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Life Insurance

 

For many people, life insurance is the most important financial asset they will ever own. Everyone has financial goals that they hope to achieve some day, but no one knows for certain how long they are going to live. That’s why so many people purchase life insurance—they want to achieve their financial goals for their family even though they ran out of time. That’s what life insurance does. It provides tax-free money at the precise time when it is needed the most.

The uses of life insurance are many. You can provide an income to your spouse; or you can pay off the mortgage and any other debts so that your wife and family have a firm foundation on which to build a new life; or, if you have accumulated a large Estate you can use life insurance to pay the taxes so that your family gets what you built instead of the IRS; or, if you are a business owner you can use life insurance to insure key people in your company. You can also use “cash value” life insurance to save money on a “tax-deferred” basis.

Having an adequate amount of life insurance is a top financial planning priority. It is easy to see why: just imagine what the consequences would be if, starting today, your family had to go on without you.

There are at least three ways to determine how much life insurance you should have. The first way is easy: how much will the insurance company give you? The idea here is that you are irreplaceable and so you should get as much as you can. The second way is to calculate how much money would be needed to replace your annual income. For example, if you want to replace $100,000 per year and your spouse could get 3% interest at the bank, she would have to deposit $3,000,000 to get $100,000 per year. The third method is to pay off all debts, including the mortgage, and to provide specific amounts of money for items like college, etc.

Once you know how much insurance you should have, the next step is to choose the type of insurance.  You’ve probably wondered for years what “Universal Life” means, or “Variable Life,” or “Whole Life.” Just read below for your answer!

Types of Life Insurance

Term Life Insurance
Term Life is a kind of insurance that lasts for a specific number of years. For example, “Ten Year Term” usually guarantees that the premium will not change for ten years. When the ten years are up the premium will go up substantially, leaving you with three choices: 1) cancel the insurance (it served its purpose), 2) apply for a new Term life insurance policy, or 3) convert your Term policy to a Permanent policy if your insurance company permits it.

In addition to Ten Year Term, there is Fifteen Year Term, Twenty Year Term, and even Thirty Year Term.

Universal Life Insurance
These days, Universal Life is usually marketed to provide the lowest guaranteed premium that will last to age one hundred, or even longer. This type of Universal Life is very similar to Term Insurance in that it builds little if any cash value, emphasizing instead a level premium that will last for the rest of your life. Think of it as “lifetime term insurance.”

Whole Life Insurance
Whole Life is insurance that provides protection for the “whole” life. The key elements to Whole Life are a guaranteed premium, a guaranteed death benefit, and cash value. If the policy has been designed appropriately, the cash value grows tax-deferred and can be tapped into for a variety of reasons including emergency funds, college education, or to supplement retirement income.

Variable Life Insurance
Variable Life is similar to Whole Life and Universal Life except that your “cash value” is invested in the stock market rather than invested by the insurance company. The idea is that over time the stock market could produce higher returns than the insurance company, and that these returns are tax-deferred. As usual, with higher potential return comes higher risk. To address the risk problem with Variable Life, in recent years some companies have marketed a new product called Equity Indexed Life. This product offers some of the potential gains that Variable Life offers, but without the same degree of risk.


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Frequent Questions


FAQ
 

The longer your policy remains in force, the more likely it is that the company will pay a claim.

That is why whole life insurance policies have the
highest premium...

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