Beware of those return of premium policies

  • Stay alert: return of premium life insurance policies should are gimmicks, according to Dave Ramsey

    Stay alert: return of premium life insurance policies should are gimmicks, according to Dave Ramsey

Dear Dave,

Iím thinking about signing up for a return of premium life insurance policy. It costs more per month than other policies, but it allows you to get all your money back after 30 years assuming you live that long. Is this too good to be true?


Dear Tommy,

Itís not too good to be true, but it is a rip off. Never buy a return of premium life insurance policy.

You said it costs more than other policies, right? Well, if you were to take that extra money youíd be paying and put it into a good mutual fund, youíd get all the cost of your policy back after 30 years 100 per cent of the time. Return of premium policies are just a gimmick.

When it comes to life insurance, always go with a good, 15 to 20-year level term policy. And always stay away from that return of premium garbage.


Dear Dave,

Iím on Baby Step 1 of your plan, and I work at a community college that takes a mandatory 20 per cent from our pay for retirement. I know you say retirement contributions should be put on hold until all debt except for your home is paid off, so do you have any thoughts on this kind of system? It feels like itís hard to get traction with getting control of my money when so much is being taken out of every paycheque.


Dear Kristi,

That is a lot to take out. Iíve heard of a few places that have a mandatory 12 per cent contribution, but 20 per cent? Thatís very unusual. And itís unusually high.

Iím not sure what to tell you. I mean, you took the job. Itís what you signed up for. But if it becomes enough of an issue with your finances, you may have to decide at some point if you still want to work there. My recommendation is to begin setting aside 15 per cent of your income for retirement after youíve paid off all debt except your home, and you have an emergency fund of three to six months of expenses in the bank.

At least youíre not losing the money, so itís not the end of the world. Itís your money thatís going in there for your use some day. I donít know the exact structure of the retirement account, but it is going towards retirement savings of some kind ó and thatís important.


ē Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven bestselling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 14 million listeners each week on 600 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey.

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Published Dec 22, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 21, 2018 at 11:53 pm)

Beware of those return of premium policies

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