Life Insurance Celebrities

Now that Biden is expected to roll back the gift allowance, the wealthy are even more gung-ho about owning participating whole life insurance (PWLI).  Here are just a few of the reasons why:

  1. Owning PWLI equalizes estate planning so that the estate assets can be evenly distributed to all the heirs without tax liability
  2. PWLI can be used to pay for corporate benefits on key employees and owners of businesses because of PWLI specific tax advantages
  3. Protection and funding of buy/sell agreements
  4. Liquidity through cash value loans which are interest only loans and obtained on a signature regardless of credit ratings
  5. Privacy and legal protection, as PWLI assets are legally protected from unjust and frivolous lawsuits in almost all 50 states
  6. PWLI provides a way to provide tax deductible gifts to charity while also passing the value of any such donations for the heirs of an estate

It is common knowledge that many celebrities use PWLI for these reasons, but very few people are aware of how many celebrities sold or worked in life insurance prior to becoming a celebrity.  Here are just a few of those who made it big, but not before they sold insurance.

  • Tom Clancy, the famous author of The Hunt for Red October, purchased his wife’s grandfather’s insurance agency in 1980 so that he would have more control over his time. This allowed him to finish his first draft to The Hunt for Red October, and the rest is history.
  • Vicki Gunvalson, of Real Housewives, is a highly successful insurance agent and is known to make more money selling insurance than she made on the show.
  • Evil Knievel, the legendary biker and stunt artist sold life insurance for Combined Insurance. Knievel credits his boss’ book, The Success System That Never Fails by Clement Stone, as helping him recover his mental attitude after breaking both legs in a motorcycle accident.
  • In reading Wallace Stevens’ biography, you might discover that Stevens was one of the greatest poets the United States every produced. Yet, you will also discover that Stevens was an insurance agent who merely wrote poetry on the side. It is reported he loved selling insurance so much he turned down a position at Harvard so he could continue to sell.
  • Tommy Maddox of the Pittsburgh Steelers, as well as Dennis Havig, Emmet Johnson and Lincoln Kennedy all have sold insurance either during the off season or after their football carriers have ended.
  • Even the late Harland David Sanders, the Colonel of Kentucky Fried Chicken, sold insurance door to door back in the day.
  • For all the rock ‘in rollers out there, Gene Simmons is now an insurance executive helping those who are establishing long term estate planning.
  • And if you think life insurance can’t resolve a family feud then turn to Steve Harvey, who is now the host of Family Feud who once was very successful at selling life insurance but proclaims on his LinkedIn story “I hated the follow up.”

Unfortunately, like most people, not all celebrities have life insurance, or even a will.

  • Abraham Lincoln died without a will
  • Jimi Hendrix died without a will or life insurance
  • Sonny Bono didn’t have his affairs in order before he died which allowed Cher to sue his estate
  • Howard Hughes, though a billionaire, didn’t put things in order before he died.

And the list goes on and on.

But this is unnecessary. If we plan life, with our death in mind, the rest of life will be much smoother, not only for you but for those you love who will remain here after you’re gone.

On April 20, 1894 The New York Times headline blared:

WANAMAKER THE MOST HEAVILY INSURED MAN IN AMERICA, the prince of shopkeepers carries nearly $2,000,000 on his life.”

Of course, $2 million in 1894 would be $53,384,081 in 2021. So, why did John Wanamaker want so much life insurance on his life?

  1. Because for one small monthly premium he was able to provide millions for his heirs
  2. With every payment he made he become more and more invested in a company that shared their profits with him and increased his death benefit for his heirs
  3. The equity in his life insurance was quick and easy money to access for his growing enterprises
  4. He was able to spend all that he made and still leave a legacy to those who he loved

These 4 principles are why owning PWLI is still a valuable asset for people to own today.  We live but once, then we die.

What will you leave those you love when you are gone?

Dr. Tomas McFieDr. Tomas P. McFie

Most Americans depend on Social Security for retirement income. Even when people think they’re saving money, taxes, fees, investment losses and market volatility take most of their money away. Tom McFie is the founder of McFie Insurance which helps people keep more of the money they make, so they can have financial peace of mind. His latest book, A Biblical Guide to Personal Finance, can be purchased here.