There are times in our lives when we need to start looking at purchasing a life insurance policy. These are events that can make a difference in our lifestyles, spending habits and social habits as well. And many times these changes do not only affect us, but our loved ones and business associates as well.
With that in mind, here is a list of times when you should start to seriously look at life insurance.
1. Married or getting married. This is a no-brainer for most people. Becoming a spouse means that, for most people, purchases and financial decisions will be made jointly. Homes, cars, and other large purchases will typically be in both names, as well as credit cards, bank accounts and various other items. Should one spouse die too soon or unexpectedly, the surviving spouse will be obligated to pay off any debts.
A friend of mine was widowed several years ago only to find out that his deceased wife still had a balance on a credit card he was unaware of. In his state, he was legally obligated to pay off her debt. Luckily for him, it was not a lot of money, but if it had been it could have affected his credit poorly.
2. Parent or about to become one. A comedian once said that kids are like really expensive pets. Nothing could be truer. The estimated amount of money to raise a child in this county varies from around $175,000 to $250,000, depending on which study you read. No matter which source you choose to use, the numbers are high. And if you are planning to pay for education costs, the numbers can be increased from 50-100%, depending on the school your child attends.
When I sit with a parent and discuss their life insurance needs we take into consideration the costs of raising a child as part of the overall plan. A single parent could be burdened with a huge financial issue which can be easily avoided with a life insurance policy.
3. Purchasing a home. While most people think of buying a home as a good thing, it can be a huge expense. Maintenance, repairs, taxes, insurance and other expenditures will sneak up on many new homeowners. Again, why leave your significant other with shouldering all of those expenses when it can clearly be avoided.
4. Changing jobs. Depending if you are getting a raise or taking a pay cut, you may have to adjust your financial plan, including your life and disability insurance. If you are getting a pay increase, you may start spending more money, which incurs more debt. Taking a pay cut may mean you still have debt to pay but on less money coming in. Either way, making sure your loved ones don't get stuck with those bills is what life insurance is for.
5. Retired or planning for retirement. Many times I see people who have outlived their term life insurance policy, which is a good thing, but they still need some insurance for their final expenses and maybe some money for estate taxes. In these cases, people usually look into Final Expense insurance, but that can be pricey. If you are still healthy, a Guaranteed Universal Life policy can save a lot of money and accomplish the same goal.
6. Newly single. If you are getting divorced and are obligated to pay child support, the court may want you to buy a life insurance policy with your ex as the beneficiary.
7. Starting a business. Opening a business can be an expensive endeavor, and whether or not you have partners, you still may want to look into a life policy.
I met a nice lady a few years ago who was up to her ears in debt because her husband decided to open his own medical practice. She begged him to buy a policy to cover the debt he incurred with rent, equipment and payroll. He kept putting it off and a few months later, while cutting down some trees in their yard, a log fell on him. She was stuck owing money that could have been paid out.
The same can be true of business partners. If one dies, the other partner(s) may want to buy out the deceased partner's interest. Otherwise, they may end up with the widow as a partner, which may or may not be desired by either party. A buy/sell agreement funded with a life insurance policy can fix that problem.
As you can see, a life insurance policy can help you and your loved ones avoid many problems down the road. And it can be less expensive than you think. If you want to see how much a policy can cost head over to our site and run a quote. In the meantime, please stay healthy!
Chris Castanes is the president of Surf Financial Brokers, helping people find affordable life, disability, long term care, cancer, accident and other insurance coverages in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia. He's also is a professional speaker helping sales people be more productive and efficient and has spoken to professional and civic organizations throughout the Southeast. And please subscribe to this blog!