Life insurance policies are a form of mandatory savings. These policies have the benefit of a large payout to the deceased’s beneficiaries or a substantial withdrawal value if the insured surrenders the policy after many years of paying the premiums to the insurer. In addition, there may be a one-off bonus payout if the policy is surrendered after a certain number of years.
However, a financial crisis often causes many policyholders to prematurely surrender their policies so as to raise cash. This is not advisable since it terminates insurance coverage. Also, the surrender value may be less than the sum of premiums paid to date, including the loss of the bonus payment.
Rodney Lee, aged 36 tomorrow, has been paying a premium of $400 per month on his life policy for the past 6 years. He started when he just turned 30 years old. His insurance agent provided selected amounts of the death benefits, surrender values, and bonus values at various age intervals:
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