Check it Out! When it comes to life insurance, you might feel like you have more questions than answers. Do I need it? If so, when should I get it? What kind makes the most sense? How much should I have?
Making the choices that fit your needs best is easier when you take a few steps ahead of time.
Find your whys and your who(s)
Work through your financial goals.
Planning for anything works best when you know the results you want. Ask yourself what results you want from your financial plan.
Choose your heirs.
Spouses and children are common beneficiaries. But they’re not the only ones. Who else do you want to provide for?
Decide what needs to be covered.
How much money your family will need to keep coming in the door if you—or your spouse—aren’t here to earn it? (Your Financial Advisor can help you with this calculation, or you can use one of the many income replacement calculators.)
Get payoff balances for your mortgage and other big-ticket items.
Including the cost to pay off your mortgage and other debts gives your loved ones some breathing space, in a familiar place.
Consider planning your funeral in advance.
Figure out your preferences—and let your loved ones know. It’s one of the kindest things you can do for them.
Get your information together
Get a physical.
The provider may want to know about your health, depending on the type of insurance policy and coverage amount. Be ready ahead of time.
Track down your beneficiaries’ personal information.
Having specifics such as your beneficiaries’ Social Security Numbers and birth dates handy makes the insurance application process easier.
Determine tax-efficient strategies
Let beneficiaries know life insurance benefit payments shouldn’t put them in a higher tax bracket.
According to the IRS: “Generally, life insurance proceeds you receive as a beneficiary due to the death of the insured person aren’t includable in gross income and you don’t have to report them.” 1
Consider choosing a permanent (whole) life policy.
Permanent life insurance also accumulates potential cash value that’s tax-favored. (Keep in mind, however, that premiums can be higher than those for term life insurance.)
1 Source: IRS, https://www.irs.gov/faqs/interest-dividends-other-types-of-income/life-insurance-disability-insurance-proceeds
Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, its affiliates, and its employees are not in the business of providing tax, regulatory, accounting, or legal advice. These materials and any tax-related statements are not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used or relied upon, by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties. Any such taxpayer should seek advice based on the taxpayer’s particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor. Janney makes no representation that an individual will obtain gains or losses similar to those illustrated. The concepts illustrated here have legal, accounting and tax implications.