Advantages and disadvantages of life insurance
Here is an overview of the pros and cons of buying life insurance:
Benefits of life insurance
Some of the major benefits of having life insurance are:
Peace of mind
A life insurance benefit can help the insured’s family pay off debts, cover funeral expenses, and pay bills after the insured’s death. This is the main reason most people buy life insurance.
Tax-deferred savings vehicle
Permanent life insurance has a cash value component that provides tax-deferred savings. Part of the policyholder’s premium goes into an account where it earns interest over time, but the policyholder pays no tax on that interest until they withdraw the funds. This makes it similar to a tax-deferred retirement account. But unlike retirement accounts, life insurance does not penalize policyholders who withdraw funds before a certain age.
Financial safety net
Permanent life insurance allows policyholders to borrow against their cash value to cover living expenses. It can be a good alternative to a traditional loan, although it reduces the death benefit available to beneficiaries.
Disadvantages of life insurance
Some of the disadvantages of life insurance coverage include:
Not all life insurance is expensive, but some policies can be. Older adults generally pay more for coverage than younger adults. Smokers and people with health problems pay more than healthy people. Permanent life insurance policies also cost a bit more than term life insurance.
Shopping around and comparing life insurance policies can help save money. The same goes for adjusting the limits of the policy.
Life insurance is more complicated than home or car insurance, and those unfamiliar with it may purchase a policy that is not suitable for them. One of the most common mistakes in life insurance is not understanding what is covered and what is not. This leads some policyholders to overpay for things they don’t need – or worse, to forego key protections.
Types of life insurance
There are several types of life insurance, but the two most common are term life insurance and permanent life insurance.
Is term life insurance worth it?
Term life insurance is the most popular type of life insurance and is ideal for those who want to ensure that their dependents will be taken care of after their death. It is also the most affordable type of life insurance, especially for young adults. The policy only lasts a certain number of years. After that, the policyholder can either drop the coverage or convert it to a permanent life insurance policy.
It is not a good choice for those without dependents. And people interested in the cash value component of life insurance won’t want a term life insurance policy either. This is only available with permanent life insurance.
Is permanent life insurance worth it?
Permanent life insurance covers the policyholder for their entire life. The cash value portion is a good option for those who want to save for the future in a tax-efficient way. In addition, the insured can use it if needed to cover end-of-life expenses or pay other bills.
However, this type of policy is not a good choice for those on a limited budget. And it’s not always the best choice for long-term savings either. Most people are better off hiding their money in tax-deferred retirement accounts where they can earn more interest.
What about other types of life insurance policies?
There are also other types of life insurance, including final expense insurance. These policies aim to cover the end-of-life costs of the elderly. They usually have a low death benefit, but it’s easier to get approved for them. This may help with funeral expenses, but it will not be enough to support the policyholder’s family in the long term.
Before purchasing any type of life insurance policy, it is important to understand the pros and cons associated with it. Read the fine print and ask questions whenever something is unclear.
Should I take out life insurance?
Ultimately, it is up to each individual to decide if life insurance is right for them. But here are some basic guidelines on who should and shouldn’t get life insurance.
Who should buy life insurance?
Life insurance makes sense for those with dependents. This includes adults with young children, spouses who provide most of the family income, and adult children who take care of dependent parents.
If the primary breadwinner dies, these dependents may find themselves unable to meet their basic needs. Life insurance can help them pay for these expenses even after the insured has left.
Who doesn’t need life insurance?
On the other hand, those without dependents probably have little to gain from purchasing life insurance. If they are trying to prepare for an emergency, they can always put money into an emergency fund or invest it for the future.
Is life insurance a good investment?
Life insurance can be a good or a bad investment depending on who asks. It really comes down to whether the person has dependents and can afford to buy a policy.
Those who decide it’s the right choice for them shouldn’t wait to buy life insurance. This can increase the cost. Also, if the person dies before taking out a policy, their family will have to fend for themselves.