Learn About Life insurance

Life insurance: Everyone should have it.

Insurance provides protection. It helps manage financial risk and creates a safety-net.

We all die; life insurance leaves resources for those dealing with the aftermath of our departure.

And while you’re planning your exit, take time for the present, too. We’ve included some common sense steps – a sort of DIY insurance – that will help you enjoy your life.

Term or whole life insurance: What’s the difference?

Whole life insurance combines life coverage with an investment fund. This policy pays a stated, fixed amount on your death. The value of the policy builds -- tax-deferred -- each year that you keep the policy. You can borrow against it tax-free.

Term life insurance is a risk management safety net for a set length (10-20-30 years). It has no investment component. Term coverage lasts for a set period of time provided you pay the monthly premium. When you're young, premiums for term insurance are as low as a few hundred dollars per year for $250,000 worth of coverage.

See how little life insurance might cost you – get an instant term life insurance quote.

How do I choose a policy?

Compare at least three plans. Look at price and how cancellation and renewal terms.

Get it while you’re young. Insurance generally gets more expensive as you age.

Choose a non-cancelable policy: With this type of policy, the insurer cannot change your premiums or cancel your coverage -- as long as you pay your premiums on time.

Use a trusted insurance company. Agencies like Standard & Poor's or Moody's independently rate insurance companies. Consumer Reports also rates insurers. Don’t overlook word of mouth recommendations -- ask your friends who they use.

Consider your own savings. If you have enough savings or sick time from work to cover a longer waiting period, it can reduce your premiums. 

DIY insurance: Smart living is free.

Where are the risk factors in your life? What every day activities can lower your risk of disability, injury -- and let’s just say it -- death?

You don’t have to live a black and white life to create a DIY insurance plan.

Here are a few simple actions you can take.

  • Have a designated driver.
    • Buckle up, put the kids in car seats, wear a helmet.
    • Get an ergonomic keyboard
    • Attend to your mental health, too.
    • Exercise daily. You heard us, we said daily.

DIY for a longer life

Staying healthy can keep us, well, healthier, according to a British Medical Journal Website article on a Swedish study.

  • A healthy lifestyle in old age can add 5 years to women's lives, 6 years to men’s.
    • Poor diet, smoking, and heavy drinking, predict death among elderly people.
    • Of all leisure activities, physical activity was most strongly associated with survival.
    • The average age at death of participants who regularly swam, walked, or did gymnastics was two years greater than those who did not exercise.

DIY for quality of life

Being happy is an excellent foundation for a long life. But other things ‘insure’ a high quality of life.

  • Money is not necessarily the key to happiness: Until you’re bringing home 75k in annual income, sure, more money makes you happier. But after that, bringing home more income doesn’t make much of a difference.
  • According to the World Happiness Report:
    • Mental illness is the single most important cause of unhappiness.
    • The US is ranked #17 in Happiness
    • Which factor has “a strong positive link with life evaluations"? ... having someone to count on.

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