People see insurance as a negative thing, as an expense and this could hurt them financially in the long run. There are certain types of insurance that make people correct for feeling this way. Auto, home, and health insurance all give the term “insurance” a bad name.
There are types of insurance that can be good for a person’s financial security as well as helping to reduce estate taxes in the event of a person’s death. Some insurance products can be used in more than one way. Let me explain. Some people like to save money, although that group of people is getting smaller and smaller as time goes on, they still exist. Instead of putting your money in a savings account at a bank why not put it into a whole life insurance policy that gains cash value. There are so many types of insurance policies that you can get a larger return on your investment through an insurance policy than you can through your bank account. You can also grow the money tax-free.
Why is this a benefit for you? Well, you get to insure your life, giving your loved ones financial security in the event of your death and you get to grow cash value (savings) in your policy at the same time. You are getting more than one benefit for the use of this policy, unlike and auto policy that you get no benefit from really. With an auto policy you pay a premium for use of the policy. If you use the policy your premiums go up, if you never use it you don’t get any money back.
Whole life policies are also a good investment for a parent with kids. If you buy a new-born child a whole life policy it is extremely cheap for a lot of coverage. By the time they reach the age of 18 there is a decent amount of cash value in the policy, which allows you to use the policy to help pay for college. When they graduate the policy continues to grow and by the time they get married you can use the policy to help them finance the wedding or put a down payment on a home. Maybe they are 40 years old and decide they want to start a business, the insurance policy could help them finance that as well. Then they can also use the money to finance retirement. Clearly this example is getting ahead of itself but it just shows the versatility of a life insurance policy. In most cases a loan taken against a whole life policy is tax-free. Another advantage to buying a whole life policy for a young child is they are guaranteed to be insurable after they are 18 years old. We don’t like to think our kids will get sick but it does happen and it would be terrible if they got sick when they were young and this prevented them from being able to receive a life insurance policy in the future.
Another example of an insurance policy that works for you rather than against you is long-term care insurance. Just as the case with life insurance, the younger you buy this type of insurance the cheaper it is. The cost of caring for the elderly is rising quickly. If you have a parent and they need to go into an assisted living facility or a nursing home and they do not have the funds the government will pay. But, for this to happen all of their assets must first be exhausted, meaning their home is sold, bank accounts drained, retirement savings used, and anything else. Then the government kicks in. This can all be prevented with a long-term care policy.
It would be demoralizing for your parent to work all their life to save for retirement, in hopes of leaving something to the kids when they pass on. Then they find themselves in a nursing home, which is depressing enough, and in top of that they lose everything to pay for it. This can be prevented with the proper planning. While long-term care insurance can be seen as an expense it can save your estate when you are older and also give you more freedom to chose the facility you end up if you need that type of care. It certainly makes the remaining years of your life more comfortable if you have options.
It is important to contact a financial professional to help you begin the proper planning if you haven’t already done so.