Published On: Wed, Sep 24th, 2014

Times – They Are A Changin’


TedBernsteinBy Ted Bernstein  

Until recently, life insurance was widely considered to be one of this country’s most important financial planning tools.  Today, it is misunderstood, unappreciated and commoditized. It is thought to be expensive, difficult to acquire, not relevant and worst of all – intimidating.


It is painful to admit, but life insurance has rightfully earned these labels.  If the industry and its products and solutions fail to meet your evolving needs, nothing else matters at a time when it matters most.  The dialogue must change in order for the perception to change.  Sadly, but understandably, most life insurance buyers have mastered the art of avoiding the insurance professional, as if he or she were the “tax man”.  Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg speaks about “leaning in” and the importance participation and engagement.  For you to get the most life insurance has to offer, you must be receptive and “lean in”.


The industry has failed to connect with its market due to a lack of transparency, disclosure and innovation. By choosing to work with an insurance counselor who is innovative and solution-focused, you will find life insurance to be interesting, necessary and far easier to purchase than ever before. Did you know that you can build up equity in life insurance on a tax-deferred basis like the equity you build up in your home? Or, you can buy life insurance that offers living benefits if you become chronically or critically ill?


And while distribution may soon expand through internet giants such as Amazon and Google, is this where or how life insurance should best be purchased? Sears tried. American Express tried. The products available online are NOT priced differently or better.  Online purchasing is often done without the benefit of a professional’s help for your specific needs.


Necessity is the mother of innovation, and our team has been developing new, market-relevant insurance solutions for three family generations. Through this weekly column, you will learn everything you need to become the best insurance consumer possible. Next week will include tips to help you determine if you are “under-insured” or “incorrectly” insured.


Soon I will share the benefits of a game-changing product we have created and introduced through several major insurance companies, known as the “Installment Payout Option”. In subsequent articles, I will enlighten readers about insurance solutions for various lifecycle needs, including wealth transfer and wealth preservation. Life insurance for young families, divorce, retirement, grandparent gifting, key man and business buy-sell planning will be covered throughout the column.



Ted Bernstein is a third-generation licensed life insurance specialist and nationally recognized industry innovation expert in alternative distribution strategies and life insurance product development with decades of speaking out and advocating for changes on behalf of consumers. A member of the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting, he was the first to introduce life insurance without commissions or “no-load” life insurance in the mid-1980s and launch the first fee-based Life Insurance Policy Audit and Review service for trust companies and life insurance fiduciaries. His newly introduced innovation, the Installment Life Option, is game-changing. To learn more, visit or call 561-988-8984.

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