Seniors look to life insurance for fast cash

Selling policy may be wiser than reverse mortgage

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...