Many people make plans for their future; they plan where to attend college, what field they want to work in, what age they would like to settle down and get married or have children. But what about beyond these goals? What about the future of your family or loved ones should something ever happen to you unexpectedly? That it is why it is important to consider Life Insurance when planning for your future.
Life insurance is a means to provide financially for your loved ones when you are gone. The benefits can be used in a multitude of ways, so there are a few things to consider when determining how much Life insurance you will need.
The amount of Life insurance you select should be enough to provide for the current and future needs of your dependents. Dependents can include a working or non-working spouse (or partner), children, a special needs sibling or aging parents whom you provide care and financial support for. Establishing a Life insurance policy for yourself can help your dependents to:
- Cover the costs of funeral and burial expenses
- Help pay for estate taxes
- Pay off any outstanding debts, including credit card debt, vehicle or home loans, and student loans
- Pay for educational costs such as private schooling or college tuition
- Provide supplemental or replacement income
- Set aside funds for retirement expenses
- Cover medical expenses or child care
- Maintain their current or similar lifestyle
Even if you do not have a spouse, child, or other relative currently depending on you, one day you may. Getting a policy now when you are young and healthy can help you lock in lower rates. It can also help you to take care of other responsibilities, such as burial costs, so that loved ones don’t have to worry about such issues while grieving.
Once you have an idea of the amount of insurance you will need, you will next need to decide what type of Life insurance plan you want. Life insurance plans can be sorted into two main categories, Term Life insurance and Whole (or Permanent) Life insurance.
Term Life Insurance
Term Life insurance is one of the most common types of Life insurance policies and are typically offered by employers (but available for individual purchase). The insurance policy is guaranteed for a specified length of time, usually as 5, 10, 15, or 30-year terms. Term Life insurance policies can be renewed once the term has ended, but it is usually at a higher rate than before. Typically, a medical exam is not required in order to purchase a policy, unless you opt for coverage above a certain level. With Term Life insurance you pay a fixed rate until you reach a certain age, or a point within the term, when the rates are increased. The benefit amount may also decrease at this same point. Term Life insurance is beneficial for unexpected loss of life at an early age.
Whole Life Insurance
Whole, or permanent, Life insurance policies provide lifetime coverage. The policy begins when you purchase it, and lasts until you pass away, even if that is 45 years from now. It does not end as Term insurance does. Whole Life insurance policies also have an added benefit of accumulating cash value that you can borrow against; the longer you have it, the more “equity” you will have in it. For most individuals, it takes about 15 years to accumulate a significant cash value. Because of the extended length of the policy and cash value, Whole Life insurance can be more expensive than Term Life insurance. However, if you have a Whole Life insurance policy for a significantly longer time than a Term policy allows, you may actually save in premium costs, especially if you buy it early in life.
For more information about specific policies or to purchase a Term or Whole Life insurance policy, contact one of our agents today.