Why do you need Life Insurance?
Life insurance has several purposes.
Its most important function is to replace the earnings that would cease at the death of the insured. For businesses, life insurance is a way to protect key employees and the business itself. A third purpose is to use life insurance to pay potential estate taxes.
If you die during your earning years, your family could suffer a severe economic loss as a result of losing your current and future income. Unfortunately, your family would still have to pay its regular bills, the mortgage, and outstanding debts, and perhaps even continue saving for college and retirement. Unless you’re independently wealthy, achieving these goals may be virtually impossible for your family with the loss of your steady income.
Life insurance offers a way for your family to continue living comfortably and without worry.
Employers often purchase life insurance policies on key employees to insure against the loss of services or income that might result after an employee’s death. Here, the proceeds from the policy are paid to the company. Life insurance works for business partners too, where one business partner purchases a policy to insure against the financial loss that might result from the other partner’s death or to buy out the partner’s heirs.
Life insurance is also used to pay potential federal estate taxes. Since these taxes must be paid in cash, life insurance can be a good way to ensure the fulfillment of this obligation.
Reasons for long-term care insurance
As we get older and our health declines, the greater the chances are that we will require home care, nursing home care, or other assisted-living arrangements. This care is quite expensive, and Medicare, HMOs, and Medigap don’t pay for it. You might want to look into purchasing long-term care insurance (LTCI) to protect your assets in case you need long-term care.
Whether or not you should purchase LTCI depends on your age, medical history, assets, and income. Ask a financial professional about whether LTCI is right for you. If you meet some of the following criteria, you might want to seriously consider it:
You are between the ages of 40 and 84 (generally, LTCI is not available to those over 84)
You have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease
You own substantial assets that you’d like to protect
You have family members to whom you wish to leave your assets
You can afford the cost of LTCI premiums now and will be able to afford them in the future
You are in good health and are insurable
When you should buy disability insurance?
Everyone who works and earns a living probably needs disability insurance. If you suddenly became disabled and were unable to work, could you still meet your financial obligations? Could you get by without having to use savings or borrow from relatives? If not, you’ll want to make sure that you have adequate disability insurance coverage that is designed to pay your expenses while you are disabled and cannot work.
Because you have to meet a strict definition of disability to qualify for benefits from government programs (e.g., Social Security), you shouldn’t rely on them as your only sources of income if you became disabled. Instead, find out if you have group disability insurance through your employer. It may be paid for by the company, or you may pay part of the premium. If disability coverage is not available at work or if you are self-employed, you should consider purchasing an individual policy from a private insurer. Generally, most policies pay between 50 and 70 percent of your gross income and can last anywhere from a couple of months to age 65.
When is an annuity appropriate?
It is important to understand that annuities can be an excellent tool if you use them properly. Annuities are not right for everyone. Non-qualified annuity contributions are not tax deductible.That’s why most experts advise funding other retirement plans first.However, if you have already contributed the maximum allowable amount to other available retirement plans, an annuity can be an excellent choice. There is no limit to how much you can invest in a non-qualified annuity, and like other qualified retirement plans, the funds are allowed to grow tax deferred until you begin taking distributions.
Annuities are designed to be long-term investment vehicles. In most cases, you’ll pay a penalty for early withdrawals. And if you take a lump-sum distribution of your annuity funds within the first few years after purchasing your annuity, you may be subject to surrender charges imposed by the issuer. As long as you’re sure you won’t need the money until at least age 59½, an annuity is worth considering. If your needs are more short term, you should explore other options.