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Do you know if your family would have the financial resources to maintain their standard of living if something happened to you? According to the Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association, approximately 60 percent of Americans lack individual life insurance coverage and 33 percent have no life insurance protection whatsoever.1
The very thought of premature death may make you worry about the changes your family would need to make if your income were no longer available. A good way to protect your family’s future is with life insurance.
Life insurance provides protection from financial loss if you or a family member dies prematurely. Each situation is different, but life insurance is commonly used for final expenses, taking care of dependents and continuing business activities. Final expenses may include an illness, burial expenses, legal fees or outstanding debts.
Life insurance is especially helpful if your family exists on a single income. Life insurance helps families maintain their current lifestyles. Mortgages, college education and your spouse’s retirement are all benefits that may be paid for by life insurance. Also, if you own a business, life insurance can help ensure your family or business partners will not be left with outstanding debts.
Although coverage amounts vary from person to person, most financial planners agree you should have at least five to seven times your annual salary in life insurance. It’s best to invest in life insurance early because the older you get, the more expensive life insurance gets.
Some employers provide group life insurance, but no one should rely solely on this type of coverage. Employee group life insurance protects you while you are an employee, but may disappear if you lose or leave your job.
There are two main types of life insurance protection: term and whole life insurance. Term life insurance provides protection for a specific period of time and is used to fill a temporary need, such as covering a mortgage or sending a child to college. Term insurance typically offers the greatest amount of coverage for the lowest initial premium and may be a good choice for families on a tight budget.
Whole life insurance offers lifelong protection and allows you to accumulate cash value and equity. This type of coverage is used to fill long term needs, such as income replacement. Unlike term life insurance, the premiums stay the same over the years and you have the option to stop making payments in later years.
Life insurance is too valuable to ignore. If you don’t currently have life insurance, don’t wait to protect your family’s future. If you have life insurance, re-evaluate your needs. Examining your life insurance needs every few years is a good idea because changes and events in your life may alter the amount of coverage you need. To help you decide what life insurance policy is right for you, contact a life insurance professional or a financial planner.
Editorial provided by Michael Basile, Financial Representative at COUNTRY® Financial in Chicago. (PD1211)