Ask Terry Questions Life insurance and living life

Life insurance and living life

By Terry Savage on January 27, 2020 | Insurance & Annuities

I am almost 44 years old. I have an almost six and three year old at home. I started having kids later in life and I started USAA life insurance when they were born (due to my dad’s service). I pay 220/month for just whole life insurance and another 75 /month for term insurance. I’m always short money every month and I’m getting tired of it. I’m wondering if whole insurance is worth it. I was told it can help save for college as you can cash it out and my husband likes it because it’s not just throwing away money. We make a good living but between that and our mortgage $3200/month with escrow and saving for retirement I am finding it difficult. My husband was a little younger when we had kids so pays a little less but it’s somewhere between $500 -$600/month just for insurance. Who can we talk to that we can trust about money? Should we keep the whole insurance and tough it out until they are 18 years old? We don’t have enough in HSA but I now save10% with a three percent Match up to 6%. My husband doesn’t save as much but makes more annually. Who do we speak to about this whole life insurance. We’re not sure where to save and where to spend. We seem to always be in the red and have about $2,000.00 on credit cards at the moment that we can’t pay. Please help!

Terry Says

OK, calm down. I think you didn’t really understand what you were getting into when you purchased the whole life policy. Term life policies last only if you pay the premium every year and last only as long as the “term,” typically 20 years. These policies are relatively inexpensive because they don’t last until you are old, and the odds of death increase! But whole life policies build cash value and are designed to cover you in your old age and at death! They build cash value inside the policy, which you can borrow out–as you were correctly told, for college or other emergencies. but you’ll be paying premiums your whole life!!

I think you need an insurance checkup. My favorite expert in this field is Byron Udell of That company sells both the inexpensive term AND whole life policies. Byron’s favorite saying is “with life insurance you only win if you die with the policy in force [active].” So he is not biased in either way. His number is 800-442-9899. Ask for him personally and feel free to use my name — or not, as I get nothing out of this. He will review your policies (and your husband’s) and make recommendations.

Let me also add a few comments, in general. Your husband should not only save “as much” but MORE in his company retirement plan since he is earning more. He should save enough to get the full match from his company. And if your life insurance gets rearranged to save you some money, HE should be putting it into his plan — or into a 529 College Savings Account for your children.
Second, it sounds like you have a very large mortgage, or perhaps live in a high-tax area. Have you looked into refinancing your mortgage lately? You should have a rate below 4% now. Check out the possibilities at

You’re right that being frustrated over finances is no way to live. Please write back and let me know what happens with your possible life insurance reorganization. Maybe all you need right now is “enough” term insurance, but there might be a way to “exchange” your existing life policies into something better. I’ll be interested to hear the results.



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