Why should a man buy life insurance?
To protect his family, replace lost income if he dies, provide for his own retirement security, and a number of other reasons. Life insurance pays off mortgages, funds college educations if the income earner can't be there, and guarantees that the spouse won't have to sell the home or otherwise suffer a severe drop in standard of living. The decision to purchase insurance reflects a loving commitment to family and a recognition of the need to meet other financial responsibilities.
Why should a woman buy life insurance?
For those very same reasons! (Go back and re-read that first paragraph.) Life insurance has always been one of the most cost effective ways for men and women to protect their loved ones in the event that anything should happen to them as well as provide for their own futures.
There's Only One Problem
Many women have either no or too little life insurance. Historically, women were almost never adequately insured. Even as recently as 1977, adult males accounted for 57 percent of all life insurance policies purchased in this country, according to the American Council of Life Insurance. Women were listed as the insureds on just 29 percent of policies purchased. More telling: Coverage on men accounted for 85 percent of the total dollar amount of protection. Coverage on women amounted to just 10 percent of the total!
The Good News/Bad News
On one hand, the gap is closing. Today, 59 percent of women have at least some life insurance (compared to 64 percent of men). On the other hand, coverage amounts for women still lag. In 1998, the average death benefit on men is nearly double that for women: $143,100 versus $76,000. ("Trends in Life Insurance Ownership Among Americans," LIMRA International, 1999.)
What about you? Is your life insurance program adequate to protect your loved ones, meet your objectives and fulfill your responsibilities? Your family counts on you. So, New York Life recommends that you review your coverage and needs:
- If you're part of a two-income family: Today, 61 percent of married women bring home a paycheck (compared to just 23 percent in 1950). Husbands and wives are economic partners. Today's two-income families depend on both pay checks to make ends meet.(Figures for 1995. Source: Washington Post 1/22/97)
If anything happened to you and the income you generate would your family be able remain in their home? Would your children be able to achieve their education goals? Would your family suffer a severe financial loss? Adequate life insurance can replace your income, remove uncertainty and help guarantee your family's financial security.
- If you're a single woman heading a house-hold: Chances are that you have little if any life insurance, according to industry studies in spite of the fact that you have major financial responsibilities. Of all life insurance policies sold in 1997, only 4 percent were purchased by divorced or widowed women.("The Women's Market: Myth & Reality," LIMRA International, 1999)
As a single parent, you may be the sole breadwinner, responsible for the support and care of your children. Your need for life insurance is even more crucial than in dual-parent households, which will have another source of income if one parent dies.
- If you're a full-time home maker: Far from a dying breed, nearly two out of every five married women are full-time mothers and home makers. This is just as much a partnership as the two-income family in that it takes the efforts of both to make the household function. Your services, while in many respects beyond value, are worth tens of thousands of dollars a year. How would your husband and children manage without you?
- If you're a single woman: Whether you're single-never-married or divorced-no-kids-at-home, your need for life insurance may be even greater than for married women.
That is because being single isn't always the same as being without responsibilities. You may have loans. Plus, should anything happen to you, there will be final expenses, which can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. These obligations which could fall on parents and other loved ones can be met with life insurance. Just as important, life insurance purchased today can protect your future insurability as you get older. If you eventually marry, your coverage will help protect your husband and, possibly, children.
If you choose to remain single, your life insurance can accumulate cash value to help provide a secure retirement for yourself. A cash value life insurance policy can help you accumulate funds on a tax-advantaged basis to supplement your other retirement income.
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