“Fun is like life insurance; the older you get the more it costs.” – ‘Kin’ Hubbard
This September, Life Insurance Awareness Month, we at The Aging at Home Association want to encourage you to consider life insurance as a valuable addition to your financial plan. Half of Americans have NO life insurance policy in place and this is in part due to misconceptions about cost and qualification requirements, as well as misunderstandings of policy options. Here, we outline the different varieties of life insurance and how these options can support a sense of security and financial stability throughout retirement and beyond.
Broadly, life insurance policies fall into one of two categories: term life insurance and permanent life insurance, with a variety of policy types and options within each of these broad categorizations. Let’s review some of the most common options below:
Term Life Insurance: These policies last for a specified number of years. If you live past the set time frame, your beneficiaries will not receive a payout. These policies tend to be less expensive than whole life policies, but policyholders risk paying premiums without a payout to beneficiaries upon death.
Permanent Life Insurance: These policies will last for your entire life, as long as you continue to pay premiums.
- Whole Life Insurance: Whole Life policies are often seen as ‘set it and forget it’. Policyholders are guaranteed a payout, in the amount of their selected death benefit, as long as premiums are paid, and these policies build cash value over time. Premiums typically remain level and guaranteed for the life of the policy.
- Variable Life Insurance: Variable life policies have cash value tied to investment accounts. Policyholders are guaranteed a payout; however, the cash value of the policy can change due to market conditions. Premiums are fixed.
- Universal Life Insurance: Universal Life policies guarantee premiums will stay the same for the life of the policy and beneficiaries will receive the death benefit; however, unlike whole and variable life policies, these policies do not accumulate cash value.
Nearly half of families report they would expect financial hardship within six months should an income-earning family member pass away, and one in four families, would struggle within one month. Life insurance can help to offset financial hardships during these emotionally trying times. With the majority of Americans overestimating life insurance costs, it can be useful to speak with a licensed agent or a trusted financial advisor to better understand your options, what you can afford for coverage, and what would benefit you and your loved ones most. One option from HCG Secure, GTL Life Select, is a whole life insurance benefit – inclusive of accelerated death benefits. Which means, if you are diagnosed with a chronic condition or a terminal illness, you can access this life insurance policy while you are still living! Plus, it includes a number of planning tools, discounts, and resources to help ease the burden on family members as you age and require more care. Regardless of which type of product makes most sense for you, getting a policy and a plan in place will allow you greater security and peace of mind. Speak to a licensed Agent and/or Financial Advisor now to learn more!