As much as we try to prepare for them, tragic events like death or disability sometimes strike. When faced with such a situation, insurance can protect policy holders and their families from undue hardship. For this reason, a variety of insurance coverage is essential to any comprehensive financial plan.
Insurance planning is best when tailored to fit its owner’s personal situation: whether designed for a single person or family; professional or seasonal employees; executive or small business owner, everyone can benefit from an appropriately customized plan.
Life insurance is more than planning for the security of one’s loved ones: it can be a cornerstone in any multi-generational financial strategy.
Life insurance can provide financial resources in a number of concrete ways, from immediate expenses such as hospital bills to income replacement and assistance in settling outstanding debts. It can also help with estate planning and charitable contributions. Furthermore, some forms of life insurance enjoy tax advantages, and so can be an ideal addition to any financial plan. In the event of death, life insurance offers surviving family members increased financial resources. As a tax-free lump sum payment, the so-called ‘death benefit’ can pay for final expenses and debts, as well as provide income for the deceased’s dependents.
There are two main ways to organize life insurance policies: term insurance and permanent insurance.
Term Insurance involves paying a premium to secure a death benefit payment to beneficiaries. It provides protection for a specified period and is usually renewable. There are several different kinds of term life insurance, including Level Term, Annual Renewable Term, Decreasing Term, and Return of Premium life insurance.
Permanent Insurance involves comparatively high premiums at first, but costs may drop significantly over the long term. Furthermore, some permanent insurance plans include a cash value, and associated tax-advantaged borrowing privileges. There are several kinds of permanent life insurance, including Variable Life, Whole Life, and Universal Life coverage.
The advantages of life insurance include:
- An instant estate for loved ones at a time when funds are most needed
- Death benefits are generally non-taxable
- Life insurance plans with a cash value component offer tax-advantaged borrowing opportunities
- Some plans allow policy-holders to invest the cash value or death benefit in sub-accounts containing stocks, bonds, or other investments
- Gain tax advantages and help support a charitable interest through a charitable life insurance program
Help guard against the impacts of an unexpected event through long-term care and disability insurance.
Unfortunately, present forms of federal and state-sponsored health care programs do not comprehensively cover long-term care. Medicare generally offers temporary assistance, while Medicaid, which varies by state, may require out of pocket expenses and very low levels of asset value before public assistance becomes available.
Long-term care and disability insurance
Income is important for both current financial obligations (e.g. grocery bills and mortgage payments) and for future financial resources (e.g. planning for a child’s education or for retirement). Just think what might happen if an income stream was lost through a long-term illness or disability.Long-term care and disability insurance products help protect the ability to earn an income, which can be affected by a disability or other condition.
Advantages of long-term care and disability insurance products include:
- Helping maintain financial independence, lifestyle and long-term financial resources in the event income is impacted by disability
The two major types of disability insurance are Own Occupation Disability Insurance and Loss of Earning Disability Insurance. Own occupation disability insurance covers the ability of a disabled person to work in their own occupation, but may allow work in another job. Loss of earnings disability insurance provides payment for the percentage of income lost due to a disability.
This material contains only general descriptions and is not a solicitation to sell any insurance product or security, nor is it intended as any financial or tax advice. For information about specific insurance needs or situations, contact your insurance agent. This article is intended to assist in educating you about insurance generally and not to provide personal service. They may not take into account your personal characteristics such as budget, assets, risk tolerance, family situation or activities which may affect the type of insurance that would be right for you. In addition, state insurance laws and insurance underwriting rules may affect available coverage and its costs. Guarantees are based on the claims paying ability of the issuing company. If you need more information or would like personal advice you should consult an insurance professional. You may also visit your state’s insurance department for more information.