Financial Focus: What’s keeping you from protecting your family’s future? (column)
Think about your loved ones. What will their future be like? Can you picture them living in your house many years from now? Can you picture your children going to college? Can you picture your spouse or partner enjoying a comfortable retirement? These are all pleasant visions — but what if you weren’t in these pictures?
If you were no longer around, you’d leave a gaping hole in the lives of your survivors. The emotional element would be tough enough, but the financial aspect — the permanent loss of your income — could be devastating to all the hopes you’ve had for your family members. Fortunately, you can help prevent this “worst-case” scenario from happening — if you have sufficient life insurance.
Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t — even when they recognize the need. LIMRA and Life Happens, two organizations that provide education on life insurance, report the following:
- Only four in 10 Americans own an individual life insurance policy — although 85 percent say that most people need life insurance.
- More than one-third of all households report that they would feel an adverse financial impact within one month of losing a primary wage earner’s income, while nearly half would feel an impact in just six months.
What’s keeping people from providing adequate insurance for their families? Here’s a sampling of the most common reasons:
- “I just don’t want to think about it.” Let’s face it — like almost everybody, you probably don’t like to think about death. And consequently, you may well be inclined to postpone thinking about life insurance. But if you can just envision what your loved ones’ lives would be like without you, in terms of their financial situation, you will find it easier to address your insurance needs in a calmer, more analytical manner.
- “I have other financial priorities.” You will always have financial obligations — mortgage or rent payments, car payments, credit card bills, student loans, etc. You can’t ignore these expenses, but ask yourself this: Do any of them really take priority over the future happiness and welfare of your loved ones? Since the answer to this question is obviously “no,” you will likely conclude that maintaining adequate life insurance is one of the most important financial moves you can make.
- “I can’t afford life insurance.” If you think life insurance is prohibitively expensive, you’re not alone. In fact, 80 percent of consumers think life insurance costs more than it does, according to LIMRA and Life Happens, while nearly half of the “millennial” generation estimates the cost at five times more than the actual amount. In reality, some types of life insurance, such as term insurance, is highly affordable.
- “I don’t know how much insurance I’ll need.” To determine an appropriate level of coverage, you’ll need to consider a variety of factors, such as the number and age of your dependents, size of your mortgage, spousal income, amount of employer-provided insurance, and so on. A financial professional can help you calculate the amount of protection you need.
As you can see, none of the reasons listed above should really keep you from adding life insurance to your overall financial strategy. So, take action soon to help ensure that your wishes for your family’s future will become reality.
This article was written for use by local Edward Jones financial advisors. Edward Jones and its associates and financial advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. Chuck Smallwood, Kevin Brubeck, Tina DeWitt, Charlie Wick and Bret Hooper are financial advisors with Edward Jones Investments and can be reached in Edwards at 970-926-1728, in Eagle at 970-328-0361, 970-328-0639 or 970-328-4959 and in Avon at 970-688-5420.
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