After you've said your vows, cut the cake, enjoyed a leisurely honeymoon and settled in to your life as newlyweds, now's the time to broach the topic of life insurance.
Life insurance is about making a promise to those you love, and since February is the month of love, it makes sense to assess life insurance options for you and your new spouse. Even if you think other financial priorities come first, you should explore life insurance policies and features to determine if one fits in your budget.
Life insurance can seem overwhelming. But if you begin with the basics, it's easier to understand.
Here are three primary types of life insurance:
Term life insurance
Term life insurance is meant to cover you for a specified period of time. The length of the term typically ranges from 5 to 30 years, depending on what term you select. Term life insurance is a good basic policy that can be a very affordable choice - especially when you're just starting out.
Whole life insurance
Whole life insurance is considered a permanent life insurance. Unlike term life insurance (that provides coverage for a specific time period), whole life is designed to provide coverage for the rest of your life as long as you make your required premium payments on time. It also includes an additional feature known as cash value that can accumulate. You can borrow against the cash value or use it to supplement your income in retirement. The premiums with whole life will never increase and will remain level for as long as you own your policy.
Universal life insurance
Universal life insurance is also a type of permanent life insurance (meant to last a lifetime), but offers you the ability to use accumulated cash value to cover premium payments. Most universal life policies accumulate cash-value over time that you can borrow* against (up to a limit), for whatever you like, such as a down payment on your first home or preparing for a new baby.
When you marry, you are committing to care for another person for the rest of your life. Life insurance is one way you can protect your loved one by ensuring they can meet financial obligations if the unthinkable happens.
* Loans against the policy accrue interest and decrease the death benefit and cash value by the amount of the outstanding loan and interest.