Are you ever too old to get life insurance? Not necessarily, but contrary to insurance salespeople, not everyone is a candidate for life insurance. There is also a lot of confusion around the difference between types of insurance such as term life and whole life insurance. Our goal is to take the confusion out of all your life insurance needs.
Many people do not understand whether or not they actually require life insurance. Most people try and avoid thinking about it and justify it by claiming they won’t need any money when they are dead. That is indeed true, but the bigger question is, “Will your spouse and or dependants need money?” If they answer is yes, you may be shopping for life insurance. The next question is what kind?
You can choose from term life insurance, whole life insurance, universal or variable universal life insurance, no-load life insurance and let’s not forget mortgage life insurance. This is a great way to have your mortgage paid off immediately if you die. This will mean your family can live mortgage free for as long as they own the house. With all the different types of life insurance policies, it no wonder most people choose not to do anything. Our goal is to take the mystery out of these policies so that you can make an informed decision.
The Different Types of Life Insurance
o Term Life Insurance: Term insurance is the backbone of most life insurance policies. You pay a fixed premium over a specified period of time. If you happen to die during that timeframe, the insurance company pays you the pre-determined amount. The issue with term life insurance is that if you don’t die within that period, the coverage ceases to exist and you are left with nothing. Another issue with term life insurance is that your premium can go up after a period of time. You can often buy another insurance policy after the term expires, the rate however will often be much higher.
o Whole Life Insurance: Unlike term insurance, whole life insurance covers you for your entire life. Basically, you pay a premium each month for the rest of your life. If you choose, you may cash in the policy while you are still alive and receive a lump sum amount. Whole life insurance policies have a face value and a cash value. The face value is the amount that is paid at death or policy maturity, the cash value is the amount you receive is you surrender the policy before you die or it matures.
o Universal Life Insurance: This type of insurance again is very different than the two above. This type of insurance policy takes your premiums and invests them into bonds, mortgages and money market funds. Your investment fund pays for the cost of the death benefit that is set when you purchase this life insurance. If your investment fund does poorly, the insurance company is on the hook to pay out a minimum guaranteed amount. This type of life insurance policy is a bit more flexible than the others because you can change the premiums and death benefits to fit your current budget. This type of flexibility is often popular with younger couples or families where circumstances can change quickly.
o Variable Universal Life Insurance: This type of insurance policy will depend heavily on how well your investment opportunities have done over the years. The better the investments do, the greater the death benefit payoff for you.
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o No-Load Life Insurance: Low-load or no-load life insurance often times has fewer expenses than a traditional life insurance policy. What this means for you is that more of your premium goes towards earning you more money rather than commissions and other expenses. Speak to your financial advisor as they will likely sells no-load or low-load life insurance policies for a flat fee versus a commission.
Once you have decided that you are going to buy life insurance, the next question you need to ask is,”How much?” We highly recommend that you speak with your financial advisor and accountant. They will be able to help you determine exactly the amount of cash your family will require to maintain their current standard of living if anything should ever happen to you. They will be able to help determine what kind of life insurance rate you can afford based on your current income and expenses.
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