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Building Secure Futures, One Family at a Time

4/22/2015, 4:30 p.m. | Updated on 4/22/2015, 1:59 p.m.
Many Americans think that they can’t afford life insurance, especially when some are struggling to balance the daily and monthly ...
Many Americans think that they can’t afford life insurance, especially when some are struggling to balance the daily and monthly expenses that most households face. Getty Images

— Family Features) According to a study done by LIMRA, a non-profit life insurance industry research organization, as many as 40 percent of U.S. households would have immediate trouble meeting household expenses if a primary wage earner were to pass away today. The study also showed that a majority of Gen X and Y consumers believe they need more life insurance than they currently have. Yet according to LIMRA, 30 percent of Americans have no life insurance at all and more than half of those who do are inadequately covered.

At every stage of life, life insurance is an important consideration for protecting your family and your assets. As much as you may not want to think about it, you cannot afford to avoid making these important preparations. Life insurance can be vital to helping your loved ones maintain their standard of living after your death. If you have dependents — a spouse, domestic partner, children and/or an aging parent — you should ensure that your retirement pension and savings are sufficient to secure their future.

Many Americans think that they can’t afford life insurance, especially when some are struggling to balance the daily and monthly expenses that most households face. But life insurance is often more affordable than you might think. In fact, more than 80 percent of Americans overestimate the cost of life insurance. Most people who are uninsured believe that a 20-year, $250,000 term life policy for a healthy 30-year-old would cost $400 per year. But the real cost would actually be only a quarter of that, or about the same cost as your Netflix subscription each month.

Types of Life Insurance

If you’re unsure about life insurance, you’re not alone. Many individuals are confused about how life insurance works. According to LIMRA, 70 percent of Americans failed a 10 question basic life insurance IQ test.

The truth is not all life insurance plans are created equally. In fact, there is a whole host of different types of life insurance to fit your budget, lifestyle and needs.

One of the most common types is term life insurance, which offers affordable coverage for a specific number of years and is great if you want to provide coverage while you pay off certain debts or until you’ve fulfilled some anticipated responsibilities, such as until your children are out of college. However, while term life insurance is an affordable way to get maximum coverage, it also increases in cost after the specified period, so it may not be cost effective in the long run.

On the other hand, permanent life insurance policies are ones that do not expire. They protect your loved ones permanently. These plans typically offer more long-term security and may even accumulate cash value over time. While permanent life insurance may initially cost more than term life insurance, they can also be more cost-effective in the long term.

Depending on your responsibilities and financial situation, the best life insurance plan for you may be term insurance, permanent or one of the many other options offered by insurance companies.