Till Death Do Us Part: Is Life Insurance Really Necessary?

Written by Lindsey Chamberlain
Written by Lindsey Chamberlain

Lindsey has produced copy for Amazon.com, Overstock.com, and the world's largest reputation management firm. Additionally, she worked as a ghostwriter and blogger for clients in 35 states and on 3 continents.

Couple planning their life insurance plan

After the whirlwind of the wedding and honeymoon, couples face a number of tasks to complete and decisions to make. While many tasks and decisions fall into place once an everyday routine is established, other decisions require deeper consideration. Within the first few months, couples quickly learn how big an impact marriage has on their lives—especially when it comes to questions regarding insurance. Folks in their 20s and 30s rarely think about life insurance. This is normally because most people at this age enjoy vibrant health. However, with getting married or starting a family, a person’s perspective tends to change because they become responsible for the health and financial well-being of others.

Many newlyweds wonder if purchasing life insurance is necessary. Others may wonder if purchasing life insurance is something best put off for a later date. Although end-of-life issues may seem depressing to talk about, discussing life insurance with your partner is an important step toward preparedness and peace of mind.

How Life Insurance Protects Your Spouse and/or Children

Beyond the devastating loss of a loved one, there are financial issues that arise with death. Funeral expenses, debts and medical bills can take a financial toll on loved ones. If the breadwinner of the family passes on, a spouse with less income potential can suffer tremendous financial hardship. For instance, a spouse may choose to stay at home to raise children and be out of the workforce for quite some time. If a spouse passes, the costs of maintaining the household while attempting to enter the workforce after a long hiatus can devastate the surviving members of a family.

Depending on the type of life insurance policy and its coverage, payouts have a number of practical uses. A surviving spouse could pay off a mortgage and other debts, pay for college, and cover household expenses for a few months or years after the loss of a loved one. The benefits of life insurance can certainly assuage fear and offer peace of mind for married couples and their families. Additionally, purchasing life insurance at an early age normally means that premiums are much lower when compared to the premiums for middle-aged or elderly persons.

Things to Consider When Purchasing a Life Insurance Plan

The first thing to determine when purchasing life insurance is which type of life insurance policy meets your needs and provides the best value for your money. There are a few different types of policies, including term life, permanent life, and universal life insurance. Other options for increasing peace of mind and financial stability include accidental death and critical illness insurance.

The second thing to evaluate regarding life insurance is the policy’s payout stipulations. Will the policy be paid out in installments? Do the funds change over time, like those found in liquid accounts? Can you take out loans on the policy to pay off a future debt if necessary? All of your questions and the stipulations of a policy should be closely considered when choosing a life insurance plan.

Another important factor to consider is how much life insurance should be purchased. Some financial advisers recommend purchasing a policy that is seven times the annual income. However, this is only a suggestion and may not be right for every couple’s needs. Newlyweds may prefer to consider how much debt the couple has between mortgages, credit cards and student loans, plus funeral expenses, when determining the amount of coverage.

How to Make an Informed Decision

With easy access to the Internet, some people may purchase a life insurance policy online without giving it much thought. Financial planners and insurance agents advise against this strategy. The best way to make an informed decision is to research how different policies work and evaluate their benefits. Speaking with a professional and discussing your needs and current lifestyle is equally important. Before sitting down to discuss your needs, you and your spouse may want to compile a list of questions to ask your agent. Also, it wouldn't hurt to familiarize yourselves with life insurance terminology to help gain a better understanding of policy benefits and terms.

A Trusted Choice® independent agent can help make the decision to purchase life insurance much easier by answering questions, explaining policies and their coverage, and providing a comparison of plans from different carriers so that couples can make the most informed decision possible.


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