Money Monday: Is your life insured?

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Guest Post by Vielka Burey-Jacas (@VielkaBurey)

For a big part of my life, I have worked for big corporations that offer very good benefits. Often, I encounter coworkers who ask me: “What do you think? Should I buy more life insurance if I already have it at work?”

This is a sentence that makes me move my head in different directions.

What your employers offer at work is a term life insurance policy – usually 1 or 2 times your salary at no cost. And if you buy additional coverage, more often than not, it’s very cheap, therefore, employees tend to buy it.

What you, and most people, do not realize is that you only collect benefits from that life insurance if you die while working for that company. Once you leave that company, that life insurance policy is gone. Yes, perhaps the new company offers the same benefit, but please have in mind that even if you stay for that company “forever”, that insurance ends the day that you retire. Even if you are not at retirement age, if you have a terminal sickness that makes you leave the company, it’s the end of that life insurance policy.

At 65, it will be very expensive to purchase a new policy. A life insurance policy should be bought when we are young and healthy. I bought my policy when I had my first child. It was my instinct of protection, for the new life I had brought to the world and the thought of what would happen to that child if I were to die.

Please be careful on the type of life insurance you choose. I will explain in brief two of the most popular ones.

TERM LIFE:

  • Inexpensive
  • It covers for a finite period of time, usually 10, 20 or 30 yrs
  • You will receive the full value of the policy ONLY if you die during the purchased term
  • Once the term expires, you will need to purchase a new policy –which will be more expensive since by then you will be at least 10, 20 or 30 years older

WHOLE LIFE:

  • More expensive
  • Serves as an estate planning tool
  • Builds cash value that you can borrow at anytime if needed
  • Does not expires unless you stop making payments

Whichever policy you choose, please make sure that someone knows about it. Millions of dollars go unclaimed because the beneficiaries do not know that there was a policy in existence.

Please update your beneficiaries every time you have a major change in your life: a divorce, another child. Very often, we forget to update and the insurance benefit goes to the wrong person, an ex husband , to a person who is already deceased like your mother or father. Please keep it current.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  RESOURCES

Living In The Present, Hoping For The Future: Latinos And Insurance

Insurance Information Institute

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Vielka Burey Jacas is a Certified Financial Planner and a volunteer expert at LifeTuner. Vielka has a passion for helping family, students, homeowners, businesspersons, employees and other Latino community members expand their opportunities through improved financial literacy, and has extensive experience in the private banking and investment planning sector, having spent many years with both domestic and international banks.

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