We know this Life Insurance topic is not intriguing or tantalizing. Potentially it’s not even something you want to think about. What if you took just a few minutes to explore some basics about Life Insurance?
We all know that we aren’t wired to think about our own deaths. Yet, Life Insurance could be the most important financial question you answer for you and your family.
In our blog this week we’re focused on who actually needs Life Insurance. Next week we will look at two more questions – how much you need and what kind to buy.
Do I need life insurance?
If someone depends on you financially, chances are you need life insurance. That could be spouse and/or children, support for aging parents, or to protect a business partner.
Most families depend on two incomes to make ends meet. If you died suddenly, could your family maintain their standard of living on your spouse's income alone? Probably not. Life insurance makes sure that your plans for the future don't die when you do.
You're a Single Parent
As a single parent, you're the caregiver, breadwinner, cook, chauffeur, and so much more. Yet nearly 4 in 10 single parents have no life insurance whatsoever, and many with coverage say they need more. With so much responsibility resting on your shoulders, you need to make doubly sure that you have enough life insurance to safeguard your children's financial future
You're a Stay-At-Home Parent
Just because you don't earn a salary doesn't mean you don't make a financial contribution to your family. Childcare, transportation, cleaning, cooking and other household activities are all important tasks, the replacement value of which is often severely underestimated. Some surveys have estimated the value of these services at over $40,000 per year. Could your spouse afford to pay someone for these services? With life insurance, your family can afford to make the choice that best preserves their quality of life.
Your Kids Are Self-supporting and Your Mortgage is Paid Off
As the years go by, you may feel your need for life insurance has passed. But just because the kids are through college and the mortgage is paid off doesn't necessarily mean that Social Security and your savings will take care of whatever lies ahead. If you died today, your spouse will still be faced with daily living expenses. What if your spouse outlives you by 10, or even 30 years, which is certainly possible today. Would your financial plan, without life insurance, enable your spouse to maintain the lifestyle you worked so hard to achieve? And would you be able to pass on something to your children or grandchildren?
Did you know that depending on the size of your estate, your heirs could be hit with a large estate tax payment after you die (up to 48% of your estate depending on your state). The proceeds of a life insurance policy are payable immediately, allowing heirs to take care of estate taxes, funeral costs, and other debts without having to hastily liquidate other assets, often at a fraction of their true value. And life insurance proceeds are generally income tax free and can be arranged to avoid probate. Finally, if your insurance program is properly structured, the proceeds from your life insurance policy won't add to your estate tax liability
Most single people don't need life insurance because no one depends on them financially. But there are exceptions. For instance, some single people provide financial support for aging parents or siblings. Others may be carrying significant debt that they wouldn't want to pass on to family members who survive them. If you're in these types of situations, you should own life insurance because you wouldn't want your loved ones to be burdened financially in the event of your premature death.
You're a Small Business Owner
Besides taking care of your family, life insurance can also protect your business. What would happen to your business if you, one of your fellow owners, or perhaps a key employee, died tomorrow? Life insurance can help in a number of ways. For instance, a life insurance policy can be structured to fund a "buy-sell" agreement. This would ensure that the remaining business owners have the funds to buy the company interests of a deceased owner at a previously agreed upon price. That way, the owners get the business and the family gets the money. To protect a business in case of the death of a key employee, "key person insurance," payable to the company, provides the owners with the financial flexibility needed to either hire a replacement or work out an alternative arrangement.
Two more important questions about Life Insurance are:
- How much do I need?
- What kind should I buy?
We will be answering those questions next week. Please join us.
Dean and Draper
Our intent is to give you good, solid information about Life Insurance; answer your questions; and provide choices for your policies. Want to know more? Please contact Jerry Linville, 281-794-3783.
Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients. ContactUs.
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