Things happen. Most times, it’s things that are out of our control. How many times have I heard of someone passing away, whether young or older and their family goes on the news or social media in hopes of racking up donations to help with the funeral? I’ve see this happen far too much and these are not the only ways that I’ve seen people attempt to raise money for a funeral. Fundraising after a situation has occurred is not always the best approach to take especially when death is involved.
Once a person dies, there are certain laws that have to be followed and it varies by state. Michigan for instance, requires that funeral directors file a death certificate with the local registrar within 72 hours of death.
*General rule is that a body should be buried within two weeks of death as the body starts to eventually decompose (though there are methods to slow that down, but that’s a different topic for a different day).
I’m here to educate you on the basics of Life Insurance today in hopes that you’ll realize that it is a much needed resource for you and your family.
Life Insurance Basics
Life Insurance is meant to provide financial protection for those that are dependent on you at a point in your life where you have yet to build up other assets. Agents may try to sell you super expensive policies known as “permanent policies” but in reality most people don’t need these and therefore shouldn’t buy them.
How long do you need it?
Once you have accumulated assets that your dependents can fall back on such as a retirement fund or any other investments you may have, you no longer need life insurance.
Let’s just say that you don’t have any assets or investment and are living paycheck to paycheck, (as most of us are) there are still ways that you can be prepared for the unknown; even while on a limited income.
How much do you need?
Suze Orman says to “aim for a death benefit that is twenty-five times your beneficiaries’ income needs.”
Add up the annual living costs for your dependents and then purchase a policy that is 25 times your beneficiaries’ income needs.
I.e. If your dependent’s living expenses is $50,000, you should be buying a policy with a $1,250,000 death benefit.
Terms to know:
Death Benefit– The money beneficiaries will receive upon the death of the insured.
Principle- The actual amount of the death benefit payout
Income-The interest you can receive by investing the principle (the death benefit) .
Suze advises to stick with Term Life Insurance. All other life insurance policies are a waste of money as agents will try to trick you into thinking that life insurance is an investment and it’s not. It’s a resource.
-The policy can be tailored to your needs
-Locked in a fixed premium (as long as you make your payments on time. This is called a annual guaranteed renewable term)
-Buy a policy from a financially solid life insurance company
-ask your agent about the safety ratings for the insurance company
*You should only want to buy a policy that will be in business 30+ years from now.
Life Insurance gets much deeper than the tips that I have provided you today. I challenge you to research this further and find a life insurance policy that is tailored to your needs and purchase it! My life lessons segments are meant to be brief educators of resources and investments that exist to better prepare you for the unknown or at least try to. It is up to you (the reader) to follow through and take action and I hope that you will! We can’t keep living life unprepared and just hope that things will work out for the better because sometimes unfortunate things happen and then a whole chain reaction of other unfortunate things happen because of that.
Keep that in mind. After all, we should aspire to be ambitious in every aspect of our lives and pass that down to our children and loved ones.
“Life insurance is not about hoping it’s about preparing for the worst,” –Suze Orman
All knowledge presented here today was taken from Suze Orman’s “Women and Money” book.