How do you want to be remembered? Throughout time, people have used ceremonies to honor their loved ones who have passed away. Ceremony is a vital part of the grieving process. One day, the acknowledgment of your legacy through some kind of celebration or religious service will be significant to your loved ones — even if you choose cremation.
Today, funerals and memorial services can be as unique as the lives they honor. While many people still want a more traditional service, more people are choosing customized ways to be remembered.
The bills can add up. However you choose to be remembered, the bills can add up quickly. Without life insurance, your grieving loved ones will be left to pay for your final expenses. Even a modest funeral can cost an average of about $10,000 or more* — and cremation isn’t always a lower‐cost alternative.
Plus, your family may have to deal with any debts you might leave behind. They’ll be forced to manage with whatever you did or didn’t do — whether it was addressing legal issues (like having a will), or managing your belongings. The more you plan ahead, the easier it will be for your loved ones.
* “What are the average funeral costs to expect?”, us‐funerals.com, website of US Funerals Online, June 8, 2013
Top three reasons people buy life insurance. According to a recent study, people buy life insurance to:*
√ Pay final expenses — 49%
Note: You can purchase a policy that will simply cover the costs of a funeral.
√ Replace income — 35%
Note: If anyone relies on you for financial support (like a spouse, children living at home, or a loved one with special needs), life insurance can help provide for them after you’re gone.
√ Pay off mortgage — 22%
Note: A policy that pays cash benefits to your spouse or other beneficiaries can help ease the burden of monthly mortgage payments.
*LIMRA (Life Insurance and Market Research Association); Results from LIMRA’s 2016 Household Trends in Life Insurance Study; www.limra.com/ownership
Term vs. whole life insurance. In short, “term” lasts for a specific period of time, say 30 years. It’s less expensive and has no cash value. Whole life is permanent protection. It lasts your whole life, so your beneficiaries are guaranteed a payout when you die. It costs more, but it also builds cash value, so you can access it while you’re still alive. Many people switch from term to whole life as they move into retirement age.
Other things you may not know about life insurance. Many people are unsure about the amount and kind of life insurance they may need, how much it will cost, and whether or not they can be approved for coverage. Here’s what you should know:
√ The amount and type of insurance you need can change over time, depending on your stage of life. An online life insurance calculator can help you determine how much coverage may be best for you and your family.
√ Rates may be the lowest they’ll ever be in your lifetime while you’re young and healthy. However, life insurance can be more affordable than you may think at any age.
√ Some policies are “guaranteed issue,” which means there are no medical questions to answer and no physical exam required. Your approval for coverage is guaranteed.
√ Life insurance is one of the group benefits you lose when you retire, so it’s important to review your coverage needs as you prepare for retirement.