My daughter recently asked me — during bath time, of all times: “How is your work like a doctor?” This proves a couple of things, first that she has no idea what I do for a living and, second, even children have very deep thoughts while bathing. I tried to answer her question by going into some overly complicated explanation of how I try to fix people’s money habits and make them better, so their money will last a long time. I’d like to think the puzzled look on her face confirmed that she understood and fully agreed with the comparison. Regardless of whether she fully grasped this, she and our family are dependent on the byproduct of that work: income. Life insurance can protect that asset — read on to learn more.
Income is your greatest asset
If your family depends on you, your ability to create an income is truly your greatest asset. This is a common discussion I have with my clients. But… do we insure our income appropriately, especially against the risk of death? Life insurance is one way to tackle this.
In celebration of Life Insurance Awareness Month, here are some thoughts to consider about how to protect your income – and your family.
Life Insurance Tip #1: What do you have at stake?
When evaluating how much life insurance you might need, think past what you owe on your mortgage or cars.
- If you paid for all your debts, would your family still be able to achieve the financial goals you set out to accomplish while living?
- Are you factoring in the retirement savings through your income that would stop at your passing? (Remember, income is your greatest asset, and that extends to what would be used for future savings)
- Will the college plans for your children or grandchildren be altered?
- Will your faithful contributions to your favorite charity be cut short?
- Will your spouse have enough to see them through the social security black out period?
Understanding your goals and who depends on you should help shape the amount of benefits you may need.
Life Insurance Tip #2: Don’t rely solely on work benefits
Don’t depend solely on your work benefits alone for two reasons.
- First, it is a benefit that could be taken away, if you separate from your employment or your employer decides to change benefit packages. The latter happens often these days.
- Second, do you know for certainty the exclusions and coverage of your group policy? If not, it’s safe to assume you have incomplete coverage (this applies to personally held policies too.)
In other words, without absolute verification, don’t leave your family’s well-being in the hands of an outside party — or to your assumptions.
Life Insurance Tip #3: Ask for professional help
Nobody is expected to be an expert in everything. Sitting down with a pro can be helpful. Obviously, we would love to help in this area and hope we can get to know you and help you on your financial journey.
But even if it’s not us, I recommend you find a reputable and trustworthy agent or company to help you. A good starting point is to gather referrals from your friends who have had good service experiences. Remember, one of the calls you make to your future agent could be during a very devastating time in your life. You need to be able to depend on that person’s ability to cover and service your family’s need.
Bottom line: Your family is worth it
As always, continue to educate yourself and search for the best options. Look at your family and don’t be afraid to tailor your insurance plan to fit your (and their) needs.
Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. No strategy assures success or protects against loss. Investing involves risk including loss of principal.