Each year many of us look forward to the end of winter and the start of springtime.
The first day of spring is the Vernal Equinox – the day when the Sun crosses the celestial equator and moves north. During this time, the days and nights are of equal duration. There are festivals around the world to celebrate the end of winter. In Switzerland, a figure name “Böögg” is created and burned to represent the end of winter. In Poland, a straw figure of Marzanna, the goddess of winter, plague, and death is drowned in a river to mark the beginning of spring. In India, many gather to celebrate Holi—a time to reflect, forget, forgive, and repair broken relationships. Japan is famous for blossoming cherry trees and the festivals surrounding them.
Farmers reserve seeds in preparation for winter, which helps ensure spring planting and growth of crops can be achieved. Life insurance is similar—setting money aside in the present to meet a future financial need.
According to LIMRA, approximately 30% of consumers only view life insurance as a means to pay for funeral or “celebration of life” expenses. Although it is good practice to plan for such expenses, it is only one of many goals life insurance can help achieve.
Here are four additional goals life insurance can help provide for:
- Home ownership (Paying off a mortgage) – Housing costs have risen significantly. Despite the added value, many families do not want to sell or move in the event that one of the income earners is lost. It may even mean higher property taxes for the family to remain in place. Changing the total income of the household may impact the ability to pay the mortgage. In the event of a premature death, life insurance can help supplement to ensure a move is either unnecessary or delayed so future decisions are not rushed.
- A college diploma (Paying for college tuition) – A college savings fund is usually funded over time, not all at once. Life insurance can help fully fund the goal.
- Quality of life (Paying for the continued care of a special needs child) – While there is no substitute for a caregiver, there are ways to provide quality of life improvements for a special needs child. When combined with a special needs trust, it is possible to ensure state benefits are not lost along the way.
- Keeping a family business in the family (Paying expenses during the business transition) – Key man insurance can provide capital needed to sustain the business operations as suitable replacement talent or a buyer is found.
LIMRA also reports “more than half of Americans (53%) say they haven’t purchased (or purchased more) life insurance because they are unsure how much they need or what type to buy.” This is not surprising, given the many different types of insurance available. Additionally, consumers tend to drastically overestimate the cost of insurance for a particular amount of coverage.
To figure out how much insurance one needs, a good first step is to list the specific goals and associated costs. Another approach is to calculate overall needs, by considering current income. How much insurance would be needed to replace that current income, and ensure all debts and obligations are covered? Many insurance agents recommend coverage of ten to fifteen times current income—or more.
A client advisor, such as those at Arvest Wealth Management, will be able to help you develop objectives, assess your resources, and identify which life insurance choices may be best for you and your family.
Spring is almost here, and it is a good time for reflection on rebirth. The rebirth of plants and the cycle of life is a reminder our goals can be reborn and reconfigured to fit all stages of our lives.
This content has been prepared by The Merrill Anderson Company and is intended as a general guideline.
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