Letter Re: Advice on a Whole Life Insurance Policy and Firearms

I’m a newbie to your site and I love it! Read it every morning instead of the newspaper. I’m a single female horse rancher living in Alabama (not originally from Alabama). I attend a home church and have been preparing for our future events for several years before reading your blog. After reading the blog I realize how much farther I have to go. Especially in the home defense area. I own two .22 rimfires and a BB gun. LOL! Thank you so much for all the time and information your providing us. I’ve referred many of like mind to your site.

My main question to you is about whole life insurance. I recently received a [whole life] plan through my parents (something I would never waste my time acquiring). They’ve paid into it for over 30 years. I did a archive search to see if there are any articles on this subject and found none. Do you have any recommendations? Cash it out? Borrow against it? Leave it alone? I’m thinking something like this will become irrelevant in the future. Any thoughts or reading material you could give me? Thanks for your time. – Merry

JWR Replies: It is apparent that you already recognize the difference in value between whole life and term life insurance plans. (A lot of people are clueless, and waste money on whole life plans, which are not appropriate for the circumstances of most folks.) Unless the value of a whole life policy is appreciating faster than the rate of inflation (currently 18% in the real world, versus the “official” Commerce Department statistic), then it is losing net value.

Since you are single, your only “after assuming room temperature” concerns should be your burial expenses and settling your debts. I recommend that you cash out that whole life policy and set aside roughly $12,000 in precious metals (which would cover your burial expenses), pay off any car loan and credit card debt, and invest the rest in preparations (real “life assurance“) and various investment barterables. Since you know horses, your tangible investments should include hay ground, brood mares, tack, and vet supplies. Your knowledge of horses has value, so capitalize on it. In a world with scanty and expensive gasoline, if you have extra horses (with brood mares to produce more) and extra tack you will be considered very wealthy.

Since you are lacking in the area of self defense, give purchasing priority to firearms, ammunition, spare magazines, gun cleaning equipment, holsters, scabbards, and web gear. (Web gear is tack for people. You need a comfortable and practical way to regularly carry loaded spare rifle and pistol magazines, a pistol holster, and a canteen.)

Proper training is just as important as the guns themselves. Budget for training with one of the top-notch training organizations. Here are some suggestions. I haven’t attended all of these, but they come highly recommended by SurvivalBlog readers):

Front Sight. Pahrump (near Las Vegas), Nevada. The biggest and the best, in my opinion. They are particularly successful at training women, since they eschew the macho posturing and drill sergeant bullying used by some of the other schools. Try to schedule your class dates from October to April, to avoid the summer desert heat. They also have a training facility in Alaska (“Front Sight North”), if you can only get away in June, July, or August. FWIW, I was a strong proponent of Front Sight’s training long before they ever became a SurvivalBlog advertiser.

RWVA/Appleseed Project. Inexpensive but very effective rifle training.

Western Rifle Shooters Association (WRSA). Inexpensive but very effective rifle and pistol training.

Badlands Tactical in Oklahoma. They specialize in long range shooting.

Yavapai Firearms Academy
Louis Awerbuck is a mobile trainer that specializes in defensive shotgun shooting. If travel expenses to attend a school seem prohibitive, then watch the Yavapi training calendar. (The training may come to you!)

Defense Training International (John and Vicki Farnam)

Lethal Force Institute (Massad Ayoob)

Suarez International A very high intensity school. They specialize in the AK-47.

Thunder Ranch Clint Smith is the inventor of the ‘Urban Rifle’ course, and a great instructor.

E.A.G. Tactical Pat Rodgers is a master of the carbine.

Range Master (Memphis, Tennessee). Tom Givens has been recommended to me by readers from the midwest and in the southern US.

Holland’s (Powers, Oregon.) Darryl Holland specializes in long range shooting. He is soft-spoken and has a real gift for sharing his knowledge and skill.