Washington and Maine Enact Strong Pro-Consumer Legislation to Require Education for Life Insurance Policyholders

Senior Citizens Advocate Applauds Education Requirement for Those With Unneeded Policies or Facing Economic Hardship; Other States Considering Similar Legislation

OAKLAND, CA--(Marketwire - July 21, 2009) - New legislation from the states of Washington and Maine is helping to broaden awareness of the life settlement industry, providing life insurance policyholders with an alternative to allowing a policy to lapse. Both pieces of legislation require that life insurance companies notify policyholders of the option to pursue life settlement when a policy is surrendered or if it enters into a grace period because of a late payment.

The Washington legislation will take effect on July 26th of this year, while Maine's version becomes law on September 11, 2009. Other states pursuing similar legislation include Oregon, Kentucky and Indiana.

"Many older Americans are facing difficult financial decisions, and life settlement can provide them with either welcome relief or -- in some cases -- a lifeline," said Eric Bachman, founder and CEO of senior citizen financial resource Golden Gateway Financial. "Unfortunately, many of those same consumers are still unaware that this compelling financial tool exists. We applaud this landmark effort by Washington and Maine to remedy this situation, and look forward to other states following their lead."

Life insurance is a nearly ubiquitous insurance product in America, with eighty percent of respondents to a recent survey stating that they owned some type of life insurance. However, more than 85 percent of all life insurance policies never pay a death benefit(1).

Life settlement is the practice of selling these existing but unneeded life insurance policies for cash. As part of a settlement, an investor offers a lump sum cash payment to a policyholder in exchange for assuming ownership of the policy and the payment of premiums. This product was originally created to serve wealthy individuals or corporate executives with multiple policies. Since then, it has evolved into a more mainstream financial tool accessible to almost any policyholder.

There are a number of reasons individuals might sell a policy, including when a policy is no longer needed, when it has become unaffordable, or when cash is needed to help fund retirement. It often makes sense for policyholders to engage a broker to find a funder because offers on the same policy can vary greatly. On average, life settlements provide 300 percent of the cash surrender value of a policy(2).

The Golden Gateway Financial website offers one of the industry's premier life settlement calculators. It is a simple, intuitive way to explore life settlement and learn how much a policy might be worth and how much can be saved by eliminating premium payments.

For more information on life settlement or to access the entire suite of Golden Gateway Financial retirement products and tools, including its life settlement and reverse mortgage calculators, please visit http://www.goldengateway.com.

About Golden Gateway Financial

Golden Gateway Financial (http://www.goldengateway.com), located in Oakland, California, is a comprehensive resource for senior citizens, baby boomers and soon-to-be retirees to assess their financial health at retirement. Through a unique set of online tools and clear and unbiased communication, the company helps individuals address "The Great American Retirement Dilemma." The tools enable users to better assess the security of their nest egg and to make intelligent choices to fully enjoy what should be the best years of their lives. The company also operates the industry's premier reverse mortgage and life settlement services with innovative new calculators and products for each, and a team of trained counselors to help seniors better understand the products and evaluate whether they are right for them.

(1) Understanding Life Settlements and Industry Issues Entering 2008, Insurance Studies Institute, 2008

(2) Data Collection Report 2006, Life Insurance Settlement Association (LISA)

Contact Information: Press Contact: Michael Azzano Cosmo Public Relations, Inc. 415.596.1978