San Jose, California
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Please see attached the chart page from a Transamerica Financial Foundation Indexed Universal Life (FFIUL) policy. A California WFG agent sold this policy to a client earlier this year. Transamerica buries this very important chart deep down in its policy paperwork.

This chart's numbers are Cost of Insurance (COI) charges. Carriers also call them Mortality Charges. For Universal Life (UL) policies--like the FFIUL--COI charges are a constant--and constantly growing--part of your monthly premium.

At first these COIs look small and harmless. But when you add in their multipliers, they swell to enormous charges that threaten to destroy your policy. **If you live to your 80s and older, you can pay much more than your Death Benefit. How can that possibly make any sense for a policyholder to pay?!

Let’s do an example together. You are a healthy non-smoking 35 year old male who buys this policy. You choose a $500,000 death benefit.

Look in the second column on the left, titled “MALE MONTHLY COST OF INSURANCE PER $1,000.” Trace down that column to age 35. You see “0.09333.” This means that, at age 35, you pay $0.09333--a little over 9 pennies--per $1,000 of Death Benefit per month.

“Gee, only 9 cents. Sounds low right?” Not so fast! First you need to multiply $0.09333 by 500. Why? Because you pay 9 cents just for each $1,000 of death benefit. Remember, you bought $500,000 of total Death Benefit. Thus you have to multiply $0.09333 by 500. That gives you a COI charge of $0.09333 by 500 = $46.67 per month. Then you have to multiply that by 12 to get your yearly COI charge. In this case $46.67 x 12 = $559.98 per year.

See how it works? To calculate how much COI you have to pay each year, you have to multiply that year’s monthly COI charge by *6,000.* That’s 500 (for your total Death Benefit) x 12 (months in a year). 500 x 12 equals 6,000.

Now all you have to do is go down the column and multiplying each year’s COI by 6,000. That’s

Age 35: $0.09333 x 6000 = $559.98

Age 36: $0.09750 x 6000 = $585.00

Age 37: $0.10333 x 6000 = $619.98


Age 85: $9.98583 x 6000 = **$59,914.98**

WHOA! What just happened there?! At age 85, you pay almost $60,000/year? Almost *$5,000 per month?* Indeed that's -over- $5,000/month when you add in all premium fees.

I’m afraid it’s true! In your twilight years, your FFIUL becomes enormously expensive. So expensive, you are most likely forced to drop it and lose everything you put into it.

Let’s make the math super easy. Let’s say you’ll die at age 85. All you need do is add up the COI charges from ages 35 to 85. Then multiply that by 6,000. It comes to $1.023815 x 6,000 = $614,289. Over $100k more than your Death Benefit.

If you live to 90, it’s worse--MUCH worse. You pay $1,018,374. That’s over a -million dollars-. Twice as much as your Death Benefit.

Wait. You pay over a million dollars for a $500k policy?? Again, how can that possibly make any sense for a policyholder to pay?

Using this simple math I showed you here, please ask your WFG agent how the FFIUL can possibly make sense for anyone who expects to live even a reasonably long life. Please don’t let your WFG agent pass off your question with a vague claim that “your money will grow to cover this.” Please make your agent -prove- to you that your money's growth will cover these enormous late-life charges. Insist he use a hand-held calculator --NOT Transamerica’s Illustration software that can hide numbers and other data from you. Also very important: Ask your agent to do the math at 5% average annual Rate of Return which is close to the long-term stock index rates of Return. That’s very important. You don’t want your WFG agent to use the fantasy 8% and higher Rates of Return that less scrupulous agencies typically use.

It’s almost certain your WFG agent will be at a total loss to defend the FFIUL by the numbers. In his May 25th 2016 review, author William3 lays out a compelling argument for why you'll wish to avoid this policy. It’s titled “World Financial Group - Plan to live a long life? Will your FFIUL--WFG’s “top” product--FAIL and leave you with NOTHING? I show you the MATH." If you bought the FFIUL, I urge you to follow the procedure that William3 spells out for you there. Do this before you meet with your WFG agent so you are fully prepared. Knowledge is power.

WFG agents, if you see any problems with the reasoning and math I present here, please let us hear from you. Thank you.

Reason of review: Concerns about Transamerica FFIUL.

World Financial Group Cons: Concerns about transamerica ffiul policy.

  • Ul
  • Iul
  • Wsb
  • Transamerica Ffiul Ffiul
  • Xul
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This is an old post but continues to mislead many people regarding the Transamerica FFIUL. The Cost of Insurance (COI) chart that is in this post is related to the COI at the time of issue.

It does not reflect the COI as the policy owner ages; this COI is built into the illustration (i.e. a table that shows the premiums paid, cash accumulation, and death benefit for the life of the policy), that is provided by the insurance agent. For example: When an 85 year old is provided an illustration for a $500K IUL policy, the annual COI is (using the above math) = $9.98583 x 6000 = **$59,914.98** . This is correct, and when I illustrated this scenario, the annual required premium is actually close to $85K with the remainder going into the Cash Accumulation.

This makes sense because insuring an 85 year old is a very high risk proposition. The post misleads the audience into thinking that if a 33 year old purchases an FFIUL product, that the COI at age 85 is $59,914.98 - this is simply not true. The COI is built into the illustration and does not reflect any such dramatic increase. The illustration is part of the printed policy that is delivered to the client and has a required signature from both the agent and the client.

The Department of Insurance heavily regulates this industry, and does not allow any hidden fees or charges. Everything is transparent, and is included in the Policy Document.

The FFIUL has one of the best growth engines (it's Global Index account) with Principal Protection, Living Benefits (Long Term Care, Terminal and Critical Illness coverage), and a A+ rated insurance company backing it up. You cannot really go wrong with this product.


The COI is just 1 problem on an FFIUL The fees IMO is outrageous. For Example 500 dollar premium for 750k coverage will cost you 1.

Policy Monthly Expense Charge per Thousand covered for the first 10 years= 16 cents per thousand insured. 750 x .16= $120 Dollars( I cannot find any info of how this is charged after 10 years) 2. 6% Premium Expense charge on a 500 dollar premium = $30 3. $12 monthy policy fee.

Summary: So Before your money ever gets invested into an Index you just lost 162 of your 500 dollar premium to fees and Commissions. That amount is equivalent to losing -32.4% a year. Then you have to pay Your COI.

The rest of the money gets invested in a index fund that charges .72% a year for fees(usually this same index can be bought for 0.01%). please clarify if i am wrong


Your math is incorrect. $1.023815 x 6,000 is $6,142 not $614,200


That’s a typo you can easily find, the sum from 35 to 85 years old is $102.3815 so $6,142 is correct!


Your math is incorrect and padded


One thing they'll also tell you is that the chart shows "Maximum" monthly charges and that the insurance company NEVER charges the maximum. I wouldn't be willing to bet the farm on that.


We've been talking to a WFG (under the Managed Wealth Financial group name) agent in the last few weeks. This is very helpful and I will be (nicely) bringing this information in to talk to them this week.


Doesn't all insurance company Cost Of Insurance (COI) go up every year anyway? Regardless if it TransAmerica, Nationwide, Allstate, Farmers, State Farm, etc...... Also, can't I just take out my cash value on the policy and move it to somewhere else?


standard insurance scam. Profit over moral.


The rates that you are breaking down in this example are the highest possible charges that the insurance company can charge. Transamerica does not charge these rates.

They currently charge the non-guaranteed rates (which are much less). In the last 18 years since I've held my license with WFG, I have never seen WFG's preferred provider insurance companies charge the guaranteed rates. The reasons why an insurance company raises the cost of insurance closer to the guaranteed rates would be because they experienced factors that they did not adequately account for such as mortality, persistency, investment income and expenses. Transamerica manages their risk very well so they do not have to raise their rates.I ran a $500,000 Transamerica illustration for a 40 year old client.

He's fairly healthy. Guess what the non-guaranteed rate is for him at age 85? Not anywhere near $50,000 per year. It's a little over $12,000 per year.

Guess how much a term life policy would cost, if they could even qualify for it, at age 85? It would be way more than a $1,000 a month.


Ok... So I am liking this to HOTEL RACK RATE for renting a room.

there is a MAXIMUM rate that the room could be rented for (something crazy like 395.00 for a motel 8) but the normal rate $89 and the special rate is more like 48.99 with AAA...

Clearly I am seeing some bias in the extrems being presented on the website. I am trying to learn enough to make a decision on if I shouel be more than a client (been a HAPPY client for almost 6 years of a VOYA IUL that I purchased with WFG)


I am one of those people who has universal life insurance from Transamerica from a WFG agent. Since I have it what should I do now?

What life insurance should I get instead?

I’m worried now that I’ve paid over 5 years of premiums for nothing. That’s a lot of money lost already plus the life insurance I thought I had will cost me more than the death benefit itself.


You are still better off to ditch it anyways and buy a term life insurance which is about 25% of the price and put the rest in a nest egg for your future because if you continue with this FFIUL you can see that it's unsustainable if you dare to live to 80..then your kids will have to bury you while you will have put 100's of thousands in an insurance that you couldn't afford to you'll lose all your money plus won't have a penny of insurance....PS...GO see a financial advisor from your not call or speak to an wfg agent,they will give you the run around because this is a money maker.Good luck


Hey Mary,I am an agent of WFG and even though it is true for that amount of insurance with the COI as it is shown here it would be totally ridiculous to think that your policy would outlive you. That is why at the age of 65 we always decrease the amount of the face value to $100,000 (the minimum amount of insurance).

And there is something else that he didn't mention. Oftentimes they use something called a Base Insured Rider. This rider is not included in the face value of your policy. This rider will then be dropped at the age of 65.

And if you put in the max on the policy that you got then you'd definitely be able to overcome the insurance costs with the cash accumulation. I would recommend that you talk with people who have actually used these products and not just people who are speculating because they have actually seen the benefits. I truly wish that I could have this product but because of my health right now I am uneligible.

Hopefully I will be able to get this within the next couple of years. I think it is amazing.

@Enoch she can pay 200k or more if she lives to 80 in COI to have a REDUCTION of her plan to 100k insurance? So in essence you are the first semi honest WFG agent that is telling us it's unaffordable to buy the FFIUL....Funny how the tune changes.Let me guess for 650$/month when she's 80 she will be able to get a 5k insurance while she will have put over 200k in this bottomless pit.Good idea..NOT!


I bet nobody noticed that the above math of this anonymous blogger is incorrect. $1.023815 x 6000 is $6,142 NOT $614,289 as stated above


That’s a typo you can easily find, the sum from 35 to 85 years old is $102.3815 so $6,142 is correct!


Mary, see my explanation in my comment on June 18th. It's from EC.

You have a great policy.

Transamerica is one of the most well managed and reputable companies in the country. Try to maximum fund your policy if you can.


Hey! Thanks for the OBJECTIVE info.

I hope everybody comes here to learn and not get taken advantage of.I have a few questions for you maybe you can help me clarify (also i apologize for my lack of math skills so ill do my best to ask my question):Lets say i am 30 years old start a policy and am putting in $250 dollars a month for a 100,000 dollar policy.i max out my investment portion of my IUL for 30 years and end having a good cash value that is above the face value.Would it be advantageous to just pull my cash out at that time enjoy the gains and cut the policy before the COI gets out of hand?Because from what at least I understand from the FFIUL they have a floor and a cap and all that but the avg over 30 years for how well the market did was like 8 or 9% which is a decent ROI.So i guess i am asking if my intention for the FFIUL is primarily to grow my money safely and enjoy it tax free and cut the policy when it gets expensive.

Would that be a sound strategy and just get term LI at some point in between? Thank you!

@Random Question guy

I’m not good in math myself but if you check the above computation $1.023815 x 6000 is $6,142 not $614,289. So this anonymous blogger is a hoax

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