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Do you even need life insurance?

Let’s be honest, no one wants to talk about life insurance. It’s morbid and not fun to talk about dying, but like taxes, death is an eventual certainty. And whether we prepare for them or not, they will eventually come.

Think about it; if something happens to you tomorrow such as a car accident, heart attack, or a terminal illness, you will unfortunately leave behind debts, bills, and final expenses for your family to deal with.

Home insurance, car insurance, and health insurance are the most common types of insurance people enroll in. If you have a family and dependents, one of the most important insurances to have is life insurance. Life insurance is a crucial step in planning for your future and the future of your loved ones. In the event of death, life insurance benefits are paid to your surviving spouse and family so they can live with less financial worry. It helps cover everyday expenses like mortgage payments and household bills or your kids’ college.

The good news is…

Some life insurance policies not only provide cash received from a policy (the death benefit) when you pass away, but can also provide living benefits if you are diagnosed with some critical illness. Most carriers allow you to advance or collect up to 90% of your death benefit (face amount) if you have a heart attack, cancer, end-stage renal failure, or a major organ transplant. You have the freedom to use this living benefit or cash to pay for your medical bills, everyday bills, debts, and even future expenses while you are recuperating. For more details, read more here: Life Insurance Policy with Living Benefits.

Protecting yourself with life insurance can give you and your beneficiaries a certain comfort and satisfaction of solid, secure, and even permanent financial stability.

If you have a machine that spits out $5,000 a month, you would insure it in case something tragic like an accident happens or it falls apart. That machine is you to your family. Once you are gone, your income is gone forever, but your family’s daily expenses will continue for a lifetime.

Who needs life insurance?

Regardless of your family situation, life insurance is critical for your financial well-being. Consider the following forms of coverage for what’s essential to you. Parents with minor children – If the parent of minor children dies, their lost income negatively impacts the care of those children. Life insurance can give your children the financial resources they need until they can become independent.

  • Parents with special-needs adult children—If your children require constant care and will never be self-sufficient, life insurance can ensure that their needs are met when you are no longer around. The death benefit can be used to fund a special needs trust for the adult child’s benefit, which a trustee manages.
  • Adults who own property together, whether married or not, should think about buying life insurance if one of them dies and the other cannot make loan payments, maintain the property, or pay taxes on it. For example, an engaged couple might take out a joint mortgage to buy their first home.
  • Seniors who want to leave money to adult children who look after them—many adult children take time off work to care for an aging parent who needs help. This help could also come in the form of financial aid. When a parent passes away, life insurance can help cover the expenses of the adult kid.
  • Children and young people who want to lock in low rates—the younger you are and the healthier you are, the lower your insurance costs. If a 20-something adult expects to have dependents in the future, they may get insurance even if they do not have them now.
  • A small life insurance policy may provide cash to honor a loved one’s passing for families who cannot afford burial and funeral fees.
  • Businesses with key employees—if the death of a key employee, such as a CEO, would cause a company significant financial hardship, the company may have an insurable interest that allows it to purchase a life insurance policy on that person.
  • Those with a history of pre-existing conditions, including cancer, diabetes, or tobacco use. It’s worth mentioning, though, that some insurers may refuse to cover these individuals or charge high premiums. 

Is Life Insurance Expensive?

Several factors are used to calculate rates for life insurance. Some insurers may give you an estimated quote based on your age (it is cheaper when younger), gender, the policy type, and amount of coverage you are seeking, but most of them will be unable to give you the final rate unless you answer all the probing questions regarding your health history and submit to a physical exam. This is the reason why it is best to talk to a trusted life insurance consultant who can help you shop for affordable life insurance and assist you dig through all the life insurance aspects.

How Much Life Insurance Should You Ask For?

A great start is to sort through the expenses you may leave behind when you pass away. If you do not have family or dependents to care for, an insurance plan that covers funeral expenses, taxes, medical bills, or any other final expenses may be all you need. The most commonly used formula to calculate what you need in a life insurance policy is approximately 7-10 times your annual salary or the amount of your current debt and expenses.

Types of Life Insurance in Oregon:

This is a good choice for your family in the earlier years when life insurance needs are the greatest. It is also very affordable for a high-level of coverage or face amount, and may make sense if you have a young family and/or your budget is tight. It provides protection for a specific period of time, and mainly pays a benefit only if you die during the term. This type of insurance makes sense when you have a need for coverage that may disappear at a specific point in time like college education for your kids or your mortgage.

This is permanent coverage for the rest of your life. It is a combination of life coverage with an investment fund, paying a stated, fixed amount on your death. Part of your premium goes toward building cash value from investments of the insurance company which are tax-deferred each year you keep the plan, and you can borrow against the cash accumulation fund without being taxed. The amount you pay usually does not change throughout the life of the policy.

This policy is a type of permanent insurance policy. It combines term insurance with a money market type investment that pays a market rate of return. To get a higher return, these plans usually do not ensure a certain rate.

These are permanent policies with an investment fund tied to a stock or bond mutual fund investment. A such, returns are not guaranteed.

This is permanent life insurance offering death benefit protection when loss of life occurs. Like other forms of permanent life insurance, your premium payments may earn interest and grow cash values of your plan. What differentiates IUL from other permanent life insurance is the way interest is credited to the policy. In addition to the company offering its own declared interest rate, IUL also offers an interest option linked to the movement of a selected stock market index over a specific period of time. The manner in which interest is credited to your IUL policy gives you the potential for strong cash value accumulation. A key benefit is that it offers protection in a poorly performing market. With IUL, the credited interest rate is guaranteed to never be less than zero percent.

This is a good choice if you want to have access to cash in times of difficulties while you are still living. If you face qualifying chronic, critical, or terminal illness, you can use it to pay for care or treatment not covered by your health insurance plan, household expenses, or anything helping you through a difficult time.

Term Life Insurance vs Permanent Life Insurance

Term life insurance allows you to buy a high amount of coverage at a very low and affordable price. If you need a large insurance policy for your family, such as college education funds, Term life insurance is your better option. The main goal here is to have a huge coverage during the years you need it most with rates you can afford. However, the disadvantage of term insurance plans is they expire with no cash value.

Term life, whole life, and universal life compared

When you choose permanent life insurance, you are purchasing a policy that is also an investment because it accumulates cash value over time. In addition, the money you put in can be withdrawn or borrowed against at any time if the need arises. And it does not expire. The only disadvantage of permanent life insurance their high rates, often not affordable for many.

How Life Insurance Works

A life insurance policy has two key components: a death benefit and a premium. Term life insurance has these two components, but permanent or whole life insurance policies also have a cash value component.

  • Death Benefit– The amount of money guaranteed by the insurance company to the beneficiaries designated in the policy after the insured passes away is known as the death benefit, also known as face value. For example, the insured could be a parent, with their children as beneficiaries. The insured will determine the appropriate death benefit amount based on the beneficiaries’ anticipated future requirements. The insurance company will determine if there is an insurable interest and if the prospective insured qualifies for coverage based on the business’s underwriting standards for age, health, and any hazardous activities in which the proposed insured participates.
  • Premiums—the sums paid by policyholders for insurance coverage. The insurer must pay the death benefit if the policyholder pays the required premiums. The premiums are partly determined by the possibility that the insurer will have to pay the policy’s death benefit based on the insured’s life expectancy. Life expectancy is influenced by the insured’s age, gender, medical history, employment hazards, and high-risk hobbies. A portion of the payout also goes toward the insurance company’s operating expenses. Premiums are higher for plans with higher death benefits, high-risk, and permanent policies with cash value accumulation.
  • Cash Value – The cash value of permanent life insurance serves two purposes. It’s a tax-free savings account that the policyholder can use for as long as the insured person lives. Some rules may set restrictions on withdrawals depending on how the money will be used. For example, a policyholder may take out a loan against the policy’s cash value and be responsible for the loan principle’s interest. The policy’s cash value can also be used to pay premiums or purchase additional coverage. The cash value is a living benefit the insurance company retains after the policyholder has died. If there are any outstanding debts against the cash value, the policy’s death benefit would be reduced.

How to choose the right life insurance plan?

Consider what expenses would need to be covered if you died. Mortgages, college tuition, and other loans, as well as funeral expenses, are all examples. Furthermore, income replacement is crucial if your spouse or loved ones require cash flow and cannot provide on their own.
Internet calculators can help you calculate the lump sum that will cover any prospective charges.

What Affects the Costs and Premiums of Life Insurance?

Age: the most important indicator of risk for the insurance firm.
Gender: Women pay lower rates than men of the same age since they live longer on average.
Smoking: Smokers are at risk for various health problems that can shorten life and raise risk-based premiums.
Health condition: Most policies include screening for health disorders such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other medical metrics that can suggest risk.
Lifestyle: Risky lifestyles can drive up premiums significantly.
Family medical history: You have a much higher likelihood of having specific disorders if you have a history of serious illness in your immediate family.

Are life insurance policies taxable?

Death benefits from life insurance are almost always tax-free. A universal or whole life insurance policy’s cash value growth is also tax-deferred, which means it can increase quickly because it isn’t lowered by taxes each year.

What is the most cost-effective life insurance policy?

Your requirements and financial constraints determine the ideal policy for you. There are two primary options for life-long insurance protection that earn economic value: whole life and universal life. Full coverage has fixed rates and more guarantees, but a universal policy has variable premiums that you can raise or lower within a specific range, making it more reasonable. The insurance company may also allow you to add features to your policy, such as an accelerated death benefit rider to cover end-of-life expenses and even some types of long-term care.

Is life insurance worth getting?

If you have dependents on your income, life insurance is one of the most effective strategies to help meet their financial needs if you pass away unexpectedly. Customers with diverse incomes and other needs, such as high-net-worth individuals wishing to transfer assets more readily without paying additional inheritance taxes, can get customized plans from life insurance carriers. However, life insurance may not be necessary if you have no financial dependents or heirs to cater for.

Do Retirees Need Life Insurance?

Life insurance for everyone is a good idea, even for retirees. Because life insurance policies are meant to pay off debt, leave a legacy, or provide for partners and families in the event pension do not include survivor benefits. As a retiree, if you owe debt, care for someone, or a member of the family depends on you financially, you need life insurance.

What if There are No Dependents?

Is a life insurance policy necessary for those without anyone left behind? The answer is YES. Life insurance with living benefits, also called the “life insurance for the living” is perfect for these situations. The “living benefits cash” will support your needs in paying for recovery and other expenses in the event illness or injury where you are unable to earn income or if you become incapable of performing dailiy living activities. Some of these life policies allow you to cash out portions of your face amount.

How do you know if you’re eligible for life insurance? 

Anyone can get life insurance, but the cost or premium amount depends on a person’s risk level, which is determined by characteristics such as age, health, and lifestyle. Customers who apply for life insurance are usually required to present medical records and medical history and / or undergo a medical examination. Some types of life insurance, such as guaranteed approval life insurance, do not require medical tests but have substantially higher premiums and a longer waiting time before taking effect and paying out a death benefit.

Talk to Your Trusted Life Insurance Consultant

Health Plans In Oregon is a licensed insurance agent providing help to thousands of Oregonians since 2006. We offer free help with different policies and life insurance quotes. Let us help you achieve the financially secure life you have always wanted.

Give us a call at 503-928-6918. Our assistance is at no cost to you.

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*By completing this form, you agree that an authorized representative or licensed insurance agent may contact you by phone, email, text, mail or face to face to answer your questions or provide additional information about your Medicare plan options. Not affiliated or endorsed by Medicare or any state or federal governmental agency. 

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