A Flexible Alternative to a Life Insurance Settlement

By on October 23, 2019
Life Insurance

As we approach middle age and retirement, our thoughts often turn to financial planning: ensuring that our life insurance,  pension, 401(k), and/or social security budget is in order. When an individual experiences an unexpected and life-threatening disease, however, even the best-laid financial plans can go awry. A cancer diagnosis or encounter with another advanced-stage illness can be financially draining. Indeed, “average costs for [cancer] treatment run in the $150,000 range,” reports AARP.

The financial hardship associated with serious illness is so common that it has earned its own name: “financial toxicity.” The high cost of treatment — from specialists to medicine to out-of-pocket expenses — is one factor. Another factor: “Cancer treatment can affect your ability to work and pay your bills,” explains the National Cancer Institute. As a result, even patients with solid health insurance coverage can find themselves overwhelmed by bills.

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It’s an unfortunate scenario. Many patients don’t realize that they actually have a powerful tool at their disposal: their life insurance policy. There’s a common misconception that life insurance only comes into play after an individual passes or in the form of a life settlement which, while providing a lump sum of cash, also takes several months, generates taxable income, and is irreversible. In reality, many life insurance policies can be leveraged in other creative ways to address immediate needs.

One way patients can leverage their life insurance policy is through Fifth Season Financial’s Funds for Living and Giving (FLAG) program. The FLAG program advances eligible individuals a portion of their life insurance policy. (To qualify, individuals must have been diagnosed with a life-threatening or advanced-stage illness, and own a life insurance policy totaling at least $50,000.)

These funds can help patients regain financial control — paying down medical bills, purchasing home care, or covering the costs of medicine. While taking care of medical expenses is a priority for many, the money doesn’t have to be used in this manner. There are no restrictions. Some choose to take a memory-filled vacation with family, make their rent or mortgage payments, secure reliable transportation, or handle other expenses.

Further, Fifth Season Financial takes over remaining premium payments. The policy remains in place and, in more than 90 percent of cases, funds remain to pass on to beneficiaries.


The FLAG program

The Shields from O’Neill, Nebraska is just one of the many families that have benefited from the FLAG program. LuAnn and Daniel Shields — a nurse and farmer with three children and two grandchildren — were devastated when Daniel was diagnosed with advanced-stage colon cancer. The couple drew on their faith and church community to help address the emotional distress. Still, there was the financial hardship component — chemotherapy cycles that cost $40,000 each.

Seeking help, LuAnn began to research and uncovered the FLAG program. The Shields used their FLAG funds to cover Daniel’s treatment costs and eventual hospice care.

“We received the money from Fifth Season Financial very quickly while Daniel was on hospice, which was a financial reliever,” LuAnn says. “I would definitely recommend the FLAG program to anyone out there who is faced with late-stage disease and needs financial relief.”

Confronting a serious illness is one of the biggest challenges a person can face in their lifetime. Fifth Season Financial’s FLAG program provides much-needed financial assistance during this trying time, allowing clients to focus on what matters most: their health and quality of life.

Adam Balinsky is president of Fifth Season Financial, a specialty lender providing solutions to alleviate the financial strain associated with advanced-stage illness. Fifth Season’s Funds for Living and Giving (FLAG) program allows clients to receive an advance on their life insurance policy (funds for living) while preserving funds for beneficiaries to receive in the future (funds for giving). For more information, call (866) 459-1271


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A Flexible Alternative to a Life Insurance Settlement