Life Insurance - It's "Booming"!
With the large baby boom generation entering retirement age, retirement planning is getting more and more attention. Interestingly, while marriage is still the leading cause for people to buy life insurance, retirement is also a major motivation. In fact, research from Northwestern Mutual Life, as conducted by Harris Interactive, shows that 25 percent of people buy life insurance products when they enter retirement -- almost as much as the 32 percent of people that buy it after getting married.
Income and Retirement
On first glance, this may seem a bit counter intuitive. After all, many people buy insurance when they are younger to protect their spouses and family against a loss of income and Northwestern Mutual's research bears this out. As people age, protecting their incomes from work becomes less important as their living expenses drop and income from their retirement portfolio begins to replace wages.
Retirement today is more complicated than in the past. Today, many retired people still work, although they may work reduced hours or switch careers. This can create a need to secure income. In fact, many of the retired people that purchase life insurance cite a desire for income security as a major motivating factor.
Making Money on Life Insurance... Without Having to Die
Purchasing a life policy can do much more than protect income. It can also augment existing income. Products that include an annuity feature provide yearly cash payments that provide retired couples with more money and a more fulfilling lifestyle. Whole life and universal life insurance products can be smart savings vehicles, building value and earning very secure returns while also providing a death benefit like other types of life coverage.
Insuring the Life of a Business
Life insurance coverage is especially valuable as an estate tax planning tool for retired people with businesses or large tangible assets but that also have comparatively small pools of cash, securities or other types of liquid assets. When people in this situation die, their heirs inherit their assets but will have to pay an onerous estate tax on the value of assets transferred to them that exceed any exclusion. Without cash, they would have to sell the asset or business to pay the estate tax liability. To mitigate against this eventuality, some retired asset holder purchase additional life insurance. Upon their passing, the insurance pays a tax-free death benefit which their heirs can use to pay the estate tax, leaving them the ability to retain the assets.
With all of these benefits, it is not surprising that 25 percent of retired couples are purchasing and benefiting from life insurance. As more people discover its benefits, it stands to become even more popular.
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