Frequently asked questions
Mason Finance is a venture-backed financial technology company based in San Francisco, California. We were founded on the idea that retirees deserve better access to information and financial products that enable them to sustain their retirement. Currently, we focus on life settlements, helping people sell their life insurance policies for more than the surrender value.
Currently, Mason Finance helps people sell their life insurance policies in a transaction formally known as a life settlement. We streamline paperwork and buy policies directly, shaving months off the process and eliminating broker’s fees and commissions. We also purchase policies as low as $50,000 in face value, making life settlements available to a wider audience.
Mason Finance is a resource for anyone look to sell their life insurance policy or seeking information about the variety of financial services available during retirement.
Every year, 250,000 retirees lapse on their life insurance policies, forfeiting $13 billion. That comes out to over $50,000 each. We believe this is an unacceptable number, particularly for people under financial strain. With proper awareness, life settlements can significantly impact the lives of millions of retirees, giving them more financial freedom and security.
Regardless of your residence, you can use our online life settlement calculator to get a quick estimate of what your policy is worth.
Mason Finance is a licensed life settlement buyer eligible to purchase policies in Arizona, California, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Michigan, Missouri, South Carolina, South Dakota, Wyoming, New Mexico, and the District of Columbia and are currently awaiting approval in several other states.
Life settlements are taxed in three tiers.
- Proceeds received up to the tax basis are free of income tax.
- Proceeds received that are greater than the tax basis up to the amount of the cash surrender value are taxed at ordinary income rates.
- Proceeds received that are in excess of the cash value get taxed as capital gains.
This blog post offers a deeper explanation, but you should consult your own tax, legal, and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.
Life settlements are a great opportunity to convert your life insurance policy into immediate cash. If you can no longer afford your life insurance premiums, need money to pay for medical bills and other expenses, or just want more money to enjoy your retirement, life settlements could be a great option for you. That said, life settlements are not for everyone. If you sell your policy, you will no longer be eligible for certain tax benefits associated with life insurance and your family will no longer receive the payout upon your death.
Every policy is different, and there are a few factors to consider when determining the value of your life insurance. Typically, the larger the death benefit and the shorter the policyholder’s life expectancy, the more valuable the policy. For someone who is on the younger side, with a longer life expectancy, their policy will be worth less. Check out our page on selling your life insurance policy to find out what your policy is worth.
Selling a life insurance policy was formally established in the the 1911 Supreme Court Case Grigsby vs. Russel, where the Court ruled life insurance could be sold just like any other piece of personal property.
The modern life settlement industry, however, began to take form in the 1980s. With the onset of the AIDS epidemic, many victims faced extremely short life expectancies. Many of those that owned life insurance policies found that they no longer needed the protection but needed cash to pay for experimental treatments. It was under these circumstances that the first “viatical” settlements were created.
Today, viatical settlements are explicitly different from standard life settlements, but it was these early transactions that were the foundation for the life settlement industry as we know it.
The money given by an insurance company to a policyholder once they choose to terminate their policy is known as the cash surrender value. This value is generally far less than the value the policyholder would have received through a life settlement.
Generally, people selling their life insurance are over the age of 65, but this can vary. For viatical settlements, the age of the policyholder matters less than the life expectancy. There is no defined rule, so check out the life settlement calculator to see if you qualify.
While we estimate that the average universal life insurance policy that was lapsed last year was worth $51,300, every policy is totally different. Use our life settlement calculator to find out what your policy could be worth.
A life settlement fund is similar to a mutual fund, but instead of purchasing stocks and bonds, it invests in life settlements. At this point the fund is now responsible for paying all the premiums to keep the policy in force. Buying a diverse group of policies reduces the risk of any one policy, making these funds an attractive investment opportunity for institutions and other sophisticated investors.
A life settlement broker represents the policy holder during a transaction, working between their client and the life settlement provider/investor. Brokers hold a fiduciary responsibility to the policyholder, and while brokers do look out for their clients, they charge commissions and fees that often can be a substantial amount of the agreed purchase. At Mason Finance we purchase policies directly, creating a faster process that aims to pay the policyholder more for their life insurance.
Have more questions?
Whether you have a question about our services, need assistance or just want to talk, we want to hear from you.
Contact our support team.