In volatile economic times like the ones we’ve seen recently, it’s not surprising that people want something they can count on — a stable financial asset that will be there to help them meet important financial needs, no matter what. For many, that vehicle is permanent life insurance
Permanent life insurance (sometimes referred to as whole life insurance) is a unique financial tool. That’s because it can provide a foundation of protection for your entire life, no matter how long you live (assuming that premiums are paid to keep the policy in force). In contrast, term life, another popular type of insurance, provides coverage for a specific period of time, such as 10, 20, or 30 years. This means a term life policy might end long before your need for it does.
Keeping pace with changing needs
The ability to provide protection for your family throughout your life can be a vital benefit, especially given the fact that life expectancies are on the rise in America. Today, it’s not uncommon for someone to live two or more decades into retirement. Where once, expenses tended to fall as people aged, that’s not necessarily the case these days: You may be retired, but that doesn’t mean your mortgage or other expenses are retired too. Similarly, you may have a pension plan, but those benefits may pass away when you do, leaving your spouse without a financial safety net after you die.
Permanent life insurance lasts for the rest of your life; it’s there when you need it. And because permanent life provides a guaranteed payout, you don’t have to worry about becoming uninsurable later in life. Regardless of your health, your family or your business is protected.
Planning flexibility today … and tomorrow
Equally important, permanent life insurance also provides cash value that is guaranteed to grow each year, tax-deferred, regardless of what’s going on in the market. This amount can be used in the future for any purpose you wish.
For example, you can borrow against your policy’s cash value, generally on a tax-free basis, and use that money for a down payment on a home, to help pay for your child’s college education or to supplement your income in retirement. Keep in mind that any loans you take will accrue interest and decrease the cash value and death benefit of the policy if you die before paying them off. However, if you decide to stop paying premiums and surrender or cancel your policy, the accumulated policy values, less any loans and interest, are yours.
A cost–effective alternative
Many permanent life insurance policies also are eligible for dividends, which can add to your death benefit and any cash value, which grows tax-deferred.
These dividends, which are not guaranteed, can be used to pay all or part of your premiums, helping to reduce or even eliminate your out-of-pocket cost for coverage. They can also be used to increase your total death benefit over time without increasing your premiums.
The power of partnership
You’ll also want to understand what you’re buying. This is where a trained financial representative can help. A good financial representative will help you evaluate your goals and objectives, and help identify which products offer the most appropriate solution for your unique circumstances. And, equally important, a trusted financial representative will review your insurance policies with you every year to ensure it continues to meet your changing needs.
Article prepared by Northwestern Mutual with the cooperation of Todd Francis Johnson. Todd Francis Johnson is a Wealth Management Advisor with Northwestern Mutual the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM), Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and its subsidiaries. Todd Francis Johnson is an agent of NM-based in St George, UT. To contact Todd Francis Johnson, please call (435) 628-8248, e-mail at email@example.com or visit toddjohnson-nm.com. This information is not intended as legal or tax advice.
Is Permanent Life Insurance Right for You?
Permanent life insurance may be a good choice if you:
Need lifetime protection for your family or a business in the event of your death.
Want a good foundation of traditional insurance.
Can commit to paying an ongoing level premium.
Are looking to build cash value in your policy that you can use during your lifetime.
Want flexibility to meet a lifetime of changing needs.
Todd Johnson is a Wealth Management Advisor with Northwestern Mutual. He is also the Managing Director for operations in Southern Utah. Todd has been with Northwestern Mutual since 2003, he began after completing his Law Degree at Case Western University. He is married to Erin Johnson and they are the parents of three beautiful girls. When he is not working, Todd enjoys spending time boating, mountain biking, riding horses and spending time with his family.