Life Insurance Isn't Just for the Young
Many people believe that when they reach retirement age, the need for life insurance diminishes. After all, once the kids have left home, the mortgage is paid off and Social Security and pension plans start kicking in, why pay for a life insurance benefit that’s not needed? The fact is, life insurance isn’t just for young families anymore. New economic realities mean a growing number of older Americans may benefit from incorporating life insurance into their retirement strategy.
Here are three reasons today’s retirees or pre-retirees should think twice before cutting back or eliminating their life insurance coverage.
Tougher Financial Times
Americans retiring today face a difficult economic landscape and are retiring with more debt. Nearly 45% of Americans enter retirement with a mortgage, and one in three owe $50,000 or more.1 These statistics are bound to climb, considering 30% of 45‐ to 54‐year‐old boomers currently owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.2 Life insurance can help ensure that mortgage payments continue for a surviving spouse, or help beneficiaries pay off an unwelcome debt.
Debt and other factors also are leading more workers to anticipate delaying retirement or working for pay in retirement. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, the percentage of workers planning to work for pay in retirement now stands at 74%.3 Almost all retirees who worked in retirement in 2010 name at least one financial reason for doing so, including a decrease in the value of their savings or investments, difficulty making ends meet, or keeping health insurance or other benefits. Another indicator of tight economic times: six in 10 boomers are still providing financial support to their adult children, handing over $3,675 per year, on average.4 Life insurance can provide a financial safety net for surviving spouses who depended on income from a still-working spouse, or it may give adult children the boost they need to become financially independent.