As any financial advisor worth his or her salt will tell you, if you have loved ones who depend on your income, a life insurance policy is a must-have. If you were to die, an effective life insurance plan will ensure that all your family’s financial needs will be covered—from the monthly mortgage and utility bills to your child’s college education. Without life insurance, your family could find themselves in dire straits if something happened to you.
Unfortunately, this advice often falls on deaf ears. In 2008, 68 million Americans still did not have any life insurance, according to the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education. On top of that, most people who do have life insurance don’t have enough coverage to fully support their family.
If you do not own any life insurance or have minimal coverage, here are three things you might want to consider:
Everyone needs life insurance.
Many people mistakenly assume they have no need for life insurance because their children are grown and no longer require financial support. What these people don’t realize is that life insurance coverage can be used for much more than supporting their loved ones.
For example, the payout from your life insurance policy could be used to cover your final expenses, including medical bills, estate taxes and funeral expenses. Without life insurance coverage, your family will be expected to foot these bills. Considering that the average funeral costs $10,000 or more, do you want to leave this heavy financial burden on your loved ones’ shoulders?
You can also designate life insurance proceeds to help fund a grandchild’s college education or even donate them to your favorite charitable organization.
Three times your income may not be enough.
Some people say the best way to determine the amount of life insurance coverage you need is to simply multiply your annual income by three. However, this amount may not be enough. What if your spouse who is unable to work lives many more years after you die? Three years worth of income will not be nearly enough to support your spouse for another eight, ten or even 20 years.
This is why many professionals say the “three times your income” method is not always a good rule of thumb. Because each family faces a unique set of circumstances and needs, you should consider factors other than annual income. Figuring out the right amount life insurance requires a comprehensive evaluation of your financial goals, debts, investments, lifestyle and habits.
You’re never too old to buy life insurance.
Many seniors believe they are too old to worry about life insurance because they no longer have loved ones relying on their income. But once again, a life insurance policy can help cover your final expenses after you die so your family is not left with the bill.
Before you discount life insurance, it’s important to know all the facts. These valuable insurance policies can protect your family’s financial well-being, pay off your final expenses and even fund a loved one’s home purchase or college education.
Of course, whether or not you qualify and how much you will pay for life insurance depends on your age, health and the type of insurance you want to purchase. If you are considering buying life insurance, you may want to meet with a financial advisor or insurance agent, who can help you determine how much and what kind of life insurance you need.
One thing is certain: everyone should consider purchasing life insurance. After all, your family’s happiness could depend on it.