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Healthy Cells is a local health magazine with most of the articles written by local professionals. People love to read about healthcare from their local health professionals. Each month includes a wide variety of articles on various topics.
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Taking Care of Our Family

September was Life Insurance Awareness month (#LIAM2017). Having awareness months is such a powerful tool these days as it becomes a reminder as to what we need to do to take care of ourselves and our families. With that said, now is the perfect time to contact your local representative and go over a plan to make sure you have adequate life insurance coverages in place. I’ve put together a few questions and answers that I hear on a regular basis to help you decide on what type and how much life insurance is right for you.

    I often hear, “I have insurance through my employer, so I’m okay, right?” Well, that may be the case while you are currently employed, but the majority of employers’ life insurance plans are only valid while you’re an employee. With the majority of people changing jobs every few years, that’s not a very solid foundation for future planning. It’s also not a plan that is tailored to you and your family. Employer plans are generic. Every one of us has a different living situation. Some have kids to care for, an elder parent, or maybe just themselves. Therefore, having a unique plan tailored specifically for you is something all of us need. However, employer plans are great to have while you’re there as they are cheap, they usually don’t require a physical, and normally provide a decent amount of coverage. So, stock up while you’re there, max the coverage out if you can, but just remember it’s probably only temporary.
    Which is better term or whole life? Well that depends on each person’s needs and what they can afford. Term life insurance is like renting an apartment. You sign the contract, and that’s how long your coverage lasts. Whole life, on the other hand, is buying your policy. By purchasing the policy, you will never have to worry about the policy expiring (as long as you pay for it.)  The policy will also accumulate cash value, have a growing death benefit, and give you the option of borrowing against the cash value of the policy. Whole-life policies cost quite a bit more than term policies but knowing your money is going towards something you will own is a good feeling. Average policy costs vary upon age, gender, health-related history, as well as tobacco usage.

So, how much coverage do I need?          This is where I like to use a couple different methods where I and the client can figure it out together. Again, we all have different expenses, education loans, debt, etc., so sitting down with the clients and helping them with the calculations is what I find to be the most valuable method. One method I like is called the DIME (Debt, Income, Mortgage, Education) method. The method itself has been around for a long time, but I find it to still be very valuable. It is a great way for couples to really determine how much life insurance is right for each other. It works by asking each individual how much they would like if their partner were to pass. For example on income, some may be comfortable with one year’s salary from their partner, where others may want 10 years of salary. It’s always interesting when we finish seeing how the numbers compare.
    If you think you’re alone because you don’t have life insurance, don’t!  Almost 40 percent of people do not have any life insurance. I think a large portion of them fall into the 80 percent of people that think life insurance costs more than it does. I like to remind people the average 20-year term policy on a 35- year-old male non-smoker with $500,000 of coverage is less than $40 a month. That normally opens the eyes pretty wide when they think about what that could do for their family if the worst happened.
    When should I start? The sooner the better is what I tell all my clients. I do not have a crystal ball that says how long each one of us will live for. I do not know what sicknesses or diseases we may become prone to. So, the sooner we get a policy in place, the better! Plus, life insurance is becoming harder and harder to qualify for, so I like to tell my parents and grandparents to look at purchasing a whole life policy for your child/grandchild. An average $25,000 whole-life policy on a newborn can be purchased for a little more than 50 cents a day and will be paid for within 20 years. Plus, they can put options on the policy to increase the coverages over time without ever having to do a medical test. It’s just a great way to make sure your child has protection for the rest of their lives for a very minimal cost.
    There you have it, #LIAM2017 and a few tips on the importance of why each one of us needs life insurance protection. In closing, I keep multiple pictures of my family in my office, and it’s not only to remind me of what I get to go home to every night, but it reminds me of how much each one of them depends on me.

    Jeremy Bradley is a COUNTRY Financial representative, give him a call at 309-820-9598.


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