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How Can You Understand the Benefits, Varieties, and Changes in Term Life Insurance?

Term life insurance is a straightforward yet versatile financial instrument designed to provide a sense of security and monetary relief to the policyholder's beneficiaries under the shadow of life's unpredictability. This article embarks on elucidating what term life insurance entails, the diverse types it manifests in, and the accompanying advantages and disadvantages. Continue reading...

What Is a Beneficiary?

In the realm of finance and estate planning, the term "beneficiary" holds significant importance. It's a concept that transcends the mere distribution of assets; it's about ensuring your wishes are respected, protecting your loved ones' financial future, and navigating the intricate web of financial regulations. In this article, we'll delve into the nuances of beneficiaries, exploring how they work, the types available, and providing examples to shed light on this vital aspect of financial planning. Continue reading...

What Are the Roles, Responsibilities, and Consequences of a Guarantor?

Ever wondered who steps in when a borrower defaults on a loan? Dive into the intricate world of guarantors, the unsung heroes of the financial realm, and uncover the responsibilities, risks, and protections associated with this pivotal role. Continue reading...

What Is Indexed Universal Life Insurance (IUL)?

Unlock the potential of Indexed Universal Life (IUL) insurance. From flexible premiums to stock market exposure without the risk, delve into how IUL can reshape your financial future. Are you ready to navigate the world of IUL with confidence?" Continue reading...

What is Life Insurance?

Life insurance is one of the oldest financial products in existence, with roots going back beyond the ancient Roman Empire. Today, there are many different kinds of life insurance available, most representing variations on the main categories of term life, whole life, and universal life. It can be written in a private contract, but most often it is offered as packaged products to the public. Life Insurance’s main purpose is to ensure that dependents of a deceased provider or caretaker will have some financial resources to fall back on, but it can also be used as a means to create a guaranteed legacy or a tax-advantaged pool of money. Continue reading...

What Amount of Life Insurance Should I Have?

You may hear different things about the amount of life insurance that you need. An easy way some suggest is to take your annual income and multiply it by 10. But that doesn’t take everything into account, such as debts, specific things you want the money to do, or a safe withdrawal rate to give your beneficiaries an income that you want them to have if something happens to you. The right number could be more like 20 times your annual income, but it all depends on the purpose of the money and your financial situation. Continue reading...

Do I Need Life Insurance for My Spouse?

The spousal relationship is usually intended to be a permanent one, and with it comes a high degree of financial co-dependence. Today, many working couples will mutually own life insurance for the sake of the other, so that long term financial plans do not have to change drastically if one of them dies. Even in the case of a non-working spouse, they are probably doing something that brings economic value to the household, a contribution which can be insured with life insurance. Life insurance on your spouse may protect you the same way that life insurance on your life can protect your spouse. Continue reading...

Do I Need Life Insurance?

If you are a provider to a family and your existing assets are not adequate to provide for them after your death, and you would like to make sure they are taken care of, then, yes, you need life insurance. If you have no dependents but you want to make sure a charity you support receives an endowment in your name, then life insurance may again be the tool to use. There may also be benefits to you while alive if you do not have many options for tax-deferred savings. Continue reading...

Do I Need Life Insurance if I have an Annuity?

If an annuity or pension will pay your spouse a survivor’s benefit that is adequate to support his or her lifestyle, then you may not need to a life insurance policy to cover this need. Annuities are seen as longevity insurance which protect against outliving money, while life insurance protects beneficiaries if the insured person dies younger than expected. If something happens to you and you have an annuity, your surviving spouse would either continue to receive periodic benefits or take a lump-sum distribution, depending on what kind of payout option you chose when you signed the contract. In the case of the lump sum it may only be for the amount of principal that had not been paid out yet in annuity payments. Continue reading...

What Types of Life Insurance Exist?

There are more than a few types of life insurance, and more are introduced as time passes. There is group life, term life, whole life, universal life, variations of these, as well as situations that use these products in contexts that warrant their own category such as bank owned life insurance (BOLI), captive insurance companies, and others. Term life insurance is the most common type of life insurance, and it serves as pure insurance, with no cash value, and a limited time in which it has level premiums or will pay the guaranteed death benefit. Continue reading...

What is Second-To-Die Life Insurance?

Second-to-die policies are also known as survivorship policies, and are primarily used by married couples to provide a guaranteed legacy to their children after they have both passed away. These come in handy for estate planning, when an estate tax bill might be looming for the heirs. To be clear, this insurance covers the lives of two individuals and provides a death benefit to a listed beneficiary only after the last surviving insured individual dies. Continue reading...

What is Universal Life Insurance?

Universal Life Insurance is a permanent cash value insurance that has a term-insurance component and a savings component as well. The savings component is invested in a tax-deferred account, designed to create a cash build-up that can increase the death benefit or to be used at the discretion of the policy-owner. The cash grows inside the policy tax-deferred, and if money is taken out as a loan, it avoids taxation as income. Continue reading...

What is Variable Universal Life Insurance?

Variable Life Insurance is a permanent universal life policy that has a death benefit as long as the cash value and premiums are sufficient to pay the increasing cost per-thousand, while the premiums and cash value have the option of being invested in separate accounts which behave much like mutual funds. Often the policy-owner has a choice of many investment options, and can construct an entire portfolio within the policy. Continue reading...

What is Whole Life Insurance?

Whole Life Insurance provides lifelong death benefit coverage as well as a tax-deferred savings account. A large portion of your premium goes into the general account of the insurance company, and this increases the cash value available to the policy holder at a growth rate dependent on the investment and sales experience of the company. Every dollar and amount of interest which is credited to the policy cash value is vested with the policy-owner and will not decrease. Continue reading...

Where Do I Buy Life Insurance?

There is no clear-cut answer this question. There are many companies that offer life insurance and countless salespeople and brokers anxious to sell an insurance policy. You should buy your Life Insurance from a company that is reliable, financially stable, and reputable. You can find a policy yourself online or through an agent or advisor. Of course, you must do research and analyze the companies which you are considering very carefully. It is of utmost importance to be sure that your insurance company has policies that suit your needs and are not a scam, especially since this may be some of the most important insurance you can own. Continue reading...

How Do I Know that Life Insurance Companies are Reliable?

Life insurance companies that have not been around more than 20 years may not be reliable. Even the ones that have been around 30 years or so need to have very good credit ratings and business models for you to expect them to be around in 30 years or so to pay a possible death claim. To determine whether an insurance company is reliable, it is necessary to look at their financial strength rating. A financial strength rating is a letter-grade provided by major rating services, such as Moody’s Investor Services, Fitch Ratings, and others. For example, Moody’s Investor Services ratings are as follows: AAA, AA, A, BBB, BB, etc. Continue reading...

How Much will Life Insurance Cost Me?

Various kinds of life insurance have various-size premium obligations. Term policies have the lowest premiums, which has to do with the lower probability that a company will have to pay a death claim during that term. Other policies may have cash value that begs the question of how “cost” is defined, if there is a rate of return. Life Insurance premium sizes and costs will depend on the type of policy and the underwriting decisions of the company for each person. The amount you will need to pay depends on a number of factors: type of insurance, your age, your health, and the amount of your death benefit. Continue reading...

Is Life Insurance a Good Investment?

As a rule of thumb, life insurance should not be considered an investment at all, since it’s primary purpose is to provide insurance coverage. That said, some cash value policies have attractive features that can be appealing in certain circumstances. We will say that a smart investor who has done research and gotten good advice will generally not end up with a permanent cash value life insurance policy. Continue reading...

What if My Life Insurance Doesn’t Pay the Death Benefit to My Survivors?

Generally a life insurance company will have to pay a death benefit once the contestability period of two years has passed. Policies may have certain exclusions, such as suicide or death while committing a felony, but these will appear in the contract language. Even if it turns out that an insured person lied about smoking or their age, the insurance company will have to pay a death benefit that will simply be reduced to account for the premiums paid and what should have been the correct risk rating for the person. Most life insurance will pay out a death claim if death occurs for any reason after the contestability period has passed. Continue reading...

What is an Accelerative Endowment?

Cash-value life policies can be structured for certain endowment ages, and dividends from the company can accelerate the endowment age. Traditional life insurance policies, especially older ones always had an “endowment age,” which meant that if the insured reached that age, their death benefit would be paid out in one lump sum, to be used however the insured wanted. The endowment age used to be about 95 or 100 years old, but in the last few years most companies have moved the age of endowment back to about age 120, since people are living longer and longer, and it looked like they were going to be paying out too many contracts at endowment age instead of at time of death in the future. Continue reading...

What is Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance?

Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) coverage is normally offered as a rider on health or regular life insurance policies, or as a part of voluntary deduction supplemental insurance offered to an employee group. AD&D policies provide separate coverage and terms for the instance of death by accident and the loss of limbs or specific functionality of body parts. The main attraction to this insurance is that it is very affordable, and many employees check to box to have it deducted from their pay because it is such a negligible amount. Continue reading...

What is an Accidental Death Benefit?

Accidental Death Benefits are paid only if the cause of death is deemed to be an accident. Sometimes a regular life insurance or health insurance contract will offer an Accidental Death rider. The rider is appended to the contract for a relatively inexpensive additional premium and will pay a specified death benefit if the insured’s cause of death results from an accident. There are several exclusions to the definition of accident, and usually these are things like dangerous activities (sky diving, cave diving), acts of violence and war, and accidents resulting from driving under the influence or other examples where the insured has willfully put themselves in danger, or committed a crime, will usually not be covered. Continue reading...

What is Accelerated Life Insurance?

Life insurance contracts sometimes contain provisions by which the death benefits can be paid out to an insured person while they are still alive. This is called “accelerating” the benefits. Certain terms must be met for the benefits to be accelerated, and different policies have different contract language and exclusions. Sometimes these provisions are attached to a regular contract as a Rider, which might require an additional premium, or might be included by default. Continue reading...

What are Accelerated Benefits?

Some life insurance policies allow for death benefits to be accelerated as living benefits under certain conditions. Accelerated benefits are often included in life insurance contracts, but it is possible that they can also be added as Riders for an additional fee. Riders are addendum to a contract that contain additional contractual provisions. What an accelerated benefits rider stipulates is that if certain conditions are met, a portion of the death benefits on a life insurance policy can be paid to the insured person during their lifetime. These conditions may be that the insured person has been diagnosed with less than 12 months to live, or that they have another serious health condition which is covered. Sometimes this includes the payment of monthly benefits if a person requires long-term care. Continue reading...