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Do you want to learn how to leverage a life insurance policy to buy commercial real estate? How can you benefit from a life insurance policy whilst you're still alive?
Cory Wright and Rod McKay are in the studio this week to welcome Robert Trasolini and Laurent Munier of Safe Pacific Financial, here to show you just how easy it can be to use a life insurance policy as an investment vehicle to drive you into the commercial real estate game. We really dive into an industry secret this week, so make sure you are taking notes. Enjoy!
What is Safe Pacific Financial?
We’ve been in the investment insurance space for over 12 years with a focus on life insurance, mostly working with corporate clients. We’re independent brokers and work with every major insurance company in Canada.
Safe Pacific Financial is based in Vancouver and we really specialize in building high value whole life insurance that you can use as collateral to secure loans. This comes up a lot in commercial real estate.
What is a life insurance policy? How do you build equity with life insurance?
Most people think of life insurance as term life insurance where there’s no investment component or opportunity to build up equity. It’s just insurance. You pay into it and if something happens, the money pays out. If nothing happens, the money is gone.
Permanent life insurance, on the other hand, allows you to build up cash and assets to use for other investment purposes.
Why invest with life insurance?
Insurance has its own tax status in Canada. Life insurance in Canada is tax-exempt and the growth within the policy is tax-deferred. That’s why we use insurance in the first place.
A lot of our commercial real estate clients have a portfolio of a few commercial buildings. As the buildings grow in value, they want to cover the future capital gain from an estate planning perspective. That’s where life insurance comes in.
Not only do these clients want life insurance to help with a future tax bill, but they also want to be able to use their life insurance policy to buy more commercial real estate. They don’t want to lose their liquidity. We’re able to achieve both of those goals with whole life insurance.
Why are life insurance policies tax exempt and secure?
Insurance companies in Canada are actually older than Canada itself. So the Insurance Act is older than the Income Tax Act. Insurance has always been separate and exempt from new tax rules. That’s because we want insurance companies to be profitable and to be able to provide a service for society.
We’re usually looking at a participating whole life insurance policy. The growth within that policy is tax deferred and the money is invested with the insurance company itself. The insurance company then pools all that money together and invests it in very secure investments, such as bonds. These major insurance companies have never missed a dividend payment, even throughout world wars and recessions.
The investment component won’t go down after a dividend is paid. That’s why banks like these policies as collateral against other assets. Banks like them so much that they’ll do a loan to value of 80-100% of the premiums going in. That’s how secure these insurance policies are.
What are the costs for whole life insurance vs term life insurance?
Term life insurance is great and it serves a purpose. But whole life insurance is a completely different thing and you can’t compare them apples to apples.
Term insurance is not an asset. With permanent insurance, that money is going to pay out at some time. There’s intrinsic value. If a client wants to put $500,000 into their whole life insurance policy each year, that money is invested with the insurance company. Most companies are paying a 6% dividend.
So not only will clients receive their 6% dividend but they can then use their insurance policy as collateral with a bank. A bank could then give them a $500,000 loan based on their $500,000 life insurance policy, which they could use to buy commercial real estate.
If you can go onto earn a 6% cap rate with your real estate investment, you’re double dipping on the same money. You have cash in your policy that is earning a 6% dividend and that cash is also leveraged at a bank.
What are the tax implications of inheriting a real estate portfolio?
We’re not accountants so this isn’t accounting advice. But if you held properties within a corporation, there would be a distribution of your shares after you died. It would essentially look like you sold all of your shares, so there would be a capital gain owing at that time. That could be a huge bill. With permanent life insurance, you can start saving for that bill ahead of time.
With life insurance, your policy could pay out upon your death and be used to pay any tax bills. Life insurance paid into a corporation also increases the capital dividend account. That allows the money to go from the corporation to the individuals tax-free. That’s another benefit of permanent life insurance.
What is the timeframe for accessing the liquidity of your insurance policy?
We have clients who put funds into a whole life insurance policy and are able to get a line of credit with a bank just a couple of months later. However, there is an application process with whole life insurance that could take 6-12 months. But after your first time, it’s very quick.
Insurance brokers like us would facilitate this process and put you in contact with banks that will help you secure loans.
Can you also borrow money from the insurance company?
Yes, you can get a loan from the bank or you can borrow directly from the insurance company. It’s a very easy process to borrow from the insurance company but the interest rates are a bit higher and there are some tax implications. But yes, you can borrow from the insurance company or a third party, like the bank.
With the insurance company, the process to request a loan is very simple and they are obligated to give you the loan. It’s also a private, unstructured loan so you can choose how you repay it. They set the interest rate but you set your repayment terms. That can be a huge benefit.
What is infinite banking?
Infinite banking is a book written by R. Nelson Nash. It is the concept of using insurance policies as a lending tool to finance your life. The concept is American but broadly applies to what we’re talking about with permanent insurance.
There are lots of different names for this concept and they’ve all been trademarked – plus the banks have their own names as well. But it’s all about building cash value within your policy and leveraging against it. The concept is the same but the names are all different.
Find out more: safepacific.com, youtube.com/safepacific
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Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas from all of us at the VCREP and thanks for listening in 2022. As the podcast continues to grow week-over-week we have some amazing guests lined up for 2023 which is shaping up to be our biggest year yet. Thanks for all the continued support and we look forward to some amazing shows in 2023!
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How can you benefit from a life insurance policy while you're still alive? Robert Trasolini and Laurent Munier of Safe Pacific Financial show just how easy it can be to use a life insurance policy as an investment vehicle to drive you into the commercial real estate game.
Why are my premiums going up so fast on my real estate insurance? Nigel Clark of BFL Canada, one of the largest risk management, insurance brokerage and benefits consulting firms in Canada, talks about how inflation, interest rates, and rising construction costs all impact the insurance market.
Mayor Ed Mayne discusses the exciting opportunities Parksville is currently experiencing in the Central Island market. As Nanaimo continues to boom, just 20 minutes up the road sits Parksville, which has seen a development boom of their own, led by a proactive mayor who has the experience to guide the community into 2022 and beyond.
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Cory and the team are hitting the beach this week for a well deserved break. Next week we are back with another phenomenal episode. Stay tuned!
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Do you own a property with lots of equity that has built up over the years? Alan Haigh of Impact Commercial Group, one of BC’s leaders in commercial mortgages, explains how to tap into that equity and turn one property into a thriving commercial portfolio without having to sell your asset.
Wishing our listeners a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
From Keltic Development Canada, Steve Jedreicich, Senior VP of Development, and Andy Tam, Senior VP of Business Development, discuss their recent 27-acre acquisition in Richmond, which tops off this year as the biggest transaction of 2021 at a whopping $300,000,000!
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Peter Leung, the Investorpreneur himself, who has amassed an international real estate portfolio in London, Vancouver, and Hong Kong, provides his insight on how to get started in commercial real estate and how commercial offers greater opportunities for investors who require funding.
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Senior writer Frank O’Brien of Glacier Media, home of Business in Vancouver and Western Investor, shares where he sees the winners and losers in the post-COVID era. He also gives a sneak peek at the upcoming Best in BC, where he and his team predict the 5 best real estate markets in 2022.
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They say hindsight is 20/20 and looking back at the Vancouver real estate market, it’s fair to say we all wish we would have bought more. Chard Development’s President and CEO Byron Chard talks about the booming Victoria real estate market and his thoughts on where the Victoria market is headed.
Strand Development’s President Mike Mackay discusses everything Langford, BC. With the recent acquisition of the former Langford Speedway, which encompasses over 80 acres of prime development land, the excitement of the Greater Vancouver Island industrial market just keeps growing.
Jeff Prete, President of Jima Cannabis, unpacks the impact the cannabis business has had on retail in Vancouver and throughout the province. Ever wonder how long it takes to get a store open, how much capital you need, and if the stores are even that profitable? The answer Jeff gives might surprise you.
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Ever wish you could go back in time and buy as much Vancouver real estate as you could in 2003? It may not be too late to buy into what could be BC’s next real estate market set to boom: Kamloops. Bryan Pilbeam, Vice President of Invictus Properties, discusses everything Kamloops and more.
Impact Commercial’s Jon Switzer, owner occupier financial specialist, shows business owners how to unlock their revenues, enabling them to become their own landlord, and in some cases, with as little as 0% down including closing costs. Jon highlights the do’s and don’ts when purchasing real estate for your business.
Have you ever wondered how a property goes from an old house into a new multi-level condo building? From the years of approval and planning that takes place to the “not so big” profit margins developers work off of, Jordan MacDonald, CEO of Fabric Living, gives a first hand look at the development process in Vancouver.
Over the past year and a half, the world has seen many changes… but is the office space one of them? Drew Ratcliffe of And-Co, a new all-in-one, multi-level, office community, complete with a wellness studio, restaurant, and event space, shares his vision of what he feels the future of office space in Vancouver will look like.
There is no question the hospitality sector has been hit the hardest by the pandemic. Glowbal Group CEO Emad Yacoub, one of Vancouver’s most prominent restaurateurs, discusses the challenges the industry has had to overcome to survive and what the future of the business looks like.
Ever wonder about that 5′ x 5′ self storage unit that you rented for $110/month to store all that crap you never use? Pat Wood, formerly one of the authorities, if not THE authority, in self storage appraisals and consulting, discusses why this asset class has seen a huge run in the past couple of years.
Ever wanted to buy commercial real estate, but never felt you had the financial ability to do so? Mitch Jarvi from Addy, a crowdsourcing investment platform, walks through the new opportunities Addy offers to its members by acquiring shares in various commercial real estate properties for as little as $1.
What asset class has the lowest vacancy rate in North America, surging demand from tenants, and seems to be annually increasing lease rates? Connor Braid, Managing Broker of William Wright Commercial’s Victoria office, discusses the industrial asset class in Greater Victoria.
Ever wonder how an appraiser or bank views your purchase? Thomas Wieckowski from Campbell & Pound breaks down the appraisal process, how to value risk, and how a bank views your property. Thomas sheds some great insight for your next commercial purchase and what to consider during the offer process.
What tax benefits does commercial real estate offer? Want to buy a commercial property and avoid paying property transfer tax? John Juranyi from Davidson & Company Accountants discusses tax tips and the benefits of owning commercial real estate.
The world of insurance has faced unprecedented challenges, with the result being expensive premiums and deductible hikes. Derek McCoy, COO of Real Estate Owners and Managers Insurance Group, discusses the causes, concerns, and costs of insuring commercial real estate today in BC.
Are you looking to buy commercial real estate, but have no idea how to take care of the property? Warren Smithies, CEO of Martello Group, walks you through the benefits of having a professional management company oversee and manage your property, which leads to increased value for owners without having to lift a finger.
Who has the dirtiest job in commercial real estate? Shane Rigter of Next Environmental, a leader in environmental testing in the commercial real estate industry, discusses how the dirt below your feet can affect you buying the building above the surface.
Ever wonder how tenants and landlords coincide for 5, 10, or sometimes even 20 years together? Scott McInnes, founder of McInnes Law Group, breaks down what a commercial lease is, how it applies to commercial real estate, and how it differs from residential leases.
Ever thought about buying commercial estate and thought it was impossible to qualify for financing? Put away the notepad and calculator as Alan Haigh, co-founder and managing partner of Impact Commercial, breaks down how to buy and invest in commercial real estate.
Have you ever wondered how commercial real estate works or better yet, what it even is? We got you covered with the launch of the Vancouver “Commercial” Real Estate Podcast hosted by Cory Wright. What asset classes fall within the commercial industry, where to buy, how to buy, and everything in between—Cory breaks down everything you need to know to get started.
For all the curious minds interested in commercial real estate investing, grab a coffee and pull up a chair because we have exclusive stories and tips from commercial real estate brokers, investors, developers, economists, urban planners, and everyone in-between. From the successes and failures to the motivations and lessons learned, the Vancouver Commercial Real Estate Podcast is your insight into commercial real estate in Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, and beyond.
What's the best real estate market to invest in? What are the commercial real estate asset classes and property types? Hosted by Cory Wright, founder of William Wright Commercial, and co-hosts Adam and Matt Scalena of the Vancouver Real Estate Podcast, our podcast opens the door to real estate investing for everyone from beginner investors to experienced real estate professionals. New episodes are released every Tuesday. Follow the Vancouver Commercial Real Estate Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or your favourite streaming platforms.
This communication is not intended to cause or induce breach of an existing agency agreement. E&OE: All information contained herein is from sources deemed reliable, and have no reason to doubt its accuracy; however, no guarantee or responsibility is assumed thereof, and it shall not form any part of future contracts. Properties are submitted subject to errors and omissions and all information should be carefully verified. All measurements quoted herein are approximate.
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