“One size fits” all may apply to a lot of things, but not something as important as life insurance.
“Why you need it, and how much you need, depends on your obligations and priorities,” says State Farm Agent Melanie Bakala. “Your concerns are likely different from those of your neighbors or friends.”
Because life insurance can have a big impact on both your loved ones and your finances, the topic can be intimidating. To make it easier for you to assess your life insurance needs, here are four thought-starters.
Who do you want to protect?
Life insurance is often thought of as a way to protect loved ones by providing for final expenses, estate taxes, etc. But let’s think beyond that. Who else depends on you and your income?
Do you have young children at home?
“Life insurance can help provide the money for day care now and an education for the future,” says Bakala. “If your kids are older, your insurance can help cover tuition payments.”
Are you responsible for your parents? If you’re contributing to the care of an elderly relative, you should consider how those healthcare bills will be paid if you or your partner passes away suddenly.
What do you want to protect?
If you have a mortgage, adequate life insurance can help your family stay in the home and maintain their standard of living.
Even if you don’t have a mortgage, there are probably other assets that you want to protect. Life insurance can help your family keep up with car payments or protect your spouse from having to dip into retirement funds earlier than anticipated.
If you’re a business owner, life insurance can help the company you built continue after you’re gone.
Do you want to leave something behind?
Perhaps you would like your legacy to help the next generation live more comfortably. Life insurance can help you do that.
Life insurance can continue your contributions to your favorite charity, because some policies allow you to name an organization as your beneficiary.
What’s your personal financial plan?
So far, we’ve focused on what life insurance provides after your death. But did you know permanent life insurance policies can build cash value1 you can use during your lifetime? Many people appreciate knowing they have access to living benefits, as needed, through loans and withdrawals. So it pays to think about your finances in their entirety when you consider the benefits of life insurance.
If you’d like to talk about your personal life insurance needs and see what options are available, your local State Farm® agent is here to help.
1 Unpaid loans and withdrawals will reduce the death benefit and policy cash value. Loans also accrue interest. Permanent life insurance develops cash value that can be borrowed. Policy loans accrue interest and unpaid policy loans and interest will reduce the death benefit and cash value of the policy. The amount of cash value available will generally depend on the type of permanent policy purchased, the amount of coverage purchased, paid premiums, the length of time the policy has been in force and any outstanding policy loans. There may be tax consequences associated with policy loans. State Farm agents do not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult your tax or legal advisor regarding your specific circumstance.
Featured photo credit: Chris Hamilton