Should you switch from the traditional endowment plan to a mutual fund?

In spite of being a financial planner and helping people invest and understand investments, it took me a long time to convince my husband to stop paying his endowment plan and invest the equal amount in the term-insurance and good equity oriented mutual fund.

It is just not him, 9 out of 10 people own an endowment insurance plan rather than a term insurance plan. The only reason for the same is to get their invested money in return.

Further, even after knowing that the endowment plan is not a wise investment choice, they are not convinced to surrender the insurance policy because they do not want to bear the loss on surrender.

We have tried to make your decision of switching much easier by calculating the actual loss that you might incur on surrendering the insurance policy versus the benefit of investing the premium amounts in the mutual funds.

To make it easier for you, I have tabulated below the gains that one would receive in both the scenarios to help you take a smart decision.

Scenario 1 – You continue to invest in the endowment plans such as Jeevan Labh or Jeevan Anand from LIC. (this is purely for an example purpose)

Total Premium over 35                           8,40,700
Maturity value after 35 years                        12,20,000
Total Gains from Insurance                           3,79,300
CAGR1.1%

Scenario 2 – You withdraw the insurance premium amount and invest the same into mutual funds. You would also incur an additional cost of buying a term Insurance which would give you a cover of 1 Crore for INR 1200 per month.

Total Investments     8,13,551
Value at the end of the term  41,06,447
Total Gains from Mutual Funds   32,92,896
CAGR5.5%

For detailed working of the above 2 tables and how we arrived at those numbers, refer to surrender of an endowment plan vs investing in mutual funds (working).

We have attached the excel sheet here for your own calculation. Just change the numbers in the boxes highlighted in pink, the sheet would compute the gains value and CAGR in each scenario. The same shall help you take a decision of whether you should stay invested in an endowment plan or move out your money and invest in an equity mutual fund.

These decisions are very case specific and factors such as risk-taking ability play a huge rule in deciding the movement. Never forget the following base rules before making the switch:

  • Understand your risk taking capacity.
  • An equity mutual fund is very volatile in short-term, investments in them are made from a long-term goal of 10+ years for the best results.
  • Where you cannot bear the risk, it is best to consult your financial advisor, who shall guide you in the same.

This transition is easier and profitable in the first few years of insurance premium has been paid. If you plan to move after 10-12 years of paying insurance premium it will generally not be profitable. The premium amount lost on surrendering the policy would be higher as compared to what you can receive in the balance tenure in mutual fund investments.

Please note the assumptions and explanations provided in the excel sheet for the computation of gain numbers and do your analysis accordingly.

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