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variable universal life insurance

General Information Money Matters

Adulting 101: My Sunlife Variable Universal Life Insurance (VUL)

Sun Life VUL

There’s just something so “adulty” about the word insurance, don’t you agree?

A VUL is a variable universal life insurance. According to Investopedia, a VUL is a form of cash-value life insurance that offers both a death benefit and an investment feature.

This post is actually 6 months late because I got my very first life insurance policy way back in December last year. I had a draft started, but I never got around to actually writing it. But I remembered it a couple of days ago because my payment was already due lol. Also, a couple of my previous officemates were asking about the VUL. Why did I get Sun Life’s VUL? This is not a sponsored post; I just want to tell you about it.

I never planned to get an insurance policy. Job and I, we decided to start investing in a mutual fund, so that’s what I looked for. After doing some research and comparison, I decided to go pay the local Sun Life office a visit.

Sun Life Davao

(Trivia: During the Expo Mom bazaar in Abreeza last year, one of the booths I visited was Sun Life’s. I got in touch with an agent and even left my details and contact number with her. But she never got back to me, so I just went ahead, visited the main office, and got another agent.)

I met my financial adviser, Paul Chavez, there. I inquired about mutual funds since it was my original purpose, but upon interviewing and assessing me, Paul suggested I get a VUL instead. There were three main reasons that convinced me:

  • First, I have a son who is dependent on me, and he will surely benefit from his parents’ life insurance.
  • Second, we have nothing else (yet) in our portfolio. Because this was our first investment, it’s more prudent to prioritise protection over plain growing of money.
  • Third, it’s not like the money won’t be growing. The projected returns is quite high and we’re getting protection, so yes they’re right – it is like getting the best of both worlds.

Aside from that, there are more benefits outlined here including the VUL’s liquidity (you can withdraw your money if you need it, and it’s called “withdrawal,” not a “loan) and the flexibility of premiums (I treat my VUL as a bank and put in more money if I have extra). Because you can just Google the benefits of getting a VUL, and since I already described a few, I won’t be focusing on that anymore. Let’s talk about my personal experience and impressions.

Why I’m Happy With My Sun Life VUL

1. Because Sun Life is the biggest insurance company in the country and even outside, I feel safe that I am investing my money with the right company. You can do your own research about it and see for yourself the past performance of Sun Life.

2. I have a great agent and I’m very satisfied with the service. Paul is very diligent in reminding me about my due dates, and if I cannot go to the office myself to pay, he adjusts and personally visits me to get my payment. Unfortunately, not all agents are built the same, so please be wise in choosing the right person.

3. There are no penalties for late payments. While I always pay my bills on time, there are circumstances beyond our control (just like what happened to BPI recently).

4. The payment scheme is very flexible. When I first got my policy, I was paying monthly. However, it has gotten more taxing since my schedule is tight, so they changed my mode of payment to quarterly. Just like that!

Sun MaxiLink Prime

5. It’s surprisingly affordable. One of the reasons why I delayed getting an insurance is the cost. Upon inquiring, I was pleasantly surprised to know that it’s not only affordable, it’s also flexible. I have the Sun MaxiLink Prime, and to give you an idea of how much my monthly payment is, let’s just say it’s even cheaper than our Davao City electric bill.

6. Unlike mutual funds and other investment vehicles, a VUL withdrawal is not taxable.

7. Unlike regular insurances, a VUL doesn’t need to fulfil a single, specific need e.g. education. With a VUL, you can decide how you want to use your money, whether you want to use it to fund your child’s college education or build your retirement fund.

I can think of other benefits, but I’m sure a Sun Life financial advisor will be able to better explain it to you. If you think you can benefit from a VUL, try consulting with an advisor. It’s free anyway. In my experience, they didn’t try to upsell me; they looked at my monthly income and my expenses and came up with something that will not be too burdensome for me. All I can say is if you want to protect your loved ones, you need to look into this.

If you’re from Davao and want to consult a Sun Life financial advisor (not all agents are made the same — there are inactive/lazy/unknowledgeable ones who just want to make a sale), send me a message or leave a comment and I’ll give you my advisor’s number.