For more than a century Americans fulfilled their life insurance needs with a venerable but rather stodgy and plain vanilla protection product called whole life. It served everyone extremely well, however, it never ranked among the more exciting things people liked to talk about.
If any good came out of the financial crisis and the Great Recession, it is that it made many of us become more financially literate and more aware of the need to pay attention to our finances. We now think before making purchases and we are better at prioritizing our expenditures.
You’re entertaining some friends at your house and everyone is having a marvelous time. Suddenly you hear a crash in the kitchen and you race to investigate. You find one of your friends laying flat on her back, unconscious.
The purchase of a life insurance policy will never make most peoples’ top ten list of favorite things to do. After all, there is a lot not to like in the whole process of buying life insurance. With hundreds of products from which to choose, it can be confusing. Insurance contracts can be complex and mind numbing. Some insurance agents can be annoying.
Even as the stock market works its way to new highs, retirement savers, still shell-shocked from the extreme volatility of recent years, are slow to wade back into equities. Smaller investors tend to ignore the history that shows that the market eventually rewards those who can withstand the fluctuations and stay the course through the various market cycles.
In the ever changing landscape of life insurance products, there remains one stalwart that has changed very little since the first American life insurance companies emerged in the mid 1800s - the Whole Life plan.
The good news is that life insurance rates continue to decline and people are buying more term life coverage than ever before. The bad news, is that many people are recognizing that the need for life insurance last a lot longer than most term policies. After the term policy expires, the cost to buy a new policy can get expensive.
While our extended longevity should be greeted with gratitude for the possibility of enjoying a longer life with our grandchildren, many retirees are approaching it with trepidation, wondering if their hard earned assets will be sufficient to fulfill their vision of a good life for the rest of their life – however long it should last.
Investors are prone to many behavioral mistakes that can cost them dearly. Trying to time the market, trying to pick the winners, chasing returns, trying to go it alone are among the most common. But the one that can inflict the most damage over a period of time is when we succumb to investing inertia.
Anyone with a family to protect understands the critical role life insurance plays in their financial plan However, in determining the actual amount of coverage to provide essential protection needs, many people tend to adhere to simplistic rules-of-thumb, such as a “multiple of income,” which may leave them wondering if they own too much or too little coverage.