The reason there are many different types of life insurance owners is because there are different needs for it. If someone will suffer financially upon your death, then you'll most likely have a need for coverage. The fact is, life insurance isn't just for growing families with minor children. Yes, having dependents can necessitate having coverage, but there are other scenarios as well.
We want to help you better understand how life insurance might apply to a particular situation and why you might want to consider getting coverage. Here are a few examples.
If you're unmarried but have a significant other who depends on you for financial support, life insurance can help replace the income that is lost upon your death.
Permanent life insurance, such as whole or universal life, may be an option if you want a policy that won't expire (as long as your required premium payments are made in a timely manner) and with the potential to earn cash value over time that can be borrowed against for future expenses.*
Being single doesn't necessarily mean that no one depends on you financially. For example, a single individual may be responsible for the care of one or more aging parents. And, you might also be carrying debts that you wouldn't want passed on to your loved ones. Another consideration would be your insurability. If you are single, securing a life insurance policy while you are young and healthy means you're most likely to receive better insurance rates.
Even if you're not married, life insurance can still be a smart decision. By considering a permanent life insurance policy such as whole or universal life, you essentially “lock” into a rate, and the policy will be with you as long as you live provided the required premium payments are timely made.
If you're a single parent, you may be the sole supporter of your child/children. Life insurance for a single person could help provide financially for your child/children if you were to unexpectedly die.
As a parent, you want the very best for your children. A permanent life insurance policy could provide you with a lifetime of protection, while building cash value over time. That's money you can use to help fund a college education, wedding, or first car.*
Life insurance isn't just for the breadwinner of the family. If your spouse were to pass away, the death benefit could help cover the cost of replacing the vital services that stay-at-home parents provide. That could include childcare, household cleaning, cooking, transportation, etc.
A stay-at-home parent provides care and services that would be very expensive to replace. Couples in this situation might consider a term policy to cover their needs until their children are grown and are no longer dependent on them. However, don't neglect your long-term financial needs and goals. For some, a permanent life insurance policy can help leave a tax-free cash legacy to their children long after they're gone. Discuss your options with a qualified life insurance agent.
Even though you are no longer earning a paycheck, having life insurance can help your surviving spouse fill in the gap between Social Security benefits, pensions, medical expenses, and long-term care costs. A life insurance death benefit can help your spouse continue to live his/her current lifestyle. And, if you have a large estate, your heirs may be subject to estate taxes. With a life insurance policy, they could use the benefit to cover the costs associated with a big tax liability.
The cash value* of a permanent life insurance policy can complement a more secure retirement. When making a withdrawal, you don't have to sell the asset as with stocks, and if you borrow against the cash value, there are typically no capital gains or ordinary income taxes involved. Unlike many financial products, a life insurance death benefit is generally passed on to your beneficiaries tax-free.
Small business owners
If you're a co-owner or partner in a small business, you might want to use life insurance to fund a buy/sell agreement. Simply put, a buy/sell agreement is when each business owner purchases a life insurance policy on each of the other owners. When an owner dies, the surviving owner uses the death benefit to purchase the deceased owner's share of the business. Moreover, life insurance can help keep your family business “in the family” by covering an outstanding debt that the business may have taken on.
Because commercial loans, inventory, vendors, etc., can be substantial, providing the necessary funds for your survivors can help them keep the business going without having to dip into their savings or worse, having to sell the family business.
Just because the kids are out of the house and on their own, doesn't always mean that you no longer need life insurance. If you were to die today, you may still be paying a mortgage, car payments, etc. Would your spouse be able to make ends meet without your paycheck? Or would he/she be forced to sell the house and liquidate any retirement savings to pay the bills?
Before deciding on what type of policy may be best for you, examine your current debts. For example, how many years of house payments do you have left? If your main goal is to cover larger debts for a particular number of years until they are paid off (such as a mortgage), then you may consider a 20 or 30-year term life policy. However, if you'd prefer to have a policy that could provide the cash value* to pay off debts and don't want to worry about it expiring after a certain number of years, you may want to consider a permanent life insurance policy.
Always consult with an insurance professional who can provide you with a personalized assessment based on your unique life stage and who considers your current and long-term objectives, potential for risk, and financial goals.
There are many different scenarios that can make having a life insurance policy necessary. That is why there are many different types of life insurance needs unique to singles, unmarried couples, stay-at-home spouses, retirees, empty nesters, and business owners. Learn more by reading, 10 Types of Life Insurance: Which Flavor is Right For You?