When it comes down to it, a life insurance policy isn’t meant for you. If you have a spouse, kids or dependents, or a business to leave behind— life insurance could be a way to cover their expenses after you’re gone.
Would your spouse or life partner be prepared to financially take over if you suddenly passed away, or if they outlived you by decades? Are your children dependent upon you for financial support, or do you have non-child dependents who rely on you?
No one really wants to think about these types of questions, especially if you’re a retiree (or soon-to-be one), however, you’ll want to feel as secure as possible as you enter the next exciting phase of your life. Check out the facts, and then decide what’s best for you and your loved ones.
There are two main types of life insurance: permanent and term. Permanent life insurance lasts for the rest of your life, as long as the monthly premiums are paid. Term life insurance offers insurance coverage over a defined period of time—the term—and a death benefit is only paid out if you were to die during that time period. Term life insurance is typically the more cost-effective option due to the shorter duration of the coverage.
Permanent life insurance offers coverage for your duration of your life, and most policies offer a cash value component that accumulates as the premiums are paid. This cash value typically grows with a guaranteed minimum rate of return. In most cases, the insured person can borrow against the cash value that’s accumulated in the policy, withdraw the cash value, or leave it in the policy to increase the death benefit.
This type of life insurance is good for retirees looking for a policy to help cover their final expenses, and to help supplement their retirement income with the cash value of the policy. Ethos offers a guaranteed issue whole life policy for applicants aged 65-85 with a death benefit of up to $25,000.
As we mentioned above, permanent life policies tend to come with higher monthly premiums. It’s important to make sure the premiums are within your budget so you’re able to pay them monthly and avoid lapsing on the policy.
Term life insurance lasts a specific amount of time or term. At Ethos, we offer coverage of up to $1.5 million and term lengths of 10-30 years. You choose the coverage amount before your term ends, and if you pass away during the term, your beneficiaries will receive a lump-sum payment of the policy proceeds. Term life insurance premiums typically cost less than permanent or whole life insurance, so it’s a more affordable option.
If you’re approaching retirement age and clearing some final financial hurdles, like paying off your mortgage, or putting a child through college, term life insurance may be a good choice as it offers financial protection if something were to happen to you during this time.
The worst time to purchase life insurance is never. The more you delay, the more it will cost. If you have no coverage at all, your family or dependents might have to sacrifice their quality of life to make ends meet or tie up loose ends, if you were to suddenly pass away. Even if your family is financially independent, there are still good reasons to obtain life insurance.
Also, you shouldn’t think you no longer qualify because you’re a retiree—there can still be options. Our guaranteed issue whole life policy is one such option, or you can just contact us and we’ll answer any questions you have.
As a general rule of thumb, you should plan to cover at least the number of remaining years you expect your family to depend on your income. You can use the DIME (debt, income, mortgage, and education) formula as a starting point. Another way is to calculate your long-term financial obligations and then subtract your assets. The remainder is where life insurance comes in. In addition to your expenses and any additional costs, such as your burial, you may also want to factor in the cost of maintaining your household. There is a lot to consider—our life insurance calculator can help.
Determine what you need using the coverage calculator, making sure to include all financial obligations (mortgage, car payments, student loans, business debts). If you choose life insurance from Ethos, we can get you started immediately with our streamlined application. It’s as simple as that.
Whatever policy you decide on, you should communicate with your beneficiaries early on to ensure they have adequate time to prepare records and any additional paperwork needed to process a claim quickly. Review your beneficiaries often, since things can change over time.
Having life insurance as a retiree can be a great asset to you and your loved ones because it helps ensure they’ll be taken care of.
Are you ready to take the first step?