Life Insurance Buyers Guide
Reviewer: Aaron Creighton | December 3, 2018
Life insurance protection for your family is possible for less than $1 per day. In many cases a physical exam is not required. Term vs whole? We’ll explain….
What is Life Insurance?
Taking out a life insurance policy is protection for your family. Without your income your family could suffer financially. Most people know this about life insurance, but their understanding of how life insurance works doesn’t go much further. We hope this guide to life insurance helps clarify:
- What is Life Insurance?
- What are the different Types?
- Term vs Whole Life Insurance
- What Should I Buy?
What are the Different Types
There are essentially two different types of life insurance: term, and whole-life. Term life insurance is simple. It pays if you die, this is called a death benefit. It gets the name ‘term’ because it only ensures you for a set amount of time.
A whole-life policy is slightly different. You pay into it from the time you buy it, until you die. You still get the death benefit, but you can also cash it out in the event that you need some extra cash. Let’s take a closer look at both types.
Term vs Whole Life Insurance
Term life insurance policies are by far the more common approach to life insurance. Term policies are pure insurance. You make a payment to insure that your family is protected in the event of your untimely death. Your policy is only valuable if you expire before your term policy does. But that’s not a bad thing.
Term policies are perfect if you only want to ensure your family is protected before important life events, like your kids getting through college, or paying off your mortgage. Also, you can get another term policy after your first term policy expires. These policies are much cheaper than whole life policies on a month-to-month basis.
A whole-life insurance policy is slightly different. Whole-life insurance provides death benefits as well, but there is also an investment component. The whole-life policy does not have a set ‘term’, it continues to insure you from the day you buy it until you the day you die and in most cases that payment amount does not change.
However, the whole-life policy can also be cashed out if you need the money for something else. But don’t rush to get a whole-life policy as a savings account. There are better, more practical and cheaper ways of investing your money so in most cases term life insurance makes more sense. Part of the reason for this is that a portion of your payment goes to the administrative costs of the investments your insurance company makes. It’s not all bad though, there are a few reasons to consider whole-life which we will address next.
What Should I Buy?
The truth is, a majority of people shopping for life insurance are better off buying a term policy. But there are some instances where a whole life policy makes sense. Particularly if you have a special needs dependent. Also, if you’re wealthy and have maxed out other retirement accounts, or your wealth is subject to the estate tax.
But if you’re shopping for life insurance solely for the death benefit, you should probably choose term life insurance. These policies offer better value for most shoppers.
Life Insurance Buyers Guide Summary