By Karen Weeks
When you think about life insurance, you may just think about the accompanying death benefit. Thinking about death is never easy, but the truth is that life insurance can offer much more than final-expense and funeral coverage, and it’s an important consideration for seniors and their caregivers. While it’s an extra expense to your monthly budget, you can work with an agent to help you find a plan that works best for you or use web-based resources to shop around.
For example, this handy online tool shows that if you’re a healthy, non-smoking, 62-year-old female, you can expect to pay around $69.75 per month for a 10-year policy, but it allows you to customize your criteria to get a better idea of what your premiums will look like.
Once you’ve found a policy that meets your needs and budget, you can use life insurance in a few different ways while you are still alive. Here’s how life insurance can benefit you now, provide perks for your family, and of course, help out in the event of your death.
Life Insurance Provides More Options for Long-Term Care
The majority of people will need some level of long-term care as they get older, but the majority of people also fail to plan for ways to pay for that care. Not creating a long-term care plan typically leaves family members struggling for financial options, but life insurance can be a great solution for providing funds quickly.
If you have a life insurance policy and need to pay for long-term care, you may be able to sell your policy in order to access cash for unexpected expenses. This is a benefit that many people forget about, but it is one that can truly be life-saving when you have no other options to pay for care for yourself or a loved one.
To provide even greater peace of mind, you can also consider looking into long-term care insurance. This is especially helpful for those who are planning for long-term care early, since premiums tend to be much cheaper for buyers in their 50s compared to those in their 60s or older.
You Can Use Life Insurance to Enhance Your Retirement
One of the benefits of over-planning for the future is being able to access more cash during retirement. If you invest in life insurance now, you will have more options for supplementing your income during retirement. Many seniors find they no longer need so much life insurance coverage, so they cash in their policy to cover other costs, such as medical expenses or expenses related to their home. You can even use life insurance profits to travel around the world or buy a vacation home.
While your life insurance can definitely be a source for additional cash in retirement, you should still have a solid plan for providing real financial stability during your golden years. Work with a financial advisor to map out your retirement plans and ensure you will have enough income to live comfortably.
Life Insurance Gives You and Your Family Peace of Mind
Knowing that your final expenses and family will be financially taken care of is the prime benefit of purchasing life insurance. However, life insurance can provide peace of mind in other ways as well. By looking into policies, you are taking a step in acknowledging your own mortality and planning for it. This can make it easier to take those plans a few steps further and save your family even more stress if the unthinkable should happen to you.
In addition to buying life insurance, take some time to update your will and estate plans. Having an attorney or legal professional help you will ensure that no steps are missed, and you can also work on any paperwork needed for end-of-life decisions, such as a power of attorney or advanced directive.
You can also plan your funeral in advance, which will give you a better idea of how much life insurance you will eventually need to cover those expenses. Some funeral homes even offer prepaid offers and discounts that can leave you with more cash to help out with expenses now or help your family later on.
Having life insurance is always a safe bet for providing your loved ones with financial security when you are gone, especially as a senior. However, it can also provide some financial benefits for you while you are still around. Make the smart move, and set an appointment with an insurance agent to discuss what kind of insurance options are best for you.