It wasn’t until I faced a life-threatening health condition that I decided to get serious about my family’s financial affairs. Although most people would agree that they need life insurance, only a fraction actually have coverage.
As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, I’m reminded how my Latino culture places a strong value on family and taking care of our loved ones. Growing up in a Latino home, I was always reminded that family comes first. My parents worked hard to provide for our needs, and instilled in me ethics that helped shape my character. It has also influenced the decisions I make in our home and our finances.
One of those decisions was creating a plan that ensures my family is taken care of in my absence. I wouldn’t want to create a financial burden for my family, which is why having life insurance coverage became a need, and no longer something I wanted. I know that money won’t be able to replace me, but knowing that my family will have financial support gives me peace of mind. Life insurance can be one of the best ways to protect our families, and I’m grateful that I’m able to do this for mine.
As harsh as it may sound, the only thing we’re guaranteed in life is death. Yet it’s the one event that we least prepare for. If you’re not sure where to begin, here are four things you need to know when looking into life insurance.
Term vs. Permanent
You’ll need to determine whether you want term life insurance or permanent life insurance. Term life insurance provides coverage for a specific period of time. Permanent life insurance, also referred to as cash-value insurance, provides coverage during your lifetime. Personally, I have opted for term life insurance, but what you decide should depend on your family’s specific needs.
Determine Your Beneficiaries
The main purpose of life insurance is to ensure that your dependents have financial support in your absence. A beneficiary can be your spouse, your children, your estate, and even a charity. If you choose multiple beneficiaries, determine how you want the proceeds distributed. It’s also a good idea to review your policy when it renews to ensure that your beneficiary information is current.
How Much Coverage You Need
How much income will you need to replace? Do you want to ensure your children have financial support for college? Do you have outstanding debt that will need to be paid off? Even if you don’t have a job that provides financial support right now, what you physically do for your family is valuable and will likely need to be replaced. If you need assistance, check out this calculator to help you get a general idea. A State Farm agent can also help you determine the level of coverage that’s right for your family.
Understand the Terms
Once you figure out what you need, sit down and carefully examine your policy. If something is unclear to you, don’t be afraid to ask your insurance agent questions. I also suggest reading the article Do You Really Need Life Insurance? – to get more insight on this topic. It’s best to be informed, and address your concerns early on.
Do you have life insurance coverage? I’d love to hear your tips and experience!
This blog post was written as part of a sponsored program for State Farm. All views expressed are entirely my own.