5 Tips to Getting the Cheapest Term Life Insurance

Let’s talk dollars and sense.  Term life insurance is the cheapest form of life insurance you can find, period. The reason is that competition among insurance carriers vying for your dollars has brought rates down. Also, people are living longer, healthier lives. Here are some tips you should know to getting the lowest rates, thus cheapest term life policies on the market.

1. Shop Around.
Variety is the spice of life insurance and now is the perfect time to shop around to find the lowest rates because prices are at historic lows. Shopping has never been easier from online quoting services. There you will find a side-by-side comparison of the best policy choices in minutes from only top-rated companies. Just so you know, you won’t find cheaper rates on any other insurance website because the policy prices are fixed by the insurance companies. Once you select the policy and price your shopping spree is over. A licensed insurance veteran will help you the rest of the way. By the way, even if you have existing term life coverage but are healthy and younger, you might be able to find lower premiums for better coverage. Seriously, carriers are enjoying big profits and are passing the savings onto you.

2. Don’t Just Live for Today.
The unexpected happens when you least expect it. Tomorrow doesn’t come with a guarantee; it may have an earlier expiration date than you planned for. Life insurance can protect your family and an unpredictable future. If a spouse or children depend on you, make sure they have the financial protection that life insurance provides. The death benefit from a policy you leave can pay off a home mortgage or finance a kid’s college tuition.  Don’t wait to search for a cheap term life insurance policy that might define their future. It’s a small price to pay to help you sleep at night and a worthy legacy for you to leave.

3. Get in the Gym and Stay in the Slow Lane.
There is a reason people with healthy, low risk lifestyles pay lower life insurance premiums. Insurance companies want to keep you around for a long time and poor health and poor choices can shorten that life. If you don’t take care of yourself— are overweight, smoke cigarettes, have skyrocketing cholesterol levels and jump out of airplanes— they will make you pay higher premiums to insure your higher risk of dying prematurely.  That is, if they insure you at all with those risk factors.  Word of advice: ditch the French fries, flush the cigarettes, get on the treadmill to burn off those 20 pounds, and unstrap the parachute. It’s much cheaper to sit safely in the passenger seat of the plane.

4. Honesty is a Virtue.
Lying on your insurance application can be the worst idea you will ever have. Not just because it’s dishonest. Providing fraudulent information to an insurance company will nullify your insurance coverage and leave your beneficiaries with nothing. If the company proves you lied about your health or hobbies, the beneficiaries will not be entitled to the death benefit.  That would not be the life legacy you had in mind.  Be truthful; don’t withhold important medical information or risky hobbies. These insurance companies have plenty of resources to uncover the truth and if they discover something you failed to disclose, you could have a lot to lose.

5. Figure Out Your Needs.
Do you know how much money it would take to cover your surviving spouse’s expenses until retirement, and/or your children’s expenses until they finish college and become adults? According to a study by industry group LIMRA, 30% of Americans have no life insurance at all. “Trends in Life Insurance Ownership also showed that among those who already own some life insurance, 40 percent believe they don’t have enough. Crunch the numbers and see how much you need.

Using an online insurance calculator is a nifty tool http://www.lifequote.com/Utility/life-insurance-calculator.html to help you figure out your financial needs.

 

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Life Insurance Considerations after Retirement

Retirement is an exciting age for almost all people. The freedom to do what you want, when you want is exhilarating and relaxing. You can finally visit Hawaii or China or Madagascar! However, you should make sure your financial ducks are in a row before jetting off. Particularly, you should make sure that your life insurance is able to keep up with your changing lifestyle.

Here are a couple of things to consider when deciding if your life insurance needs to be adjusted after retirement.

Lifestyle

Obviously a large factor in your life insurance rates and policy will be what kind of lifestyle you’d like to enjoy. If you’ve been living a rather safe life as an accountant up until retirement, you can expect your policy to need adjustment if you’re going to make a habit of skydiving and paragliding after retirement.

This might mean that you change your policy from term insurance to whole-life if you haven’t already if you’d like to make sure you have the ability to borrow against your policy. After all, this could foreseeably be the policy you’re going to have for the rest of your life. Just be advised of the fees associated with canceling such a policy- if you think you might want to be more flexible, stick to term insurance.

Location

Many people choose to change locations after retirement and not just temporarily. If you’ve always dreamed of becoming an expat living in Peru or Australia, you need to anticipate changing insurance policy carriers. While some companies and even policies will extend over international borders, you will most likely need to research the insurance laws and costs of your new home country.

The laws will also vary country to country. Make sure you’ve thought ahead and left a chunk of money available to you in your country of origin- in case you ever need to come back home.

Beneficiaries

Especially if you’re going to be moving abroad, you need to make sure that your assets and policy payouts can reach your beneficiaries over international borders. Consult a lawyer as well as your insurance agent in order to ensure a smooth transfer of property. Retirement might also be a good time to adjust who will be listed as a beneficiary on your policy. Often times we leave our assets to our children, but this might be the time of life that you consider leaving some assets directly to your grandchildren.

Health

If you haven’t already, you should look into your family history to determine what kinds of medical conditions you’re at risk for. Has your lifestyle given you a predisposition toward a certain health issue? Do you already have health problems?

The answers to these questions not only affect your life insurance policy, but also the travel and activities you can undertake. You also might consider the location you want to live in for its proximity to specialists that deal with your health condition. If you have lung problems, maybe moving somewhere known for clean air will improve your quality of life. There’s a lot to consider.

Many things will change after you decide to retire. It’s important to make sure your life insurance policy reflects the kind of experiences you’d like to have.

Chris Jensen is an insurance adviser and writer with Australian life insurance providers, GIO.com.au. He is regrettably not yet retiring.

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It’s About Life, Not Death

You might ask, “Why is life insurance not called death insurance?” After all, life insurance policies are paid out if someone dies, not if they continue to live.

But think about it. Who actually receives the death benefit funds? The remaining, close, living loved ones – usually the spouse or significant other, and their children. Without the life insurance payout, the family might not be able to live at the financial level they enjoyed before their loved one passed away before his or her time.

So that’s what life insurance is all about: Continuing on with life after that beloved head of your household is no longer with you.  As if the loss is not enough of a hardship, imagine adding the financial burden and family’s lost income? What would you do?

Why Not Pursue Life?

Many people stay away from purchasing life insurance because of one powerful psychological factor: Denial. Who wants to think about his or her own mortality or the death of a spouse? Out of sight, out of mind right?

The truth is we don’t have a crystal ball to look into the future and know what’s going to happen. So why not let the nation’s biggest life insurance companies back you up with a term life insurance policy for the length of time you will need the greatest financial protection. By the way, the younger and healthier you are the lower the premium rates will be for a policy in the preferred risk categories.

So, when you make that annual or monthly life insurance premium payments, you get two benefits:

1)     Peace of mind.  Should your loved one pass away prematurely; with a suitable life insurance policy you can feel confident that you won’t have financial worries. In fact with the right life insurance your financial situation will be similar to your current lifestyle.

2)     Gratitude. Since insurance companies have already figured out and averaged out the average lifespan of policyholders, you can think of each monthly payment as a form of gratitude for the life that keeps on going. Be grateful your policy won’t get cashed in any time soon.  You might ask “why pay good money if I’ll never need that life insurance policy?” The real question is “how can you ever be sure you won’t?”

3)     Crunch the Numbers for Life’s Value

Few financial plans will provide your survivors a sudden income like life insurance will. With life insurance they’ll have a 100% chance of receiving the death benefit payout.

Think about your mortgage, your car payment, utilities, credit card debt, and other liabilities. How much of these basics would be in danger if you lose a significant income?

In the End, Choose Life

Life insurance isn’t lost money. Rather, it is money put aside to help those closest to you, for whom you provide so much care, if they outlive you.  Owning a life insurance policy can be part of your legacy… a gift that keeps on giving.

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Live for Today, Plan for Tomorrow

Live life to its fullest without worrying about tomorrow. If you plan well you won’t have to worry. It’s great to live for today, but don’t forget to plan for tomorrow with affordable term life insurance.

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The Good Life: How to Guarantee Peace of Mind

What defines “the good life”? Go ahead, brainstorm!

  • Making money without working.
  • A spouse who does everything you want without your needing to tell him/her.
  • Well-behaved children who consistently get excellent grades.
  • An annual three-month vacation.
  • A winter home in a warm location, and a summer home in a cooler location.
  • A stress-free life with no financial worries.

We could go on, right?

Okay, seriously, let’s be realistic. What might be a likely attainable good life?

  • Enough income to cover expenses, a two-week vacation, and activities of interest.
  • A home and location you enjoy living in.
  • A supportive and fun family and social life.
  • Healthy in mind, body and spirit.
  • Ability to influence others for the good.
  • Living until a ripe old age

While many people fantasize about the first set of ideas, most people’s expectations are realistic, and they are most content to strive for the second set of ideas. And more importantly, the second set of ideas represents the ways in which people feel most happy.

Maintaining the attainable good life results in the following scenario: You can count your blessings because things are going pretty well for several reasons: Given that every relationship has its issues, you’re in a solid marriage. You’ve learned to take things in stride, and appreciate how much the positives outweigh any negatives.

Your children – while taking every ounce of energy out of you and your partner – are the most precious, prized loves of your lives. And on top of it all, you manage to eat a pretty healthy diet, and get to the gym a few times a week – you’re doing pretty well. You feel like all of your hard work— business and pleasure— self and family, is worth it. You’ve realized you really can live a good life. All in all, you’ve learned the most crucial lesson: The “good life” is really a matter of attitude.

And you’ve also learned that a large part of living a good life includes planning ahead. You want to feel like you’ve got yourself covered so that in the event that Plan A gets derailed, Plans B and C are ready in the wings. You’re happy because you go with the flow while having a catch-all net prepared.

So, what’s one of the best ways to cinch the catchall net for Plan B, or even Plan C? Have you thought of life insurance?

What? Isn’t that a little off topic on the subject of “The Good Life”? Actually, it’s precisely on topic.  Life insurance is about ensuring many aspects of the good life! Go back to the second set of brainstormed ideas, above, and read the list again. You’ll note that life insurance deals with several ideas of an attainable “good life”.

Knowing this, you hone in, assuring that this aspect of Plan B or Plan C is lined up, notably with a term life insurance policy, with monthly payments you can afford.

What does term life insurance do for you?

  • You feel secure. In the event of an untimely passing, it provides a monthly payment to the beneficiaries for a defined time frame. This makes you feel secure because you know that your spouse and your children could continue on living at a similar financial level to their current status.
  • You feel grounded. On a monthly basis, you’re accomplishing a goal of investing in your family’s future by planning for a possible (if even unlikely) scenario. This attainable monthly “check-off” leaves you feeling like loose ends are tied; you can sleep better.

The main benefit is that feeling secure and grounded always frees you up to enjoy your life even more! It’s funny, you wouldn’t have thought life insurance could free you up, but it does. So, continue pursuing your own definition of an attainable good life, always planning ahead for unforeseen events. Preparing for all kinds of future scenarios makes you feel stronger, and appreciate yours and your loved one’s lives, continually.

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Life Insurance: A Practical Asset

Most people have a general understanding of the purpose of life insurance.  (This doesn’t necessarily translate to actually owning a policy, but that’s a topic for another day.)  The prevalent assumption is that life insurance is something that parents buy so that their kids will be provided for in the event that a parent dies prematurely.  This is an accurate assumption but it doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story.  A life insurance policy can serve multiple functions, depending on the particular case.

The example above involves achieving the parent-providing-for-a-child goal.  The “classic” function of a policy, in this case, ultimately ends up being payout of a death benefit to help maintain the family’s same quality of life, as well as to cover such costs as funeral arrangements, mortgage payments and overall debt.  However, other potential advantages exist for parents owning life insurance.  With cash value, or “permanent” policies, paying your premiums actually builds value that can provide living benefits.  Just as it sounds, these benefits allow the policy holder to make use of the equity they’ve accumulated while they are still alive.  That cash value can be drawn upon (usually via dividend withdrawal or a policy loan) to pay for things like mortgage payments, college tuition, weddings, or other unanticipated expenses that might come up, such as medical bills.  A policy loan can be used to offset some of your larger expenditures, while allowing you to set your own repayment terms.

Speaking of loans, another benefit of life insurance is mortgage protection.  Even if you do not have children, if you share a home with a roommate or significant other, your policy can help pay off any outstanding mortgage balance.  One housemate need not worry about being burdened with carrying the weight of the other’s portion of the loan.  Even term life insurance can accomplish this goal; simply choose a term that corresponds with the duration of your mortgage payment period.

As we’ve discussed so far, one of the main goals of having life insurance is to give policyholders peace of mind.  They, and anyone depending on them, can live their lives without worrying about the financial stress that often comes with an unexpected death.  This holds true even when the dependent relationship is not a personal one, but of a professional nature.

Many business owners will sign a buy-sell agreement, often funded by life insurance, when they enter into a business partnership.  In such a contract, each partner owns a policy on the other’s life, so that their business could still be solvent in case of the death of one of them.  These agreements can also provide protection in case of a partner’s bankruptcy, disability, or any other issue that might disrupt the functioning of their business.  Again, here we see life insurance as a means of security for people and their assets, whether in life or in death.

As time passes, our need for such reassurance changes along with the natural evolution of our personal and professional lives.  Whether it’s a marriage partnership or a business one, the birth of a child or the purchase of a home, each new stage requires an adjustment of our daily priorities.  Likewise, we must reassess our needs and future goals when it comes to the kind of life insurance policies that we hold to protect those very valuable assets, whether they are in our offices or in our homes.

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Life Insurance: A Natural Part of the Circle of Life

Nobody likes to think about death.  I mean, we all probably enjoy a bit of morbid humor at some point, or have the occasional philosophical discussion about whether or not there is an afterlife.  But as human beings we generally do not like to acknowledge our own mortality. It’s depressing and also out of our control. So if death is inevitable the challenge is figuring out how to live a productive and fulfilling life without ignoring the future. One practical suggestion is to plan for tomorrow.

It may not be as exciting as saving up to buy a hot new sports car but the gift of life insurance will definitely have more staying power. Here we are saying that you should enjoy life and in the same breath proposing that you do so by focusing on death again. A better way of putting it is this:  Owning a life insurance policy allows you the freedom to focus on enjoying your life, secure in the knowledge that your loved ones will be taken care of when you’re no longer there to provide for them.

It’s impossible to avoid the emotional pain that comes with the death of someone we hold dear but life insurance is a surefire way to prevent the financial burden that can come when surviving family members are left saddled by debt. Who will cover funeral expenses, medical bills and any other debt that may be left behind?  Think of it as a small investment for a significant payout when a family needs support.  If parents knew that their future involved expenses like a child’s education, weddings, or paying off a home mortgage, they’d do their best to put away money on a regular basis to plan ahead, right?  There’s no reason those plans should be interrupted in the event of the death of the family’s breadwinner.  Finding a policy that fits your long-term needs, as well as those of the people who depend on you, is a fundamental part of sound financial planning.

 

As a general rule, the younger you are, the more likely you’ll be approved for an insurance policy at the lowest risk classification and thus, the best rate.  This is one of those instances where “early action” has measurable benefits…and procrastination comes at a cost.

The bottom line is that death is a fact of life and is the natural conclusion of every human being.  But it’s not the defining characteristic.  The natural human desire to care for our loved ones, no matter what, coupled with the acknowledgment (however reluctant) of our own mortality is often the inspiration that encourages us to try to live satisfying lives. It’s a good philosophy; live for today but plan for tomorrow— a decision that you likely won’t regret.

-Shifra Penkower

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A Family Learns the Importance of Life Insurance

The statistics are a bit frightening. Almost half the US population does not own a life insurance policy. Why? Fear or money. In fact, the two often converge. Fear of facing our own mortality, and fear that we can’t afford to buy a life insurance policy.  There are other reasons of course, such as people thinking that navigating the complicated life insurance industry will leave them confused and uncertain. How will they understand what they need and what to buy?

Welcome to the 21st century when buying life insurance online has progressed light years. Today it is streamlined and trustworthy. You don’t have to worry about high-pressure salesmen selling you a policy. You have control over selecting rates and companies with shopping services such as LifeQuote. Don’t wait and risk leaving your heirs unprotected. Learn what this family found out about the importance of having a policy in place.

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Click Your Way to Cheap Term Life Insurance Rates Online

Click, click, click. It’s as easy as that. We’re talking about finding cheap online life insurance rates. It is easier, and more reliable than ever to find affordable life insurance policies on the Internet.

It’s a competitive online industry with a lot of big players in the field vying for your business. LifeQuote is one of those players— an independent insurance shopping service that provides you with highly competitive rates from only top-rated life insurance companies.

If you’re ready to get started with this mini tutorial we’ll help you receive a free, no-obligation life insurance quote in a couple of minutes. You don’t have to buy it right now, just see how simple it is to find out what you might pay for term life insurance. Remember, the rates are dependent on a more through review of your health and lifestyle but it’s a beginning. Get started now!

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Top 5 Excuses Why People Don’t Have Life Insurance

It is no secret that our nation’s economy is in trouble right now. Just turn on the news and watch our bickering lawmakers put partisan politics before the financial interests of a frustrated citizenry. That is why in these tough economic times we are searching for an upside and we may have just found it in life insurance.

No, it’s not a sexy and exciting product. It’s not like buying a fast sports car but term life insurance will still be there for your family in the long haul after you’re gone, without depreciation.

Consumers make every excuse for not buying life insurance. Primarily, they think it’s too expensive. Can you guess the other top reasons why people don’t buy it? Excuses, excuses. Take a look and learn why you might want to cross some of these leading excuses off your list.

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Smart Life Insurance Choices in Good Economic Times

There is no debate—most everyone needs life insurance regardless of the economic climate.  Just like health insurance or automobile insurance, life insurance is a necessity of daily life. You want to feel secure in the reality that your family will financially be taken care of in the event of premature death.

The amount of life insurance, the type of life insurance and your life insurance needs cannot be easily categorized. That is why it is necessary to speak with a credible financial planner and an insurance agent whose main goal is to guide you toward the right plan for your future, and help you find the best coverage for the least amount of money.  That is true whether the economy is thriving or in recession.

Reasons to Buy Life Insurance

Good times or bad, life events continue to happen.

  • The bread winner suddenly falls ill and funds are needed to pay medical bills
  • The economy dips and money is needed to pay bills
  • Your child is going off to college and tuition costs have increased
  • The bread winner has suddenly passed away and money is needed to cover the cost of the funeral
  • The bread winner has passed away and replacement income is needed
  • The bread winner has passed away and money is needed to pay estate taxes

These are just a few scenarios (there are many more) one might rely upon to utilize the pay out from either a Term Life insurance policy or a Permanent Life insurance policy. Sometimes, borrowing against the savings account from a Permanent Life insurance policy is a better idea than dipping into one’s 401K. Deciding one’s needs and the cost effectiveness of one policy over another can only be determined by your personal finances and your family’s projected financial needs. This also remains true in any economic climate.

Term Life Insurance vs Permanent Life Insurance

In general, Term Life insurance offers the insured coverage for a specified period of time and the advantage of lower premium rates. At the end of the Term, with certain riders, the insured may renew the policy for another specified period of time or the policy can be converted to a Permanent Life insurance policy.

Term Life insurance can be purchased for 1-30 years depending upon the insurance company’s policy. Generally, one can purchase Term Insurance up to the age of 80, though the premiums will be higher for an elderly person. Term Life insurance is affordable and can provide much needed security against financial loss for a young family should the main bread winner prematurely die.

There are two types of Term Life insurance: annual renewable term in which the premiums start very low and rise as the insure ages, and level premium term in which the premium stays fixed throughout the life of the policy. Term Life insurance therefore, allows a family to buy protection, pay lower monthly premiums and either invest or utilize the rest of the disposable income.

Permanent Life insurance is quite different from Term Life insurance as such policies last for the duration of your life and have cash value accumulation attached as long as the premiums are paid. The cash value accumulation grows as the policy ages and allows you to borrow funds up to the amount paid in premium.

This money can be borrowed without being taxed. There are variations of Permanent Life insurance such as whole, universal, and variable. Each one offers it own advantages and drawbacks depending upon your needs. There are also fees and surrender charges attached to Permanent Life insurance policies. Consult a trained insurance agent to help you determine the best policy type for your needs.

Using Life Insurance Policies during Good Economic Times

Good economic times generally benefit everyone. That means there is more disposable income. Life insurance may function as a financial protection (death benefit and/or cash value accumulation) as well as a tax benefit depending upon your tax bracket.  For example, under federal law, a certain amount of death benefit distributions are tax- exempt. Exclusion may be valid depending upon many things including the state residence of the insured and the state residence of the beneficiary.

Questions related to tax benefits are not simple. For example, death benefits are generally not taxable income when assigned to a specific beneficiary, instead of to an Estate. However, with Permanent (Cash Value) Life Insurance, during the time between the death of the insured and the disbursement of the death benefit the savings account earns interest. Those additional funds are taxable.  The best way to determine what is right for your financial needs and what is or is not taxable is to seek advice from a knowledgeable financial planner.

Make sure you understand the fee structure and commission pay out for Permanent Life insurance policies before you sign up as those can significantly impact the death benefit and the cash value accumulation. Consult a qualified insurance agent about this information as it varies from policy to policy and company to company.

An Alternative: Blended Life Insurance

There is another creative form of insurance that is growing in popularity: blended policies.  This product provides the insured with the best of both worlds: Term Life insurance and Permanent Life insurance. For example, in a blended policy, you may purchase $300,000 of life insurance. You can divide that into $150,000 in Term and $150,000 in Permanent Life insurance.  There are advantages as the monthly premiums for the $300,000 tend to be lower and they generally do not have the fees and commissions attached to the policy.

The dividends paid on the policy help to convert the policy to Permanent Life insurance. It is a financially sound way of obtaining Permanent Life insurance without paying the higher premiums.  Sometimes the difference in premiums is significant. But, there are risks in the conversion process. It is important to fully investigate the company offering the blended policy. You don’t want to buy a policy to learn later that the company was unable to pay the dividends.

Whatever your reasons for buying life insurance, make sure that you consult a knowledgeable financial planner to determine your needs and tax consequences and then speak with a trained insurance agent.

LifeQuote offers simple and easy information to help you determine the best policy and rate for your needs. You can connect to a knowledgeable representative now. It is free, easy and quick.

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