Nobody I have ever met wants to discuss life insurance; however, it is a fact of life (nobody gets out of here alive). As a responsible adult, the topic does bear pondering. Besides which, every year that I put this off, the more expensive it gets, the more my health can change, the greater the chance that I might even pick up some bad habit that precludes me from coverage (ie. gaining weight, smoking, etc).
Recently, I had a discussion with my daughter who told me that her husband had increased the limits on their life insurance policies after their second child was born. Wow, now that was a thoughtful husband! A wonderful event such as a birth of a child is definitely a trigger for the need to purchase life insurance or increasing the coverage that you already have. Other triggers to be mindful of are engagements, weddings or purchasing a home.
My husband used to sell life insurance so I know some very practical aspects of this subject. When the head of a household, as known as “the breadwinner”, used to say that he or she was young, in good health and didn’t need to think about life insurance, my husband used to tell him to call the night prior to their anticipated demise so as to insure the security of the family they would leave behind. OK, maybe not so funny, but, seriously, what about the families we leave behind? Without life insurance will they be able to remain in their homes? Who will provide for them in terms of clothing, food and shelter when we are gone? What about other disruptions? Can they continue to go to the same schools, daycare, and houses of worship? Will they be deprived of the support systems developed over years just at the time they will need them the most?
What about if we were to become disabled or very ill ? The possibility of our death still exists; however, the eroding of assets to pay for ongoing care is now primary. Most people do not even think about this situation let alone plan in advance for a financial solution. Some Life insurance policies have cash values and, in a pinch, we might be able to take a loan or partial surrender on an existing policy to see us through a rough financial patch. Of course, this option would reduce any applicable death benefit; however, it is still a source of cash should the need arise. In addition, there are life insurance policies that can ensure that we are able to remain in our homes for this long term care that many do not even know exists. For more detailed information, read about these options in our blogs on Assest Based Life Insurance or Accelerated Death Benefit Rider
If you are thinking about this subject, we strongly suggest that you contact your insurance agent to find out the type of policy that best fits your needs and your budget. Life insurance can do so much more than what we traditionally think of it doing.
By Karen Skoler, CPCU