Seniors look to life insurance for fast cash

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More and more senior citizens are seeking ways to make their leisure years more comfortable -- or simply to make ends meet. Many are looking to liquidate or tap at least a portion of an asset that historically has gone untouched. For example, two seniors asked recently if it were preferable to take a life settlement on their life insurance policy or to pursue a reverse mortgage. The answer depends on a variety of individual preferences, plus a person's age, health, policy value, estate needs, home value and future housing needs. A life settlement is the sale of an existing life insurance policy for an amount greater than the cash surrender value. Insurance policies are a saleable asset like a stock or bond. It is a financial option for seniors 65 and older who no longer need or want their current insurance policy. Who would be a prime candidate for a life settlement? Typically, a surviving spouse whose children are now financially secure, a company that no longer needs to...