Life Insurance: Do You Need It?
July 12, 2017
At some point in your life, you'll probably be faced with the question of whether you need life insurance. Life insurance is a way to protect your loved ones financially after you die and your income stops. The answer to whether you need life insurance depends on your personal and financial circumstances.
Should you buy life insurance?
You should probably consider buying life insurance if any one of the following is true:
- You are married and your spouse depends on your income
- You have children
- You have an aging parent or disabled relative who depends on you for support
- Your retirement savings and pension won't be enough for your spouse to live on
- You have a large estate and expect to owe estate taxes
- You own a business, especially if you have a partner
- You have a substantial joint financial obligation such as a personal loan for which another person would be legally responsible after your death
In all of these cases, the proceeds from a life insurance policy can help your loved ones continue to manage financially during the difficult weeks, months, and years after your death. The proceeds can also be used to meet funeral and other final expenses, which can run into thousands of dollars.
If you're still unsure about whether you should buy life insurance, a good question to ask yourself is: If I died today with no life insurance, would my family need to make substantial financial sacrifices and give up the lifestyle to which they've become accustomed in order to meet their financial obligations (e.g., car payments, mortgage, college tuition)?
If you need life insurance, don't delay
Once you decide you need life insurance, don't put off buying it. Although no one wants to think about and plan for his or her own death, you don't want to make the mistake of waiting until it's too late.
Periodically review your coverage
Once you purchase a life insurance policy, make sure to periodically review your coverage--especially when you have a significant life event (e.g., birth of a child, death of a family member)--and make sure that it adequately meets your insurance needs. The most common mistake that people make is to be underinsured. For example, if a portion of your life insurance proceeds are to be earmarked for your child's college education, the more children you have, the more life insurance you'll need. But it's also possible to be overinsured, and that's a mistake, too--the extra money you spend on premiums could be used for other things. If you need help reviewing your coverage, contact your insurance agent or broker.
This information, developed by an independent third party, has been obtained from sournces considered to be reliable, but Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. This informaiton is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. This information is not intended as a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security referred to herein. Investments mentioned may not be suitable for all investors. The matierial is general in nature. Past performance may not be indivative of futre results. Raymond James Financial SErvices, Inc. does not provide advice on tax, legal or mortgage issues. These matters should be discussed with the appropriate professional.