September is life insurance awareness month. Now is the time to review your life insurance policies for accuracy: does it have the right beneficiary, contingent beneficiaries, face amount, what type of policy do you have: term, whole, universal, a combination, is it the best policy for you, your family, and your current needs. Also, do your loved ones know where your policies are when life happens? What does all this mean?
The beneficiary is normally setup at the time the policy is issued, but over time that person may have changed due to life events: such as marriage, death, divorce. The policy purchased 10 years ago many people neglect to update when a life change happens. Also if the policy owner hasn’t taken the time to name a contingent beneficiary, or beneficiaries, then if something happens to the primary then the policy goes directly to the estate which is not what you as the owner of the policy intended. Frequently this only takes a few minutes to review and is only a simple form to update with the insurance agent to make the changes, if you need to. This is the time to verify, update addresses and confirm cash values, if any.
Take the time now to speak to an agent to review the current type of life insurance policies you own, your life situation, children, mortgage, loved ones, charitable contributions you may want to give to, and how your life insurance may cover these needs. If you have only a term life insurance policy this may not cover your situation later when you retire, especially if it is only offered from an employer sponsored plan. You might be surprised how affordable life insurance is for you to own a policy and there are several types available including ones for people diagnosed with serious medical illnesses, known as final expense.
So with September Life Insurance Awareness make sure you know: where are your policy copy stored? Are they active and in force? Does your family know where to find the policy when the time arises? Will they cover burial expenses only? Do they cover the housing expenses when you are no longer there to help pay the bills? How about children will they be able to go to college or a trade school without you? Will your spouse need a second job just to put food on the table? This is where a qualified needs analysis and budget helps figure out what those expenses are? How long do you want to help your family when you are no longer there to assist them with those daily expenses and those future expenses. No one wants to think about the time when they are not there for their loved ones, but proper planning with the right life insurance combination shows not only that you cared but that you loved them enough to make sure you provided for them once you were no long here.