I think I might understand what your friend is doing, because I do the same thing.
I own multiple WL policies to serve as my "tax-free liiquid bond" account.
Death will occur, so this is covered with the benefit. The cash is liquid and I use it for investment opportunities or low-interest loans for capital purchases.
The Roth IRA is chassied from life insurance, and traditonal IRAs follow the annuity concept.