems with property tax only affect a few individuals. Based on the 2017 data of tax policy support unions, only around 5,400 properties were impacted by the property tax. If you are worried that the same would happen to your properties, consult a tax expert regarding non-amenable insurance protection.

Further, discussing the use of the non-probate conveyance process would be significant. If you are not part of this limited group, buying a whole life plan can still be suitable for you if you are in a unique situation. 

Special Needs Family Member

If you have a family member who has special needs, a whole life policy that is put into an irrevocable life insurance trust can be beneficial for you. It will secure the special care that your family member needs, along with the care service granted by the government. If your family’s medical background hints that you may develop a chronic illness later in life and you will spend a lot on treatments, buying a whole life plan may be suitable for covering final expenses and lifetime benefits.

Whole Life Insurance Is For People Who Find It Hard To Save Money

Whole Life InsuranceIf you think that’s you, you can use a whole life policy or other cash value plans as a compulsory savings account. Your monthly premium will set up the cash value of your insurance. In case of emergency and other future needs, you will be able to withdraw from this fund.

Just like everything else, estate planning schemes are not generalizable. A coordinated strategy that merges term life and whole life plans can be most practical for the majority.

What is the Best Strategy for Everyone Else?

“Buy term and invest the difference” is the most suitable approach for an average American considering that they know some of the restrictions with this method. The first thing you should know terms life policies only insure you for a specified length of time. For instance, if you buy a 20-year coverage, your insurance policy will expire after that contract period.

Purchasing different term life plans is simple and can give coinciding benefits to secure your family’s dignity when you pass away. If you opt to implement this strategy, you should see that you have a long-term life plan. It will come in handy when investment yields are lower than anticipated or when you aren’t legible for a policy due to medical problems in the future.

In addition, the strategy is only practical for those who are faithful to the process. You can earn a wad of cash if you are persistent with saving the difference between whole life and term life plans. If you don’t stick to the plan, all you can gain in the end is your term life benefits.

Demonstrating the Math

If you still doubt the outcomes of a “buy term and invest the difference” method, continue reading.

When you purchase a term life plan, all of your premiums will go to your death benefit. It is tax-free to your beneficiary once you die. Compared with a whole life plan that requires you to pay fees for investment, a term life policy allows you to have a more considerable death benefit that you can give to your family.

A 30-year-old female in very good health could probably earn a $1 million death benefit by paying a $480 annual premium for a 20-year term life plan. If she suddenly dies at 49, completing only $9,120 payments, her loved ones will receive a $1 million death benefit free of tax.

Term Life 

Term life policies are straightforward. It is a plan that disburses when a loss takes place. If you do not apply for a claim, you will get nothing. It works similarly with vehicle insurance. If you live beyond your term life policy, you can think of it as if you paid a little amount for your peace of mind.

If you don’t like the idea that you are spending on something you may never get back, think about the opportunity cost. Putting $480 (just like in the above example) each year in an investment vehicle would only yield $25,960. If you die with having only this much, your family will enjoy a good inheritance. If you had a term life policy instead, your family would receive so much more.

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The Dividend Payments

A whole life plan is better than a term life about dividend payments. A dividend can be used to pay the insurance charges, boost benefits, or establish account value. Once the whole life insurance’s investment part hits its margin, the insurance will pay for itself.

How can you achieve the same benefit with a term life plan? You would have to pay a monthly premium of $45 in 30 years. That would amount to an annual premium of $540.

You would need to invest $50,000 into a well-balanced fund. The dividends from there would pay the premiums until the term plan’s expiration. Once the term plan ends, you would have the investment account and its yield.

What Are Your Objectives?

Whole life policies propose numerous benefits that are attractive to investors. They have an extremely low level of volatility. Whole life plans are foreseeable – you can determine its value, and you can cash it out at your convenience.

As long as you pay the due premiums, you can expect your insurance to amount as indicated on the cash value table. A whole life policy safeguards you from the risk of losses. It also guarantees that your insurance will not drop 20% in a month from an awful profit period.

A whole life plan can be extremely beneficial if you aim to avoid or minimize tax. Through a whole life policy, you can quickly secure your investment from capital gains tax. You can also endow inheritance to your successor, away from property and probate tax. Further, you can borrow the amount to avoid withdrawal taxes.

The Buy Term and Invest the Difference strategy suits you best if your objective is economic efficiency and getting as much out of your profit as possible. Smart investors know that insurance firms can warrant returns because the companies can invest the money themselves.

By excluding the insurance firm as a broker, the investor can stay away from management charges and costly investments. That way, the investor can get higher returns and save more of their finances.

Cash Value Insurance

A whole life plan helps transfer huge property assets to the next generation of heirs. With this insurance, individuals can avoid court orders that slow down the endowment process. They can also keep away from property taxes that lessen the legacy. They are anxious about having an inheritance to leave for their loved ones, to give them a comfortable life.

The great thing about cash value insurance, such as a whole life plan, is that they are compulsory savings and investment policies. A whole life plan has a cash value within the policy, while term life doesn’t.

If you call off a whole life policy, you acquire a surrender value, but you get nothing if you terminate a term life. After a while, your permanent policy’s cash value will be tax-deferred. It is a huge benefit for high tax brackets and those who live in a state with profit taxes.

Insurance plans such as 401(k)s and Roth IRAs all provide tax benefits similar to cash value policies. Most of these plans are even cheaper. A whole life plan typically has a low rate of return and is susceptible to high premiums. Most of the time, its tax advantages don’t compensate for these investment losses.


Saving for retirement and property can be attained at the same time. If you are concerned about how you can secure your family’s future, optimize tax-free savings, and reach retirement turning points, you probably asked which between a term life or a cash value plan will better meet your needs. 

A cash value insurance policy will be more practical for you if:

  • You are on the higher tax bracket
  • You are at risk of developing a health condition
  • You like the security offered by a permanent life policy
  • You want to optimize tax-free investments
  • You want to stay away from property tax

Keep in mind that these insurance plans are more costly than term life. However, they have better tax treatment, and they can pay themselves through dividends. These factors are the major appeal for individuals who prioritize legacy schemes and their families’ lifetime safeguarding.

If the above considerations do not apply to you, the “buy term and invest the difference” approach might be your best bet. You can secure your loved ones through the term life policy while you slowly grow your investments in the market. You can stay away from expensive premiums linked with cash value plans.

You also have full control over your investment techniques. One of the red flags in BTID is, the investor needs to be faithful in always keeping funds for investment. Furthermore, it is helpful to prepare to be rejected from a cheap insurance policy should you become ill before buying or renewing a term plan.

In conclusion, Buy Term and Invest the Difference provides higher returns, fewer payments, and more authority. It is an excellent approach to utilize when planning for retirement and property.


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About Coach B.

After starting his financial career with Phoenix Home Life Insurance Company back in 1992, Scott decided he wanted to provide people with an easier and more enjoyable way to buy life insurance. That was the start of Coach B. Life Insurance, whose mission is to be transparent, honest, and helpful to customers — without ever bugging or pushing them.

In the years since then, he has worked tirelessly to improve the process of shopping for insurance. His goal is to make sure that everyone who comes to Coach B. — whether they end up buying a policy or not — has the best possible experience.

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