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Who Needs Life Insurance?

Life turns on a dime. You have no idea when you’ll “need” insurance. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead. This information will help you figure out what types of insurance make sense for you.

Singles
Most single people don’t need life insurance because no one depends on them financially, but there are exceptions. If you provide financial support for aging parents or siblings, or have substantial debt you wouldn’t want to pass on to surviving family members if you were to die prematurely, you may want to consider it.

Young Families
When you’re starting a family you face perhaps the most daunting financial pressures you’ll encounter at any stage of life. Expenses like a new home and young children weigh heavily, and you’re likely still early in your career, far from your peak earning potential. Meanwhile, you need to begin saving for the future: college for the kids, a nest egg for you and your spouse. How can you address all of these obligations at once?

The key is to imagine you’re at the beginning of a long-term building process. Financial security is a combination of insurance protection, and savings and investments that accumulate over time. Start small and cover all your bases. As your career progresses and your income increases, your financial security will grow as well.

Established Families
You may be juggling kids at home or college, plus the demands of your job. Now that you’ve been in the workforce for quite a while, you don’t have as much time as you once did to recover from unexpected setbacks. You need to take additional steps to protect what you have.

Empty-Nester’s/Retirees
It may seem counter-intuitive that empty-Nester’s or retirees need life insurance, but some still have dependents, such as disabled adult children. Many also still have financial obligations, such as the mortgage on a home or second home, that could become a burden if a spouse died or becomes disabled. More importantly, if you died today, your spouse could outlive you by decades. Would they have to make drastic lifestyle changes to make ends meet? Your death could reduce the Social Security benefits they’d been counting on. It could also bring unplanned medical and funeral expenses.

Businesses
As a small-business owner, you’re responsible for two families: the one you have at home, and the one you have through work. No matter what your business, a well-conceived insurance program is essential. If you die or become disabled, insurance can help protect your family and your business.

To get a sense of how well you’ve planned for these responsibilities, ask yourself these questions:

  • What will happen to my business and family if I die or become disabled?
  • What will happen if certain key employees die or become permanently disabled?
  • How can I attract and retain the best employees?
  • How can I help ensure that my business will be able to weather unforeseen financial hardships?
  • What will happen to my business when I retire?

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