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Life Insurance-A Selfless Gift Of Love

All insurance is based on minimizing risk and protecting against economic loss. Unfortunately, bad things happen to good people. Insurance is designed to transfer risk from you to an insurance company in exchange for money commonly called premiums.
Often times, life insurance is one of your most misunderstood and underappreciated assets. As a general rule, you should have 5-10 times your income in life insurance protection. Dependant on your circumstances, family needs, income assets, etc. your need may be more or less than the rule.
On the surface, 5-10 times your income may seem like a lot of insurance/money, but let me show you this example. Assume you earn $30,000 per year; therefore you have $300,000 of death benefit. If your survivor invests the $300,000 and earns 5% per year and needs $24,000 per year to replace your income, he/she is broke in 20 years! Is that what you want?
Basically there are two types of life insurance: temporary/term, or permanent. Based on the length of your need, each may have a place in your protection portfolio.

Term Insurance

is designed for short-term needs, up to 20 years, it is often referred to as rented insurance, just like renting an apartment, you build no equity with Term Insurance. It comes in a variety of flavors: 1 year renewable, 5, 10, 15, and 20 year level premiums. Term insurance – is pure death benefit, if you die and policy is in force, it pays. Term insurance does not build any cash value or equity.
Term insurance is ideally suited where there is a large need for protection but few dollars to pay the premium, i.e. to provide for family support through age 20 for a spouse and family.

Permanent Insurance

provides death benefit plus has cash value, or equity in the policy. Just like owning a house you build equity with every payment. There are three types of permanent insurance. Whole Life, Universal Life or Variable Universal Life. Each of these products, if properly funded, should provide cash value as a living benefit. Each of these policies applies a portion of your premium to the insurance and a portion to your equity. A detailed description of each of these types of permanent insurance is available but beyond the scope of this article.
Permanent Insurance is ideally suited for life long goals like spousal support, supplemental income, and estate planning.
Usually a combination of both types of insurance can provide a cost effective solution to meet your needs. Most couples and families will have a unique life insurance need based on their circumstances and philosophy.

Disability Insurance- Income Protection

This type of insurance is often ignored or taken lightly. Disability insurance protects you and your most important asset, your ability to work and earn an income.
Think about the negative impact of never working again! If you are targeting 70-80% of your current income for your retirement - what about for living? How long could you survive without one or both incomes? How? Who will replace the lost income?
Unfortunately disability can be a financial disaster for most couples and families. Medical expenses, inflation, and the every day costs of living continue with or without your income.
Most employer sponsored disability programs only provide 50% income replacement. Can you survive on a paycheck? If not, you need to address this area quickly.


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