By State Farm® Agent Brent Cooper
Mike Thompson died in a car accident leaving behind his wife, Amanda, their two boys, and stiff financial challenges. “After that,” Amanda recalls, “I put the house up for sale and we moved in with my mother.” About six months later, she purchased life insurance on herself telling her agent, “I don’t want this to happen to my children.”
Amanda’s story illustrates how being without life insurance can leave families vulnerable to financial hardship. However, the need for life insurance is not limited to families. When you’re single with no dependents, you may not need much life insurance. But you should at least have enough to cover final expenses, so your parents or siblings aren’t burdened with these costs.
Once you’re married, you share a life and a home with someone else. Now, if the worst happens, your spouse may be left with a rent or mortgage payment they can’t afford. At this point, it’s time for both spouses to get individual life policies.
When you have children, you have their future to think about. Life insurance can help your spouse keep up with child care and other expenses, as well as save for education and retirement. In retirement, life insurance becomes an important part of your estate plan allowing you to pass wealth to future generations or a charity.
There are two basic categories of life insurance - term and permanent. Term insurance can be purchased in large amounts for a small initial premium. It is well suited for short-term goals. Coverage lasts for a specified term. After this term has ended, it expires unless renewed by paying higher premiums.
Permanent life insurance provides a death benefit while the policy is in force. The premiums are initially higher than those of term insurance, but in many cases they can be cheaper over the life of the insured. Permanent life insurance usually builds up a tax deferred cash value and is well suited for long-term goals.
Whichever option you choose, make sure your policy coverage keeps pace with your life stage -- now and in the future.
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