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Life Insurance

Life insurance helps protect your family financially by replacing some or all of your income after you die. Life insurance may not be right for everyone.  Consider your age, marital status, and who depends on you for support to decide if buying life insurance is a good choice for you.

People buy life insurance to ensure that their beneficiaries have enough money to maintain their standard of living after the policyholder dies. Beneficiaries are the people you designate to get money, called a death benefit, after you die.

You may designate one or more beneficiaries.  If you designate more than one, you must decide how to divide the money. You may also choose a secondary beneficiary to receive the money if the primary beneficiary dies before you.

Life insurance isn’t an investment. An investment is a financial risk – you might make money, but you also might lose some or all of your investment.   In contrast, life insurance pays a guaranteed death benefit.

Some types of life insurance can build up cash that you can use for retirement income.Don’t confuse life insurance with annuities. People often buy annuities for retirement because they can provide steady income over a long period.

The following guidelines can help you decide if life insurance is right for you:

  • Parents should consider life insurance because their children depend on their incomes. A parent’s need for life insurance usually lessens as children get older. Couples should consider insuring both parents, even if only one has a job. This will help the surviving parent pay for child care.
  • Young couples who plan to start a family should consider buying life insurance because it usually costs less when you’re young.
  • Older people whose children are grown and independent are less likely to need life insurance because no one is depending on them for money.  Savings can lessen a family’s need for life insurance as wage earners near retirement age.
  • Single adults typically don’t need life insurance, unless they are single parents or support someone such as an elderly parent.
  • Working couples without children or other dependents typically don’t need life insurance if the survivor earns enough to pay bills without using all of the couple’s savings. Life insurance is a good idea if only one spouse works because the nonworking spouse could maintain his or her standard of living if the working spouse dies.

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