By Jerry Quinn, AAFMAA COO
On the scale of the most important things in life, people will often rank their family, in its many forms, at the top. It comes as no surprise that we regularly take actions to ensure our loved ones’ safety and security. Ensuring a grandmother has all she needs in comfort and security. Taking time to select the best car seat for your newborn baby. Having our family members “buckle up” for a car trip across town. We take many steps to protect those we love.
In all the ways we plan and protect them, often life insurance is the last thing we think of putting on the list — or we leave it off altogether. Studies indicate that most people who don’t have life insurance perceive it to be unaffordable or too complex. While some life insurance can be complex and expensive, the most popular forms of it are easy to understand and very affordable. In fact, on the spectrum of providing protection, typically life insurance is considerably less expensive than homeowner’s or automobile insurance.
Let’s Break It Down
There are two basic types of life insurance: term insurance and permanent insurance. Term insurance generally has lower premiums and lasts a defined period of time. It’s often used to replace your income or payoff mortgages or other debt, or even to leave a nest egg for your family. Permanent insurance has higher premiums and will provide protection for your entire life. Plus, it builds cash value that you can use in the future. You may be able to use a combination of permanent and term insurance during the period of your greatest need to replace potential lost income.
How Much Do You Need?
There are many ways to determine the amount you need. This is one reason why some people think life insurance is too complicated. Keeping it simple: life insurance can help protect your loved ones, which means you’ll need enough coverage to provide for their needs if you’re not around to do so. More specifically, life insurance is often used to:
- Replace your income;
- Pay off debt, such as a home mortgage;
- Leave a legacy to pay for future family needs, like a child’s education, and/or;
- Simply pay for your burial and other final expenses so your loved ones don’t have to worry about that expense.
If you need help figuring it out, try out our life insurance calculator.
Keep It Simple and Affordable
The best time to obtain life insurance is the moment you realize there is a need to protect your loved ones. Generally speaking, the younger you are when you get your policy, the better. Here are three reasons why:
- Life insurance costs less at younger ages
- Generally, people are healthier when they are young
- Protecting your loved ones during or before your highest earning years will allow you to obtain the most insurance for the lowest price
Related: 5 Tips When Buying a Life Insurance Policy for Yourself
Determine the amount of insurance you need and discuss it with a trusted person to see how affordable protection for your family can be. AAFMAA Membership Coordinators can guide you through the evaluation process to determine your needs to help keep your loved ones protected, simply and affordably. Call 888-851-2493 to get started.
Jerry Quinn is Chief Operating Officer at AAFMAA and is a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. He has been providing financial education to military members, veterans and their families for more than 25 years.
Established in 1879, the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association (AAFMAA) is the longest-standing, non-profit financial solutions provider supporting military families and Veterans with advice, information, insurance, financial planning, investments, mortgages, survivor assistance and other benefits.
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