Life insurance may be one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make.
It’s a subject no one really wants to think about. But if someone depends on you financially, it’s one you cannot avoid. In the event of a tragedy, life insurance proceeds can:
- Pay for funeral costs
- Help pay the bills and meet ongoing living expenses
- Pay off outstanding debt, including credit cards and the mortgage
- Continue a family business
- Finance future needs like your children’s education
- Protect a spouse’s retirement plans
If someone will suffer financially when you die, chances are you need life insurance because it provides cash to your family after your death.
This cash, known as the death benefit, replaces your income and can help your family meet many important financial needs like funeral costs, daily living expenses and college funding. What’s more, there is no federal income tax on life insurance benefits.
Term Insurance, the most affordable type of insurance when initially purchased, is designed to meet temporary needs. It provides protection for a specific period of time (the “term”) and generally pays a benefit only if you die during that term. This type of insurance often makes sense when you have a need for coverage that will disappear at a specific point in time. For instance, you may decide that you only need coverage until your children graduate from college or a particular debt is paid off, such as your mortgage
Permanent insurance, provides lifelong protection. As long as you pay the premiums and no loans, withdrawals, or surrenders are taken, the full amount will be paid. Because it is designed to last a lifetime, permanent life insurance accumulates cash value and is priced for you to keep it over a long period of time. It’s impossible to say which type of life insurance is better because the kind of coverage that’s right for you depends on your unique circumstances and financial goals. Often, a combination of term and permanent insurance is the right solution.