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Life Insurance

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  • Why Is Life Insurance So Valuable?
    Life insurance can provide an affordable way to safeguard your family’s future should you die. With the proper type and amount of insurance, you can have peace of mind that your spouse will be able to afford the household bills or send the kids to college. You can even use life insurance while you’re living to help to fund your retirement!

    There are various types of life insurance, each with distinct advantages to help you meet your financial goals: Term Life Insurance
    Term life insurance provides a death benefit only and is the least expensive and flexible type of life insurance available. Term life insurance policies can be purchased to provide protection for terms of 10, 15, 20 or 30 years. The primary benefits of term insurance are:
    • Affordable—Term life insurance offers the lowest cost option for providing you family with financial stability should you die.
    • Simple—You can select the length and amount of life insurance that best suits your needs and pay a low monthly premium for the length of the term.
    • Flexible—Term insurance is ideal to use for short-term protection. For example, term life can provide the security that your children will be able to attend college should you die, but once they have graduated, you can end the policy or convert it to permanent insurance to help fund your retirement.
    • Efficient—Using low-cost term life insurance lets you save more money for other things such as a new home, a daughter’s wedding, or a more comfortable retirement.
    Term insurance provides insurance protection for a specific period of time as long as you make your premium payments. Unlike permanent life insurance, term life insurance pays a benefit—in the face amount of the policy—only if you die during the term of the policy.

    Term life insurance is less expensive than other types of life insurance because with term insurance, you're paying primarily for a death benefit, the amount your beneficiaries will receive if you die during the term of the policy, unlike most permanent policies where your premiums help fund the death benefit and can accumulate cash value.

    Term insurance is often the best choice for people as they establish themselves in the workplace, start families and begin to accumulate assets. This is when their needs are growing but they are often strapped for cash. If you're pretty sure that your needs are temporary, then term insurance is probably the right choice for you.

    One important aspect of your term insurance policy would be to confirm that it includes a provision that ensures “convertibility.” This valuable feature allows you the flexibility to convert your term policy to a permanent policy such as a whole life insurance policy without having to undertake a physical examination or submitting evidence of insurability.

    To learn more about life insurance terms and about which life insurance might be right for you, call your BCG insurance specialist today. [back to top]

    Whole Life Insurance
    Whole life insurance provides a death benefit plus provides an accumulating cash value. The death benefit is guaranteed and you can borrow from the cash value. Whole life insurance’s greatest feature is that the annual premium you pay will never increase. The primary advantages of permanent whole life insurance are:
    • Consistent—Premiums remain the same for the life of the policy.
    • Flexible—The combination of death benefit and cash value accumulation provides protection for your entire family now and in the future.
    • Grows in value—A portion of your premium accumulates a tax-deferred cash value that you can borrow against or pass on to your heirs along with the policy’s death benefit. (Note that any amount that you borrow from your policy will decrease the death benefit.)
    Whole life insurance provides lifelong protection as long as you maintain your premium payments. Whole life insurance also provides a valuable cash accumulation component that is available for your use as collateral to secure a loan or line of credit, to borrow against or to cash out sometime in the future if you no longer need the insurance protection. Because permanent life insurance is designed to be a lifelong commitment and part of your financial planning, it might not be suitable if you only need life insurance for a short period of time (See Term Insurance).

    Whole life insurance provides you with the security and predictability of a guaranteed premium rate, guaranteed death benefit and typically, a guaranteed rate of return on the cash value of the policy. Whole life also typically pays a dividend after some period of ownership. Dividends can add up and can be added to the death benefit or can be used to offset the cost of the premium payments. Although dividends are not guaranteed, it is not unusual for dividend to eventually grow to be equal to your premium payments in effect, paying for your whole life policy.

    To learn more about whole life insurance and how it can benefit you, call your BCG insurance specialist today. [back to top]

    Universal Life Insurance
    Universal life insurance, like whole life insurance, offers a death benefit and a cash value component that grows tax deferred. However, universal life insurance offers more flexibility to change the policy as your life needs change. For example, with a universal life insurance policy, you are able to change the amount of death benefit and the amount you pay annually to fit your needs without surrendering the policy or buying a new one as you would have to do with a whole life insurance policy. The primary advantages of universal life insurance are:
    • Flexible—You can adjust the death benefit and change the cost of premiums to suit your changing needs.
    • Consistent—The combination of death benefit and cash value accumulation provides protection for your entire family now and in the future.
    • Grows in value—Your policy accumulates a tax-deferred cash value that you can take a loan against. If you cancel the policy, you can receive the cash surrender value.
    Unlike whole life and variable life where you pay fixed premiums, universal life offers adjustable premiums that give you the option to make higher premium payments when you have extra cash on hand or lower payments when money is tight.

    Universal life allows you, after your initial payment, to pay premiums at any time, in virtually any amount, subject to certain minimums and maximums. You also can reduce or increase the death benefit more easily than under a traditional Whole Life policy.

    Most universal life policies will also provide a guaranteed rate of return on your cash values, with one important exception. It is possible that you will not accumulate any cash value should any of the following circumstances occur: administrative expenses increase, mortality assumptions are changed, the insurance company's investment portfolio underperforms, premium payments are insufficient.

    One of the most attractive things about universal life policies that they typically incorporate a provision known as Secondary Guarantees that provide lifelong coverage at rates that can be considerably lower than other forms of permanent insurance. This is one of the main reasons why these policies have become so popular for estate planning purposes. (Federal estate taxes of nearly 50% are assessed on estates valued at over $3.5 million in 2010 and just $1 million in 2011 unless Congress intervenes.) If you anticipate that your estate will exceed the federal limits, your main concern will likely be providing your estate with liquidity at your death. When you die, you don’t want your heirs to have to hastily sell off assets in order to pay estate taxes. With a Universal Life policy with Secondary Guarantees, the death benefit is guaranteed for life and you have the flexibility of adjusting your premiums, a valuable feature since estate tax rates and exclusion amounts keep changing from year to year.

    You may be unsure which life insurance is right for you. We can help! Call a BCG insurance specialist today for a free, no obligation consultation. [back to top]

    Did You Know That Life Insurance Can Do All of This For You?
    Most people are surprised to learn that they can use life insurance to achieve a wide array of financial goals. Life insurance is a flexible, affordable and highly efficient way to:
    • Pay for children’s education
    • Pay mortgages and debts
    • Create an estate for your heirs
    • Pay estate taxes when you leave an estate to your heirs
    • Balance inheritance between siblings and heirs
    • Give money to charity
    • Provide income for survivors
    • Provide income for you while still living
    • Guarantee of future insurability
    • Secure a line of credit for personal or business needs
    Life Insurance Quote
    Don’t be confused by the number of choices available or by complex language. Give us a call and our specialists will help you in plain language.
    This is a general description of the available coverages and is not a statement of contract. All coverages are subject to policy provisions and applicable endorsements. Life insurance products are available through our affiliate company, Benefits Consulting Group.

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