How to Use Life Insurance While Alive


If you have ever wondered ‘How to Use Life Insurance While Alive”, then you’re on the right post. Life insurance is commonly associated with providing financial protection for family members after the policyholder’s passing.

However, many policyholders are unaware that, depending on the type of policy they have, there are ways to benefit from life insurance while still alive. In this blog post, we’ll explore various strategies and tips on how to make the most of your life insurance during your lifetime. 

How to Use Life Insurance While Alive

You might have heard that life insurance is like a safety net for your loved ones, but it can also be a helpful tool for you during your lifetime. Depending on the kind of life insurance policy you have, there are things you can do to make your life a bit easier financially. 

Ways to Use Life Insurance

We understand saving for family and loved ones is important. However, it is always important to make good on your life insurance while you’re still alive. Here are some ways to use life insurance while alive;

Take a Loan or Withdrawal From Your Policy

Permanent life insurance policies, including whole life, universal life, and variable life, accumulate cash value over time. If you’ve been faithfully paying premiums for several years, you may have built up a significant cash value. Here are two ways you can access these funds;

Take a Loan Against Your Policy

Life insurance loans typically offer lower interest rates compared to personal or home equity loans. While repayment may be optional, it’s important to note that your death benefit could be reduced by the borrowed amount plus accumulated interest.

Withdraw Your Policy’s Cash Value

This withdrawal is generally tax-free if it’s less than your total contributions to the policy. While it can cover large expenses or supplement retirement savings, keep in mind that it will reduce your overall death benefit.

Use Your Cash Value to Pay Premiums

If your policy permits (common with permanent life insurance), you can use the accumulated cash value to offset premium costs. This strategy is often employed by retirees to maintain their life insurance coverage while managing their day-to-day expenses effectively.

Access Your Living Benefit Rider

Certain insurers offer a living benefit rider on eligible policies. If you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness and have a life expectancy of less than a year, this rider allows you to receive a portion of your death benefit early. Utilize this benefit to cover medical expenses related to your illness or access palliative care options that might otherwise be unaffordable.

Consider Selling Your Policy

If your financial needs change, explore the option of selling your life insurance policy through a life settlement. This is typically available for seniors with permanent life insurance policies. However, it’s crucial to carefully evaluate the pros and cons before deciding to sell your policy.

Can life insurance be used while I am still alive?

Yes, certain types of life insurance, such as cash-value policies like whole life or universal life, offer living benefits that can be utilized during your lifetime.

What is the cash value of a life insurance policy?

Cash value is a feature of permanent life insurance policies. It accumulates over time and can be accessed by the policyholder while alive. It can serve as a savings or investment component.

How can I access the cash value of my life insurance policy?

Policyholders can typically access the cash value through withdrawals, policy loans, or by surrendering the policy. Each option has implications, so it’s important to understand the terms and potential consequences.

What are the advantages of taking a policy loan against the cash value?

Policy loans can provide tax-free access to cash, and the interest paid on the loan goes back into the policy. However, it’s essential to repay the loan to avoid reducing the death benefit.

Are there tax implications for accessing the cash value of a life insurance policy?

Generally, withdrawals up to the amount of premiums paid are tax-free. Policy loans are also typically tax-free. However, surrendering the policy may have tax consequences, especially if gains have been accrued.

How can I use the living benefits of a life insurance policy for retirement planning?

Cash-value policies can be used as a supplemental retirement income source. By accessing the cash value, policyholders can supplement other retirement income streams.

Can the cash value of a life insurance policy be used for educational expenses?

Yes, policyholders can utilize the cash value to fund educational expenses. This can be a flexible option for covering college costs or other educational needs.

What happens if I surrender my life insurance policy?

Surrendering a policy means canceling it in exchange for the cash value. While this provides immediate access to funds, it terminates the death benefit, and surrender charges may apply.

Can I use the cash value of my life insurance to pay for long-term care expenses?

Some life insurance policies offer riders that allow the acceleration of the death benefit to cover long-term care costs. This can be an option for policyholders concerned about future care needs.

How can I ensure that I maximize the living benefits of my life insurance policy?

Regularly review your policy and understand the available options. Work with your insurance advisor to optimize the cash value and explore opportunities to meet your financial goals.

Are there restrictions on how I can use the cash value of a life insurance policy?

While there are generally no restrictions on how you use the cash value, it’s important to be mindful of potential tax implications and the impact on the policy’s death benefit.

Can the living benefits of a life insurance policy be used to start a business or make investments?

Yes, policyholders can use the cash value for various purposes, including starting a business or making investments. However, careful consideration is needed to ensure financial goals align with the policy’s terms and conditions.


While the primary purpose of life insurance is to protect your loved ones, understanding how to leverage it while you’re alive can significantly enhance your financial security. For personalized advice, consult with a financial advisor to integrate your life insurance policy effectively into your overall financial plan.

Keep in mind that each option has its benefits and drawbacks, so choose wisely based on your unique circumstances. Being proactive and informed will help you make the most of your life insurance throughout your lifetime. In the comment section, let us know what you think about this post.

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