September is Life Insurance Awareness Month which gives us a reason to talk about a subject that some try to avoid. Life insurance can conjure up dark images. Many people are jarred into realizing the importance of buying life insurance after a close friend or family member has passed away or even after hearing a news story about a tragic death that hit close to home. The reality is that we are all mortal, and there very likely will come a time when your loved ones will be left to fend for themselves without you. Consider these important questions to determine your need for life insurance.
How Will Your Loved Ones Live Without Your Income?
Many households are run on a paycheck to paycheck basis. Some people may have a modest amount of savings, but it may take two incomes to pay the monthly bills. Your spouse and children may quickly run out of money without your income to support them. Life insurance benefits are most commonly used to supplement lost wages and to eliminate debts after an income-producing adult passes away. By eliminating debts with insurance proceeds, your loved ones will need less money to live off of each month. Some people will purchase enough insurance to pay off all outstanding debts including the home mortgage. The surviving spouse may even be able to support the family through his or her income alone after the debts have been eliminated. Others will purchase enough coverage so that the proceeds can be invested to generate supplemental income.
How Will Your Spouse Be Able to Retire?
While some life insurance is needed to help your loved ones to survive on a monthly basis, you also need to think about the future. Your income may currently be instrumental in your spouse’s ability to fund a retirement account. Without your income, your spouse may be forced to work for many years past the traditional retirement age. this can create an unnecessary hardship on him or her. It is wise to purchase extra coverage to fund a retirement account.
Do Your Kids Need Financial Assistance Getting Their Adult Lives Started?
If you have kids, you may be well aware of their financial dependence on you, and this will often not simply evaporate when they turn 18. Many children need financial assistance buying their first car, paying for their wedding, paying for college and more. Some parents will purchase additional death benefits so that their kids’ lives are not financially impacted by a death.
How Much Coverage Do You Need?
This is a complicated question that often requires you to create a solid financial plan for the future. Funds can be used strategically in different ways, such as to purchase income-producing assets, to pay off debts and more. Your current lifestyle, debts and assets all must be taken into account. It is wise to work with an experienced life insurance expert to review your financial needs.
Death is something that can unfortunately happen at any time. Some people will live well into their 90s or beyond, but others have a life that is cut short far too soon. Because you cannot predict what will happen or when life insurance benefits will be needed, it can be a smart decision to purchase coverage as soon as possible.