Starting a new career? Getting ready to retire? Starting a family? It's simply a fact that everyone goes through different stages in life. For this reason, it's important that you consider how these stages can affect your need for life insurance.
The following answers address hypothetical life insurance questions that people could have at five particular stages in life. Perhaps one of them fits your current situation!
Young adult and single
Q: I'm a recent college graduate working at an entry-level job in order to gain experience in my field and earn a better living in the future. I have student loans and an auto loan that my parents cosigned. Money is tight, but I want to be sure that if something happens to me, my parents aren't stuck with my debt. I'd also like to be able to save some money for the future. What type of life insurance may be the best choice for a single individual like me?
A: Permanent life insurance, such as whole or universal life, may be an option if you want a policy that won't expire (as long as your premium payments are maintained) and with the potential to earn cash value over time that you can use for future expenses. Rates can be much more affordable when you're young and healthy.
The newly married
Q: I'm a newlywed and my spouse and I have a small amount of life insurance through work. However, what we have isn't enough. What can we do if our employer-sponsored benefits aren't sufficient and we don't have an option to increase our coverage?
A: Employer-sponsored life insurance benefits are good to have, but they are often small, limited coverage policies. If you are unable to increase your coverage, then look for a policy outside of work in addition to what you have through your employer. A representative from a reputable life insurance company or an insurance agent can help you determine your needs and provide a variety of policy options and rates.
A growing family
Q: With a new baby on the way, we need to increase our life insurance. What's the best way to calculate how much additional coverage we may need?
A: A reputable life insurance company representative or life insurance agent can conduct a needs analysis to help you estimate how much coverage you should have. You can also use Protective's Life Insurance Calculator for a quick and easy way to help estimate your needs.
A change in marital status
Q: I'm a recent divorcee with a life insurance policy that lists my ex-spouse as the primary beneficiary. Since I have no children, can I name another family member as my beneficiary?
A: Yes. It's your policy so you can name another family member or even an organization as beneficiary. The important thing to remember is to make the time to update your life insurance, retirement/bank accounts, and other important documents.
Time to retire
Q: My spouse and I are over age 65 and have managed to set aside a good bit of savings. At this stage in our lives, we anticipate living a comfortable lifestyle for as long as our retirement lasts. However, we'd like to have a small life insurance policy specifically to cover our final expenses so that our children aren't burdened with them after we're gone. Is it possible to get a type of senior life insurance at our age?
A: Senior life insurance (also known as burial or final expense insurance) is typically purchased by older Americans to cover funeral costs and other final expenses. Policy benefit limits will vary between insurers, but typically, they'll be lower than most traditional policies. The reason for the lower death benefit is because they're meant to cover a specific purpose - your final expenses - not to replace your income.
As with most life insurance plans, there is generally some form of underwriting in order to qualify you for coverage and to determine your premium. Life insurance for seniors is typically offered two ways - either simplified or guaranteed issue. Both of these policies will require that you complete some type of a medical questionnaire/application, even if you aren't required to have a medical exam.
If you have questions about life insurance, give the experts at Protective Life a call. We'll help you find the right policy to meet your needs, no matter your stage in life.