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Life Insurance: When to Buy a Policy and How Much You Need

I want to share an important story about a friend. Her husband died in a car accident many years ago when her three children were still in elementary school. He was the sole breadwinner, working as a high school principal, while she stayed home to care for their young family.

Although she had an MBA and prior work experience to fall back on, I can’t imagine getting forced back into the workplace at that difficult time in her life. Fortunately, she didn’t have to leave her children at daycare or with a nanny to earn a living because her husband was covered by life insurance.

She was able to continue raising her brood knowing there was plenty of money in the bank, instead of dealing with her grief while also going on job interviews and feeling even more anxious and worried about their future.My friend and her children were able to better cope with the tragedy because they had the financial ability to maintain their standard of living and lifestyle. She could easily pay funeral costs, ongoing bills, future education expenses, and protect her retirement plans.

That would never have been possible if she wasn’t a life insurance beneficiary.
What Is Life Insurance?

You probably know someone who’s had a similar loss. It’s exactly why life insurance was created. It gives you and your loved ones incredible peace of mind that your financial life will be okay even after an unexpected, deadly tragedy.

Life insurance is a contract with an insurance company that gives a beneficiary a lump-sum payment, known as a death benefit, when an insured person dies. There are different types, such as term life and permanent life.

Term life insurance gives you protection over a set period of time, such as 10 or 20 years, and permanent life provides lifetime coverage that may also grow a cash value.

If you want to make sure you get money back if you’re still alive when a policy expires, check out Return of Premium life policies. You can use the money to boost your retirement savings, pay off debt, or for anything you like.

Which type you should have depends on your financial goals and the needs of your loved ones.
When Should You Buy a Life Insurance Policy?

A common question is, “When should you buy a life insurance policy?”

Here’s the best answer: When you have someone who depends on you who would be hurt financially if you weren’t around. That could include your children, a spouse, partner, or aging parents who need your financial support now and into the foreseeable future.

Women are taking more responsibility in the workplace and earning more. They’re the primary wage earners in a growing number of households. But despite these wins, life insurance coverage for women still lags compared to that of working men.
Women and Life Insurance

A 2015 LIMRA study showed that only 33% of Americans have individual life insurance—and women carry the least amount of coverage.

Many families make the mistake of not buying life insurance for a stay-at-home parent. Even if you’re not working, consider how your family would replace the care you give them every day. The additional cost of daycare or a nanny could devastate an average family.

Even when both parents work, women are often not covered or are underinsured. Women are taking more responsibility in the workplace and earning more. They’re the primary wage earners in a growing number of households. But despite these wins, life insurance coverage for women still lags compared to that of working men.

According to State Farm, they recognize this disparity and are committed to helping women live more confidently with the right amount of life coverage. State Farm’s mission is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams.

They have an online learning center that includes a terrific Life Needs Calculator to help you understand what insurance is best for your situation and how much you really need. (Disclosure: State Farm is one of my business partners. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I believe are good for my readers. All opinions are my own.)

Life insurance can’t make you immune to a tragedy, but it should be a pillar of your personal finances. If you want to live life more confidently, it’s critical to protect your assets and support your loves ones with life insurance coverage.

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