Protect What Matters Most!
Life insurance may be one of the most important purchases you'll ever make. In the event of a tragedy, life insurance proceeds can help pay the bills, continue a family business, finance future needs like your children's education, protect your spouse's retirement plans, and much more. If you're considering securing you and your family’s financial future, we would be happy to review your current situation and offer a few ideas on how you can protect it!
Types of Life Insurance
Term Insurance, the most affordable type of insurance when initially purchased, is designed to meet temporary needs. It provides protection for a specific period of time (the "term") and generally pays a benefit only if you die during the term. This type of insurance often makes sense when you have a need for coverage that will disappear at a specific point in time. For instance, you may decide that you only need coverage until your children graduate from college or a particular debt is paid off, such as your mortgage.
Final Expense Insurance - Final expense insurance is an insurance policy used to pay for funeral services and a burial when the named insured dies. Such a policy helps ease the financial burden placed on a family when a loved one dies.
Universal Life insurance was created to provide more flexibility than whole life insurance by allowing the policy owner to shift money between the insurance and savings components of the policy. Premiums, which are variable, are broken down by the insurance company into insurance and savings, allowing the policy owner to make adjustments based on their individual circumstances. For example, if the savings portion is earning a low return, it can be used instead of external funds to pay the premiums. Unlike whole life insurance, universal life allows the cash value of investments to grow at a variable rate that is adjusted monthly.
Whole Life Insurance is a life insurance contract with level premiums that has both an insurance and an investment component. The insurance component pays a stated amount upon death of the insured. The investment component accumulates a cash value that the policyholder can withdraw or borrow against.
As the most basic form of cash-value life insurance, whole life insurance is a way to accumulate wealth as regular premiums pay insurance costs and contribute to equity growth in a savings account where dividends or interest is allowed to build-up tax-deferred.
Long Term Care
Because of old age, mental or physical illness, or injury, some people find themselves in need of help with eating, bathing, dressing, toileting or continence, and/or transferring (e.g., getting out of a chair or out of bed). These six actions are called Activities of Daily
Living–sometimes referred to as ADLs. In general, if you can’t do two or more of these activities, or if you have a cognitive impairment, you are said to need “long-term care.”
Long-term care isn’t a very helpful name for this type of situation because, for one thing, it might not last for a long time. Some people who need ADL services might need them only for a few months or less.
Many people think that long-term care is provided exclusively in a nursing home. It can be, but it can also be provided in an adult day care center, an assisted living facility, or at home.
Assistance with ADLs, called “custodial care,” may be provided in the same place as (and therefore is sometimes confused with) “skilled care.” Skilled care means medical, nursing, or rehabilitative services, including help taking medicine, undergoing testing (e.g. blood pressure), or other similar services. This distinction is important because generally Medicare and most private health insurance pays only for skilled care–not custodial care.
Hybrid LTC Products
We’re finding some people prefer some of the advantages of going the “hybrid” route for their long-term care coverage. I work with highly experienced professionals who understand the “Hybrid” market inside and out.
Our hybrid clients typically:
- Want a guarantee there will be NO rate increases to their premium, ever.
- Are very comfortable financially and are tempted to even just self-insure the risk, but realize having insurance in place may be prudent.
- Are people who have $100-150K in an easy-access fund like money market, CD, etc. – as “rainy day” money.
- Like to know they are going to use this insurance. With Hybrid, there’s a death benefit (life insurance) or the option to use the death benefit for long-term care costs instead. Hybrids work very similarly to “stand-alone” LTC products at claim time.
- May have income tax sensitivity. Benefits are income tax free.
- May have more serious health issues preventing the stand-alone companies from issuing them a policy. (We can often find a hybrid company may accept some health histories that are not acceptable by stand-alone companies.)
Other advantages of some Hybrid LTC products:
- One of our carriers still offers UNLIMITED lifetime coverage for LTC
- Though monies are re-allocated, it remains YOUR money under your control. So the money will be used either for long-term care costs, or for a death benefit (life insurance) or you can pull out your money later.