The holidays always pass too quickly, right?
And so it is that another Life Insurance Awareness Month has come and gone.
Okay, maybe you are not missing it like Christmas or Thanksgiving… probably not missing it at all. I guess it isn’t really even a holiday (no days off here), and you probably aren’t counting down the days until next year.
Good. I don’t want you to count down the days or wait until next year before you think about it again. I want you to think about it right now.
With every day that passes, more and more risks come into play with an inadequate life insurance plan. Only you can decide how much you need, or if you need it at all. But if you do need it (and I bet you do), at least make sure what you have is working like you want it to.
So, here’s a “To Do” list for your current life insurance plan:
- Check the Ownership – If someone other than you owns the life insurance you are counting on, you may want to change it. Make sure you control your planning. Certainly, there are reasons why spouses may own policies with the other insured… just make sure that is how you want it to be.
- Check the Beneficiary – Changes happen in life. Not speaking anymore to the brother-in-law you once trusted with everything? Make sure he isn’t the beneficiary on your policies (I could tell you a few stories). If you have a will/trust (and you should), you probably want to have it listed as your beneficiary.
- Check the Term – How long will your coverage be in force? If you purchased a 20-year term policy but realize later that you need coverage for 30 years, you have a problem. And if you don’t realize it until after the policy has lapsed, you have a big problem. The sooner you address it, the better… like now.
- Check the Policy Performance – This is for permanent life insurance. Surprises happen. (Hmm, where have I heard that before?) Trust me, you don’t want surprises with your life insurance policy. If you want your policy to be there for the rest of your life, make sure it is on schedule to do exactly that. Order an in-force illustration (way different than the annual statement and original illustration), and then work with someone you like and trust to help analyze it.
There are other things to think about with life insurance, but the above list is a really good place to start. It may not be as exciting as a holiday wish list, but it is way more important… and will help make for happy holidays for years to come.
So happy Life Insurance Awareness Month, everyone!!!
Don’t be all Bah Humbug about it.
Be all, Ho Ho Ho!
| Jay Kenerly, MSFS, CHFC