What is Kai-Zen
Kai-Zen is a strategy that helps you maintain your current lifestyle in the event of a chronic illness, premature death, or an inability to sufficiently save for retirement. Protecting your earnings is critical to insuring your ability to save for retirement. Due to limitations, traditional retirement plans are typically insufficient for high-income earners. If you want to maintain your lifestyle in retirement, you need a proactive strategy that puts more money toward protecting your future income without putting a drain on your current finances.
How it Works
By using bank financing, the Kai-Zen strategy allows you to realize benefits beyond your expectations while keeping contributions within your means. This concept is not much different than financing a house – you use a mortgage to leverage the assets you have on hand to buy more house than you could afford on your own. Money is borrowed to buy more house, or with Kai-Zen, more benefits. With Kai-Zen, you are buying a life insurance policy with a larger death benefit, more living benefit protections, and the potential for more cash accumulation without the risk of losses (due to declines in a market index).
The departure or premature loss of a key executive can significantly affect a company’s bottom line. The Kai-Zen Strategy helps provide the additional funding required to address the following business situations effectively:
- Executive Bonuses
- Key Man
- Partner Buyout
- Succession Planning
- Highly Compensated Employee Incentives
If you are concerned about your retirement and don’t think you are saving enough, you will realize how the Kai-Zen strategy is a better and smarter way to fund the retirement you dreamed of. Kai-Zen utilizes financing as a way to supplement the funding you have available to buy more of the benefits you need. The ultimate result is more financial comfort than savings and traditional life insurance alone.
Death Benefit Protection
A permanent life insurance policy with living benefit riders* that can provide benefits in the case of:
- Critical Illness (Cancer, Heart Attack, Stroke, etc.)
- Critical Injury (Coma, Brain Injury, Paralysis, Burns)
- Chronic illness (assistance with daily living, bathing, eating, dressing, transferring, etc.)
- Terminal illness (illness where death is expected within 12-24 months. Term varies by state.)
*Net of loan repayment, riders are supplemental vbenefits that can be added to a life insurance policy and are not suoitable unless there is a need for life insurance.
- Upside Crediting Potential (Interest Credited Based On Market Index)
- No Loss of Cash Value, 0% Floor (Due To Declines In An Index)
- Potential Growth Tax-deferred
- Potential Tax-free Withdrawal (Access to cash value using Tax-Free policy loans and withdrawals)
**Policy loans and withdrawals reduce the cash value and death benefit and may result in a taxable event if the policy is surendered or lapses.
The Use of Leverage
- You use leverage to buy a bigger house today
- You use leverage to purchase an investment property to rent or flip
- You use a loan to expand a business without tying up your cash value
The decision to use leverage is driven by the idea that the money you contribute will grow at a higher rate of return than the cost of borrowing. And, at the very least, you get to enjoy the benefits of these purchases today. With Kai-Zen, you can leverage to obtain more benefits today and potential cash accumulation for your retirement future.
Attract and Retain Employees by Offering Better Benefits
Key employees are the lifeblood of your company and it is crucial to be more attractive than your competitors. Benefits are necessary to recruit and retain your best employees, but most companies offer essentially the same benefits as everyone else. How do you offer more and set yourself apart?
Kai-Zen is a unique strategy that allows you to achieve a competitive advantage by offering the best benefits, provide more protection, and potentially save more for employees’ retirement. Simply put, the Kai-Zen Strategy provides you with the extra funding to set yourself apart without having to increase your budget
More Cost Effective than Traditional Plans
The real reason businesses are not offering additional benefits to their key employees is cost. The Kai-Zen Strategy uses leverage to help cover the costs of the additional benefits needed to attract top talent. A unique feature of Kai-Zen is that there are no loan qualifications or loan documents signed by the employer or employee. The contributions made to the strategy act to fully secure the loan. Utilizing Kai-Zen allows companies to spend less on something that would otherwise be a substantial expense. This will ultimately improve your cash flow and decrease costs while offering the differentiation needed to compete for the best employees.
In addition, due to the high cost of benefits, businesses also find it difficult to provide adequate coverage for other business liabilities such as Key Person, Buy-Sell Agreements, Succession Planning, etc. These events can typically be funded at half the cost of traditional options with Kai-Zen.
A Better Way to Fund Contingent Business Liabilities (Key Person, Buy-Sell Agreements, Succession Planning, etc.)
Key executives leave for a variety of reasons which can leave a business scrambling to cover their loss. They can become disabled, develop a chronic illness, retire, pass away, or simply leave. Most companies use their cash to grow their business and not to fund contingent business liabilities. Kai-Zen helps provide the funding needed to protect your business in a wider variety of circumstances.
A Better Way to Informally Fund Deferred Compensation
Kai-Zen is a superior way to informally fund Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation. By financing a life insurance policy as opposed to traditional investment alternatives, you get the added advantage of additional cash through the use of leverage, potential tax-deferred growth, protection benefits should something happen to the employee all without downside market risk.
*Receipt of benefits depends on rider and meeting certain qualifications and varies by state. The use of one benefit may reduce or eliminate other policy and rider benefits. Payment of living benefits will reduce the cash value and death benefit. Substantial tax ramifications could result upon contract lapse or surrender.
Surrender charges may reduce the policy’s cash value in early years. It is possible that coverage will expire when either no premiums are paid following the initial premium, or subsequent premiums are insufficient to continue coverage. The Tri-Zen Strategy is dependent on the employer making contributions for the first 5 years and not defaulting on the policy, which could result in policy lapse and surrender charges. The employee will not have access to the policy, the cash values, the death benefits or the living benefits until the loan is repaid and the assignment is released. The lender has the right to discontinue funding new premiums, exit the market, or to demand loan repayment based on the terms and conditions signed by the Master Trust. See the Master Trust documents for additional information. Receipt of accelerated benefits may be taxable and may affect eligibility for public assistance programs. This information is not intended as tax advice. Please consult with your tax advisor regarding your own situation. Not all riders are available by all life insurance companies.
Kai-Zen vs. Self-Funding
This concept is not much different than financing a house – you use a mortgage to leverage the assets you have on hand to buy more house than you could afford on your own. Money is borrowed to buy more house, or with Kai-Zen, more benefits. With Kai-Zen, you are buying a life insurance policy with a larger death benefit, more living benefit protections, and the potential for more cash accumulation without the risk of losses (due to declines in a market index).
As you can see from the chart below, the addition of bank funding gives you the potential to significantly enhance the funds available for benefits.