Learn more about life insurance.
What is life insurance and why do I need it?
A death in the family is not only emotionally devastating, it can also take a tremendous toll on the future financial security of a family. Suddenly, without the deceased’s income, paying the mortgage or providing for a child's college education may become much more difficult.
Those who buy life insurance generally do so to help ensure their loved ones are taken care of financially. Life insurance is a promise by an insurance company to pay those who depend on you a sum of money upon your death. In return, you make periodic payments called premiums. Premiums can be based on factors such as age, gender, medical history and the dollar amount of the life insurance you purchase.
In the event of your passing, life insurance provides money directly to the individuals you select, your beneficiaries, who can use the money as they see fit, including:
Replacing lost income
Covering basic living expenses
Paying household debts, estate taxes and funeral expenses
Funding a child’s education
Supplementing retirement savings Kinds of life insurance can I get at work?
Life insurance comes in two main types – term and permanent – which may both be available through your workplace.
Term life insurance pays a specific lump sum to your loved ones, providing coverage for a specified period of time – usually from one to 20 years. If you stop paying premiums, the insurance stops. Term policies pay benefits if you die during the period covered by the policy, but they do not build cash value. They may also give you the option to port. That is, you can take the coverage with you if you leave your company.
Generally, you should consider a term life insurance policy to:
Get valuable coverage at an affordable price
Help cover specific financial responsibilities like a mortgage or college expenses
Supplement a permanent policy
Permanent life insurance policies do not expire. They are intended to protect your loved ones permanently, as long as you pay your premiums. Some permanent life insurance policies accumulate cash value. That means the value of the policy may grow each year, tax-deferred, until it matches the face value of the policy. The cash can generally be accessed via loans or withdrawals, and can be used for a variety of purposes. This type of policy is typically portable so coverage can continue if employment terminates.
Consider a permanent insurance policy if you want:
Protection for life
Payments that stay the same each year
To put additional money into the policy on a tax-favored basis
Cash value you can use while you are living
How much life insurance do I need?
While you won’t be able to pinpoint the amount you’ll need to the penny, you can make a sound estimate. Your goal should be to develop a life insurance plan that, following your death, will allow your family to live comfortably without your economic contribution. Also consider the effect of inflation over time. The amount needed for retirement or college 20 years from now is likely to be significantly higher than today.
To estimate the amount of life insurance your family would need, first calculate everything you now provide for your family including:
401(k) and retirement savings
Personal services you perform for your family, such as child care, cooking, home maintenance, etc.
Then, subtract your personal expenses including:
Annual spending on personal needs, such as food, clothing, entertainment, etc.
For complete plans and details, talk to our Agency