When thinking of life insurance, many people imagine it is something for the young only. They believe that newlyweds best use life insurance with mortgages, parents of young children, and spouses who are employed. What does that mean for seniors? Does that mean there is no need for life insurance for retired people? The answer to that question depends on your family’s needs and your financial picture upon retirement.
Your Family’s Needs
One of the biggest concerns among retired individuals is whether or not they have enough money to last their entire lives. Since life expectancies are predictable, but an actual lifespan is not, retirees are left with an uncertain bet that the money they saved for retirement is enough. Sometimes, this bet is funded with a straight life annuity or pension that pays out like a straight life annuity. Both instruments could impact the surviving spouse’s income if the annuitant or pensioner dies and there is no death benefit. When a surviving spouse stands to lose a portion of their income after the death of their spouse, then a life insurance policy can provide a much-needed source of continuing income to replace the lost amount.
Another consideration is whether or not you would like to use death benefit proceeds to create trust for your grandchildren. Leaving a trust account for their college or adult years can help remove some financial burdens from your children and your grandchildren, as it may allow them to avoid student loans and other debt. Funding the trust with life insurance proceeds takes the funding burden off of your spouse and creates a fixed amount for the faith.
Life insurance policies are great tools for making charitable donations upon death. If your spouse doedoes not need the death benefit proceeds, you can set them up either in a charitable trust or by simply naming a charity as your beneficiary. This allows your surviving spouse to see all the good your donation will do without impacting their financial picture.
Depending on how well-planned your retirement has been, you may accumulate some debt in your later years that can be paid off with your life insurance policy death benefit. Debt, as simple as a car loan, small home equity loan, or even a loan for new furniture, can cause undue stress to your surviving spouse, and a life insurance death benefit is an easy solution to get rid of it.
Another financial planning consideration is estate taxes. While life insurance death benefits are generally not taxable, the rest of your estate may be. Instead of forcing your surviving spouse to liquidate assets or take funds from a retirement account to pay estate taxes or income taxes for the year you pass away, why not buy a life insurance policy to fulfill that need?
There are so many ways that a life insurance policy can improve your surviving spouse and family’s lives, no matter your age, that it is an expense everyone should consider. Without knowing what needs the future will bring and what health complications could impact your ability to get insurance, the time to buy is now.