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Personel Lines


Life

Many financial experts consider life insurance to be the cornerstone of sound financial planning. It can be an important tool in the following situations:

  1. Replace income for dependents
    If people depend on your income, life insurance can replace that income for them if you die. The most commonly recognized case of this is parents with young children. However, it can also apply to couples in which the survivor would be financially stricken by the income lost through the death of a partner, and to dependent adults, such as parents, siblings or adult children who continue to rely on you financially. Insurance to replace your income can be especially useful if the government- or employer-sponsored benefits of your surviving spouse or domestic partner will be reduced after your death.
  2. Pay final expenses
    Life insurance can pay your funeral and burial costs, probate and other estate administration costs, debts and medical expenses not covered by health insurance.
  3. Create an inheritance for your heirs
    Even if you have no other assets to pass to your heirs, you can create an inheritance by buying a life insurance policy and naming them as beneficiaries.
  4. Pay federal “death” taxes and state “death” taxes
    Life insurance benefits can pay estate taxes so that your heirs will not have to liquidate other assets or take a smaller inheritance. Changes in the federal “death” tax rules between now and January 1, 2011 will likely lessen the impact of this tax on some people, but some states are offsetting those federal decreases with increases in their state-level “death” taxes.
  5. Make significant charitable contributions
    By making a charity the beneficiary of your life insurance, you can make a much larger contribution than if you donated the cash equivalent of the policy’s premiums.
  6. Create a source of savings
    Some types of life insurance create a cash value that, if not paid out as a death benefit, can be borrowed or withdrawn on the owner’s request. Since most people make paying their life insurance policy premiums a high priority, buying a cash-value type policy can create a kind of “forced” savings plan. Furthermore, the interest credited is tax deferred (and tax exempt if the money is paid as a death claim).

Annuities

Life spans in the United States have been increasing for over a hundred years. It is now common for people who reach retirement age to live 20 years or more in retirement, most of those years in good health. It’s good to live a long and full life, but you want to be sure that your income lasts as long as you do, and its purchasing power is as strong as you are. How can you manage the risk of “outliving your assets”?

Annuities are a unique financial product that, along with Social Security, employer pensions, your 401(k) plan, IRA and other assets, can enhance your retirement security. Discuss this option with your insurance professional or financial planner when mapping out your retirement strategy.