September is Life Insurance Awareness Month which gives us a reason to talk about a subject that some
try to avoid. Life insurance can conjure up dark images. Many people are jarred into realizing the
importance of buying life insurance after a close friend or family member has passed away or even
after hearing a news story about a tragic death that hit close to home. The reality is that we are all
mortal, and there very likely will come a time when your loved ones will be left to fend for themselves
without you. Consider these important questions to determine your need for life insurance.
How Will Your Loved Ones Live Without Your Income?
Many households are run on a paycheck to paycheck basis. Some people may have a modest amount of
savings, but it may take two incomes to pay the monthly bills. Your spouse and children may quickly
run out of money without your income to support them. Life insurance benefits are most commonly
used to supplement lost wages and to eliminate debts after an income-producing adult passes away. By
eliminating debts with insurance proceeds, your loved ones will need less money to live off of each
month. Some people will purchase enough insurance to pay off all outstanding debts including the
home mortgage. The surviving spouse may even be able to support the family through is or her income
alone after the debts have been eliminated. Others will purchase enough coverage so that the proceeds
can be invested to generate supplemental income.
How Will Your Spouse Be Able to Retire?
While some life insurance is needed to help your loved ones to survive on a monthly basis, you also
need to think about the future. Your income may currently be instrumental in your spouse’s ability to
fund a retirement account. Without your income, your spouse may be forced to work for many years
past the traditional retirement age. this can create an unnecessary hardship on him or her. It is wise to
purchase extra coverage to fund a retirement account.
Do Your Kids Need Financial Assistance Getting Their Adult Lives Started?
If you have kids, you may be well aware of their financial dependence on you, and this will often not
simply evaporate when they turn 18. Many children need financial assistance buying their first car,
paying for their wedding, paying for college and more. Some parents will purchase additional death
benefits so that their kids’ lives are not financially impacted by a death.
How Much Coverage Do You Need?
This is a complicated question that often requires you to create a solid financial plan for the future.
Funds can be used strategically in different ways, such as to purchase income-producing assets, to pay
off debts and more. Your current lifestyle, debts and assets all must be taken into account. It is wise to
work with an experienced life insurance expert to review your financial needs.
Death is something that can unfortunately happen at any time. Some people will live well into their 90s
or beyond, but others have a life that is cut short far too soon. Because you cannot predict what will
happen or when life insurance benefits will be needed, it can be a smart decision to purchase
coverage as soon as possible.
This material was created for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as
ERISA, tax, legal or investment advice. If you are seeking investment advice specific to you needs,
such advice services must be obtained on your own separate from this educational material.