SOURCE: Golden Gateway Financial

September 29, 2009 08:00 ET

Golden Gateway Financial Online Calculator Can Help Determine if a Life Settlement Is Right for You

Senior Retirement Resource Shares Usage Data From Its Calculator and Reveals Which Factors Are Most Important in Determining Amount of Life Settlement

OAKLAND, CA--(Marketwire - September 29, 2009) - Even as life settlement continues to rise in popularity, many seniors are still unsure if they qualify for the product. In the current economic climate, consumers now more than ever need to ensure that they fully understand the options provided by this financial tool.

Senior financial resource Golden Gateway Financial today shared the methodology of its online life settlement calculator to help policyholders learn which are the most important factors in a life settlement and whether one might be appropriate for them. The company also published the first annual compilation of its calculator inputs, which demonstrates the range of consumers who are evaluating a potential policy sale.

"A life settlement can be a tremendous lifeline and an astute financial move, but it is not for everyone," said Eric Bachman, founder and CEO of Golden Gateway Financial. "By understanding what factors are most important in determining the value of a life settlement, policy owners are able to gauge whether it is right for them and worth the time and effort required to secure one."

The Golden Gateway Financial website offers one of the industry's premier life settlement calculators. It is a simple, intuitive way to explore life settlement and learn how much a policy might be worth and how much can be saved by eliminating premium payments. The calculator measures a number of factors to provide an estimated cash payout for the policy(1).

The most important factors used to determine a cash payout are (in order):

--  Face value of policy
--  Age and health of policyholder
--  Annual policy premiums
--  Cash surrender value of policy
    

Since the calculator's launch one year ago, thousands of consumers have used the tool to obtain an estimate of how much their policy might be worth. Policies analyzed by the calculator ranged from $50,000 to $50 million. In fact, more than 70 percent of all policies submitted to the calculator had face amounts of less than $500,000.

Averages for the past year are as follows:


Golden Gateway Financial Life Settlement Calculator

Calculator Fields             National Average
Age                                         72
Policy Face Amount (Mean)             $881,909
Policy Face Amount (Median)           $250,000
Policy Cash Value                      $30,008
Annual Premium Amount                  $22,698
Settlement Amount (Mean)              $117,162
Settlement Amount (Median)             $26,819

"This is a useful screening tool for consumers to determine whether the cash payout from a life insurance policy can meet their needs," continued Mr. Bachman. "It is worth noting that a great majority of people using the calculator hold policies of less than $500,000. Seniors from all walks of life are in need because of this recession, and life settlement is available to them regardless of personal wealth."

Life settlement is a financial tool that allows a policy owner to sell an existing life insurance policy for cash. There are a number of reasons individuals might sell a policy, including when a policy is no longer needed, when it has become unaffordable, or when cash is needed to help fund retirement.

As part of a settlement, a funder offers a lump sum cash payment to a policyholder in exchange for assuming ownership of the policy and the payment of premiums. On average, life settlements provide 300 percent of the cash surrender value of a policy(2).

This product was originally created to serve wealthy individuals or corporate executives with multiple policies. Since then, it has evolved into a more mainstream financial tool accessible to the majority of policyholders. A recent survey found that eighty percent of older Americans have some type of life insurance, even though more than 85 percent of all life insurance policies never pay a death benefit -- the policies either lapse or are surrendered(3). Life settlement provides a compelling way for many seniors to generate cash from a financial instrument that could otherwise go unused.

A policyholder considering pursuing a life settlement usually will not be required to undergo a medical physical. The actual life settlement process generally takes three to four months to complete. It often makes sense for policyholders to engage a trustworthy broker who specializes in life settlement to find a funder because offers on the same policy can vary greatly, and most funders in the market today do not deal directly with consumers.

For more information about life settlement or to access Golden Gateway Financial's industry leading suite of online retirement assessment tools and resources, please visit http://www.goldengateway.com.

About Golden Gateway Financial

Golden Gateway Financial (http://www.goldengateway.com), located in Oakland, California, is a comprehensive resource for senior citizens, baby boomers and soon-to-be retirees to assess their financial health at retirement. Through a unique set of online tools and clear and unbiased communication, the company helps individuals address The Great American Retirement Dilemma. The tools enable users to better assess the security of their nest egg and to make intelligent choices to fully enjoy what should be the best years of their lives. The company also operates the industry's premier reverse mortgage and life settlement services with innovative new calculators and products for each, and a team of trained counselors to help seniors better understand the products and evaluate whether they are right for them.

(1) This is only an estimate and is not a guarantee. Those who determine that the payout is worthwhile should contact a Golden Gateway Financial representative for a more accurate analysis of their policy and eligibility.

(2) Data Collection Report 2006, Life Insurance Settlement Association (LISA)

(3) Understanding Life Settlements and Industry Issues Entering 2008, Insurance Studies Institute, 2008

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