Don’t panic. I am not launching into a macabre treatise on your responsibilities to those you leave behind after your own untimely death. There will be no icky sales pitches laced with morbid sentiment. No big-eyed babies who never got to college because no one planned properly. No guilt, either.
Instead, we are simply taking a look at an insurance classic: life insurance. In a future post or two, we will discuss the different types of life insurance, how these products are designed, who they suit. We will look at the application process. You probably already have a pretty good idea about the purpose of life insurance; it may make you uncomfortable. The whole subject is kind of, well, uncomfortable.
But it doesn’t have to be. Most of us actually need some kind of life insurance. Most of us feel better knowing that, should the worst happen, our loved ones will be okay, at least financially okay. And we can leave something to the local chapter of the Humane Society or our church or school. Our kids!
Keep in mind, too, that in many households today, both incomes are counted on, right from the start. This means both income earners need to make arrangements to replace that income should either or both die – and here’s the term we all hate, but it fits – ‘prematurely’. Obviously, life insurance doesn’t grant immortality. It’s more of a damage control device. It conserves resources, lessens the fallout, prepares the way in a crisis. It’s grown up and thoughtful. And – wonder of wonders – there is no federal income tax on life insurance benefits!
So who needs it? Here we go: you need it if
- You are married
- You are married with kids
- You are a single parent
- You are a stay-at-home parent
- You have grown children
- You are retired
- You are a small business owner
- You are single
(Sorry! Could not resist this last ad. But remember, we women outlive men, by five years or more. Planning makes sense!)