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Life takes planning

And so does your family’s future

Alan Lakein, author of How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life, once said: “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” And when it comes to protecting your family’s future, that statement has never been more true.

There are several steps you can take now to protect your family later. Life insurance is one of them.

Do you need life insurance? How much?

To determine if you need life insurance, ask yourself one question: Would your family suffer financially if you were to die? If the answer is “yes,” you need life insurance. The amount you need, however, varies depending on whether you want to simply have enough money to cover your funeral costs (which can be upwards of $8,000), or you want to ensure that your children’s college costs are covered and your mortgage is paid.

If you’re not sure how much coverage you need, you can get a general idea using the online calculator at Life Happens®. To get more specific, or for a review of your current policy, contact us to meet with one of our representatives.

Major life changes may require policy changes

We all experience major life changes in our lives, from marriages to divorces, children, and new homes. All of these should prompt you to review your life insurance coverage. If you have a baby, you may want to add them as a beneficiary. Get a divorce? Likely you want to remove your ex as a beneficiary. New house? Perhaps you want to increase your policy to cover higher mortgage payments in the case of your death. Or the opposite may be true if you downsize.

It’s a good idea to review your current life insurance policy every year and think about any changes in your life that may require a change in your policy.

While we’re on the subject: disability insurance

Life insurance provides your beneficiaries with financial assistance in the event of your death, but you should also think about what would happen if you become disabled and unable to work. Ask yourself how long your savings could sustain you if you can’t work for an extended period. Disability insurance provides you with a portion of your income if you become unable to work due to a major illness or injury.

Many employers offer disability insurance, but you should take the time to learn what it covers. Depending on your monthly expenses, you may want to purchase a separate policy.

Create and grow your emergency fund

Your car breaks down. Your roof starts leaking. Your pet requires an emergency trip to the vet. Having money socked away in an emergency fund will help you roll with these unexpected, but often major, expenses.

Planning ahead can prevent you from panicking when these special needs arise. Set aside a set amount of money each month into a separate account for emergency use only. To make it even easier, make it automatic, so every month, a lump sum is transferred into that account. Whether you do $50 a month or $500, you’ll appreciate that extra cushion when the unexpected occurs.