Protect Your Family’s Financial Independence

Mike Gann Financial Planning, Insurance, Retirement Planning

It’s that time again. The Fourth of July is here. It’s time for barbeques, pool parties, and fireworks.  The holiday is a great midpoint in the summer to take time away from work and connect with family and friends.

While the Fourth may be a time for parties, it’s also a time to honor history. The holiday celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, which stated that the 13 American colonies were free, independent states and were no longer subject to British rule.

Independence is an important value in our society. We all want the ability to chart our own future and live life as we determine. Unfortunately, sometimes our independence is restricted by financial challenges. That’s especially true when costly emergencies arise.

One of the most financially damaging events that can happen to any family is the death of a breadwinner or provider. If you financially support your spouse, children, or other dependents, your death could create a serious financial challenge for your family. They may have to change their lifestyle or even move to a more affordable home. They may be overwhelmed with bills. They could have to change their long-term goals, like college or retirement. In short, they could lose their independence.

Fortunately, you can use life insurance to protect them in the event that you suffer an accident or illness and pass away. The odds of that happening may be small, but the risk is too large to ignore. Life insurance provides your loved ones with a tax-free lump sum of cash that they can use to replace your income, pay bills, and protect their independence.

Do you have a protection strategy for your family? If not, now may be the time to consider it. Even if you do have life insurance, it’s always helpful to review your coverage and make sure it’s still consistent with your needs and goals. Below are a couple questions to consider:

How much life insurance do you need?

What is the right coverage amount for you and your family? Many people use a multiple of their salary to calculate their coverage. For example, they may use three times or even ten times income as an estimate.

While these types of estimates are simple, they may not always be accurate. A more effective approach is to base your coverage on your family’s specific needs. Think about what costs your spouse, kids or other dependents may face after your passing. What kind of financial challenges could arise?

They may need to replace your income over an extended period of time. You may want them to have enough money to pay off the mortgage or other debts. Perhaps you want to help them reach their long-term goals, like college or retirement. There also may be costs related to your death, like medical costs or final expenses.

A financial professional can help you identify these costs and estimate their amount. He or she can also help you consider other factors, such as how to distribute your death benefit to your loved ones or how the funds may be managed after your passing.

What’s the right type of life insurance for you?

Not all life insurance is the same. There are many different types, but most fall into one of two categories: term or permanent. Term insurance has a limited duration, like 10 or 20 years. You pay premiums over that period in exchange for coverage. When the term ends, so does your protection.

Term insurance is useful when you have limited need. For instance, many people use term policies that align with the length of a mortgage. Others may use term insurance when they have young children in the home.

As the name suggests, permanent insurance lasts for life, as long as you meet the premium requirements. Permanent policies also have a cash value component. A portion of your premium goes into the cash value account, which can then grow on a tax-deferred basis. You can eventually use your cash value to pay future premiums, buy additional coverage, or even to generate income.

Ready to develop your life insurance strategy? Let’s talk about it. Contact us today at Advantage Retirement Services. We can help you analyze your needs and develop a strategy. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.

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