September is National Life Insurance Month. A family really cannot do without life insurance. Being young is the best time to buy life insurance. The younger you are the less you will pay. You need life Insurance before it needs to be used, meaning before it needs to be used on your behalf. If you are the prime source of your family's income you should be insured. If your spouse works they also need life insurance. Are you a partner in a business? Each partner needs to be insured to cover any loss in the untimely event that they have departed their earthly presence. How much insurance do you need? Ideally one needs an amount equal to current debt, monthly expenses times 24, the financial needs of children (under the age of 18 or 26 if in school) through secondary education and your spouse for a duration of their expected lifetime in the event they will not be able to work. The former is an ideal target goal. Every family situation is unique. If the spouse also works the computation and needs change. When the family dynamics change new needs arise while others may be no longer necessary to cover. More than a few policies today can be converted into an income generation vehicle later in life. That income later in your life vehicle proves to be a valuable asset. Listening to people as they explain how they and their families were catapulted into poverty after the tragic loss of a loved one made me realize that too many people are not protected. Many people do not have enough coverage. Those that have company provided or subsidized insurance lose that insurance when they leave that organization. Some lose employer life insurance as the result of a merger or buy-out of a company. Some lose employer life insurance when they retire. If employees had invested in life insurance individually, the policy is active as long as the premiums are paid. Buying life insurance when you are young is the best premium you can get. Some life policies accumulate cash value. Some life policies allow you to borrow loans from the cash value. Some allow for inclusions or "Riders" that include double indemnity, long-term care and home health care additions. Some policies easily convert into income generating vehicles to supplement your retirement income. In some cases it may be the only income. Selling AH&D (Accident, Health and Disability) added to auto loans in the 1970's, 1980's and 1990's helped more than a few families make ends meet. It was so rewarding to be thanked for making sure they were covered. To those that benefited from the additional coverage, it was in place when they really needed it. Today there are plans that can be tailored to the needs of most individuals and families. There are many plans that fit even the tightest budget. The average funeral cost is between $8,000.00 and $12,000.00. Cremation is also costly. The average Cremation with a memorial service is $3,250.00 and higher. The average Direct Cremation is $1500.00 to $3,000.00. The funeral costs are in addition to any medical costs associated with a sudden death. Many times the cost to replace the financial contribution or the reliance of a lost one has a value most do not equate in their calculations. A stay-at-home spouse has a monetary value. A relative that is a care taker has a monetary value. If and when the loss of that spouse or caretaker happens the cost to replace their monetary value can be quite steep. The cost to replace their companionship is priceless. The legal system can take years if a settlement is even a possibility. Add children and elderly relatives to the equation and the financial cost needed increases substantially. A family really cannot do without life insurance. Being young really is the best time to buy life insurance. The younger you are the less you will pay. Locking in a premium at a young age is a smart choice. Over the years I have listened to heart wrenching tales that families and individuals told me they endured as the result of an untimely or tragic death of a loved one. Not being protected from the financial burden from the loss of their main source of income drastically and dramatically changed their lives. These life changing scenarios are difficult for anyone, adding to their grief were mortgage lenders, health care facilities, legalities and sometimes, children too young to grasp any of it.
Final Expense is something that is a necessity for all of us, but an insurance rarely sought until the end of our life is visible to us. Death of our bodies is an inevitable process after we are born. Old age and a foreseen natural death is what one tends to visualize. Life, however has no set time limit, just as death has no boundary of time. When I am paying my respects to friends and family I notice when "Untimely" deaths are not prepared for. I too chose to believe in the "Natural" order of death. After the death of a child, the end of life was visible to me. Being between the ages of 18 years old through age 29 is the least expensive time in your life to buy life and final expense insurance. The younger you are the less a policy will cost. Don't count on the cost saving "Employer Life Plan". Companies are sold, merged, closed or elect to no longer participate in or continue to offer a "Life Plan". You need to buy Life Insurance when you are young and control that plan yourself. You will benefit in the long run. Many plans today allow you to convert part of a plan to an income producing stream and invest part of the plan into another product with higher paying returns. Today's Life Insurance Plans offer many choices. Don’t leave the burden of the cost and preparation for your funeral and final expenses to your loved ones left behind.
Most Health Insurances, Medicare or Supplements DO NOT pay past day 100 for Long-Term Care. Many carriers require a co-pay for days 21 to day 100. The cost to cover a Skilled Nursing Facility is either long-term care Insurance, self-pay, or selling your assets until you meet the qualification for your state Medicaid. Long Term Care Insurance is a way to pay for costs The U. S. average cost for a semi-private room is $255.00 per day. Home Health Care is an option for some. There are carriers that offer Home Health Care Insurance. Most people that I know want to be home as opposed to being in a Nursing Home. Home Health Care can be used for a temporary recovery period. Some individuals can afford the co-payment or full cost of the duration of care needed. Most families and individuals that I meet with cannot afford to self-pay. Many do not have Long-Term Care Insurance. Some of the policies in effect pay only after day 100 and have a term limit. However, I have met individuals and couples that are now in their late 70’s and 80’s that do have good Long-Term Policies. They purchased their policies in the 1960’s, and 1970’s when monthly costs were low and the life expectancy was also lower. Now that our seniors live a good life into their 90’s and over 100, costs to pay for long-term premiums is much higher. Short-Term Rehabilitative Care is another option for some individuals. Not every illness requires a permanent move to a nursing home. Joint replacements sometimes require after surgery care. The patients recovering from a joint replacement are expected to become able to return home and be on their own with limited oversight. They may need supervised care for a short time but are expected to recover.
United Home Life, Mutual of Omaha, National Life Group
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