Why Is A LIRP A Bad Idea?

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

High Fees and Complexity

A Life Insurance Retirement Plan (LIRP) often comes with high fees. These can include administrative costs, insurance charges, and investment management fees. The complex nature of LIRPs also means it might be challenging to understand all the costs involved.

Limited Investment Options

LIRPs typically offer a narrower range of investment options than other retirement plans. This limitation can restrict your ability to diversify your portfolio and might not align with your investment strategy.

Loan Risks

While LIRPs allow you to take loans against the cash value, this comes with risks. If not managed properly, the loan interest can accumulate, and if the loan plus interest exceeds the cash value, the policy could lapse, leading to tax consequences.

Tax Considerations

The tax advantages of LIRPs can be oversold. While the growth within a LIRP is tax-deferred and loans are tax-free, the high fees might offset these benefits. Additionally, the death benefit could be subject to estate taxes.

Lirp 1

Better Alternatives Available

Often, more straightforward and cost-effective retirement savings options, such as 401(k)s or IRAs, are available. These alternatives typically offer lower fees, greater flexibility, and more investment choices.

Examples of LIRP Challenges

  1. John’s Experience: John invested in a LIRP, hoping for tax-free retirement income. However, he didn’t realize the high fees involved. Over time, these fees significantly reduced his investment returns.
  2. Sarah’s Loan Issue: Sarah took a loan against her LIRP’s cash value but didn’t manage it well. The accumulating interest caused her policy to lapse, resulting in unexpected taxes.

Comparing LIRP with Other Retirement Options

FeesHighVaries, generally lowerLow
Investment ChoicesLimitedWide rangeWide range
Tax BenefitsDeferred growth, tax-free loansPre-tax contributions, deferred growthVarious options, including tax-free withdrawals in Roth IRA


A LIRP might not be the best choice due to its high fees, complexity, limited investment options, and potential loan risks. Other retirement savings vehicles like 401(k)s or IRAs often provide more benefits with fewer downsides. Understanding these differences is crucial in making an informed decision about your retirement planning. Contact us today for a free quote.

Request A Quote

Get help or a quote from a licensed financial professional. This service is free of charge.

Contact Us

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Shawn Plummer is a licensed financial professional, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

Scroll to Top