A lot of people are turned off by life insurance coverage simply because they’re not aware they have choices. The high cost of permanent life insurance and the complexities involved with the commitment end of it make getting life insurance coverage seem a bit too much like a chore. But the fact is, life insurance protection comes in various shapes and sizes, and depending on whether you’re shopping for individual or family insurance plans, your search can yield significantly different results.
Before you set your sights on a life insurance carrier, you have to to determine if the policies they’re offering align with your needs. When it comes to shopping for a life insurance policy, there are two all-important terms that you have to familiarize yourself with: term life insurance and whole life insurance.
So, what the heck is the difference between the two?
The premise behind term life insurance is that it protects your loved ones by replacing your income in the event of your death. Children have no dependents, so typically, child term life insurance is not the best investment choice.
However, when you purchase term life insurance for yourself and your spouse, you are really purchasing it for the security and well being of your children. In many cases, if it was just you and your spouse, you could survive if something happened to one of you. Term life insurance is about securing your spouse’s future at the same standard of living in the event of your death and, most importantly, protecting and caring for your children financially even after you are gone.
Life insurance plans—just like families—come in many different shapes and sizes. It helps to understand the basic types of life insurance policies before you select the one that will best fit your budget and protect your family in case anything should happen to you.
Term Life Insurance Plans
The most basic—and most affordable—life insurance plan is term life insurance coverage. You purchase this coverage for a specific period of time. If you die while the term life insurance is in force, your beneficiary will receive the full amount of the policy. If you ever stop paying into the plan, you will lose any coverage, and the money you paid in.
Whole Life Insurance Policy
When you purchase a whole life insurance policy, you will pay set premiums through the life of the policy. Your insurance company will invest the money and whenever you pass, your beneficiary will receive the full amount of the policy. You may also receive dividends from your investment in a whole life insurance policy.
Gerber Life has a variety of life insurance plans to fit your family’s needs. Contact us for more information on life insurance plans.
A term life insurance plan is a good way to provide peace-of-mind, knowing that your loved ones will have the income they need to maintain their current standard of living if you die. Losing a spouse or parent is hard enough without financial concerns during this difficult time.
To determine exactly how much term life insurance coverage you’ll need, follow these steps.
- Discuss your burial wishes with your loved one and estimate funeral expenses, typically between $5,000 and $15,000.
- Calculate your debt, including your mortgage. Your family will be able to live on less if they can pay off all outstanding debt in one lump sum from your life insurance settlement.
- Include college education for your children. Estimate college costs to rise by about 5 percent per year. If your child intends to work to pay for part of school, you may get away with slightly less.
- In most cases, you won’t need to replace 100 percent of your income, especially if your spouse works as well and you’re already paying for childcare. Instead, estimate amounts totaling 50 percent of your pre-tax earnings until your retirement.
- Subtract income from other sources to get a final term life insurance coverage estimate. Any investments you have that your spouse can tap into (not counting retirement accounts) can help defray life insurance costs.
You’ll want to reassess your term life insurance coverage requirements over time, as your debt drops, your salary rises, or if your family or living conditions change. Look for a flexible policy that permits you to change the amount of coverage over time.