Life Insurance – do you have enough?

mother walking with childrenProtect your loved ones when they need it most


What would happen to your family, financially, if you were to die unexpectedly? It’s a tough question to face. If you don’t have life insurance, or think you may not have enough, it isn’t one you should put off. Don’t wait – get a life insurance checkup from General Southwest.


Did you know that more than 80% of Americans overestimate the cost of life insurance?
Many people put off buying life insurance because they think they can’t afford it. Another common myth is that the plan you have through your job is enough. Even if you have life insurance through your employer, it probably isn’t enough to provide for your family should something happen to you.


How much life insurance do you need?
To find the right amount of coverage, it’s important to weigh your dependents’ current lifestyle and spending needs against their future sources of income and assets. Based on some basic financial information, such as your current annual gross salary, the number of years you have until retirement and your short-term and long-term expenses, we can help you figure out how much benefit your family will need to replace this lost income should something happen to you. Curious to know? Use this quick Life Insurance Calculator for an estimate.


When is the best time to buy life insurance?
When you’re young and healthy, life insurance may seem like an unnecessary expense. But as you age, the cost of coverage increases, particularly if you develop any medical issues. Some health conditions may make it impossible to get life insurance at any price. If you lock in a good rate in your 20s or 30s, you’ll be protected no matter what happens down the road.


What types of policies are available?
If others depend on you for financial support, part of your financial plan should include how you’ll provide for them in the event of your death. Purchasing a life insurance policy is a safety net that ensures your loved ones’ future financial obligations are met, including funeral costs, outstanding debt, estate taxes and everyday living expenses. You should also consider other needs, such as college tuition, that will be more difficult to afford if you aren’t around to contribute.

There are two basic types of life insurance: term life insurance and permanent life insurance. The type of life insurance that best suits you will depend on your unique needs. To help you decide, we’ve covered the basics:

Option 1: Term Life Insurance
Just as its name implies, term life insurance covers you for a specific period of time that you choose. Since it offers a death benefit but no cash value, term life insurance is an inexpensive way to protect your beneficiaries for a specified period of time.

This type of insurance is ideal for those who have a temporary need for life insurance protection, for those who need a large amount of insurance protection but have limited cash, and for those with specific business needs, such as additional coverage for a key employee.

Renewal term life insurance can be renewed at the end of the term, at the option of the policyholder and without evidence of insurability, for a limited number of successive terms. It can also be converted, or exchanged for a permanent insurance policy, without evidence of insurability down the road.

With term life insurance, once the term expires, your coverage ceases and the policy has no further value. It’s important to note that rates generally increase along with the insured’s age. (Read more about term life insurance.)

Option 2: Permanent Life Insurance
Permanent life insurance is any form of life insurance other than term. These policies combine term life insurance with a long-term, tax-sheltered savings plan.

Whole life is the most basic type of permanent life insurance. It provides coverage that lasts a lifetime and also builds up a cash value that you can borrow against, withdraw or use to pay future premiums.

A life insurance policy with a cash value is ideal for those who have a lifetime need for insurance protection, prefer stable premiums over the life of the policy, want a policy that allows them to build tax-deferred values and value the high degree of coverage the policy affords. With permanent life insurance, it may also be possible to add a long-term care rider, which can cover some of the costs if you become disabled due to illness, injury or advanced age. (Read more about Long Term Care Insurance.)

While rates for a whole life insurance policy remain stable over the life of the policy, premiums are initially more costly than for term insurance.


Why wait to show them you love them?
This month, give yourself and your loved ones the gift of life insurance. Regardless of whether you choose a term or permanent life insurance policy, both can give you protection and peace of mind knowing you have coverage when you need it most. Visit our website to learn more.

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