Category Archives: Personal Finance

How to Talk About Life Insurance With Your Spouse

Your spouse doesn’t even want to think about you passing away, let alone have to sit down and actually discuss it. It’s never easy to talk about death, especially the death of someone you love. That’s why discussing life insurance with your spouse can be so difficult. But since the two of you share a life together, with all the financial responsibilities that it entails, it’s a conversation that has to come up at some point. Here are a few tips on broaching this awkward but necessary subject:

Consider your timing

Like bringing up any touchy subject, timing makes all the difference. We found that one of the best times to bring up life insurance is right after the birth of a child. Another good time to bring up life insurance is during or shortly after a separate but similar financial planning conversation. For instance, if you have just finished discussing the estate plans of a loved one, you can easily transition into the life insurance conversation without it seeming too shocking or out of place.

Reframe the conversation

One of the reasons that it’s a good idea to discuss life insurance after welcoming a new child into the world is that it allows you to shift the focus of the conversation from death to future planning. Instead of an out-of-the-blue conversation about your possible demise, you can instead speak about life insurance in terms of planning for the baby’s future financial security. But this method also works regardless of whether or not you have had or are expecting a child. If you simply bring it up in terms of planning for you and your spouse’s future, or elder members of your family that might require expensive care, you can speak about life insurance as a planning tool rather than a death benefit.

Talk about the numbers

You can also take some of the visceral sting out of the life insurance conversation if you talk about it purely in terms of facts and figures. Before you bring it up, make sure you have concrete details about how much money you will need to have in order to pay off the mortgage, save for college, etc. And then get some rate quotes together and present the life insurance topic in terms of a purely financial decision. This might make the conversation a little duller, but dull is better than downright depressing.

Set the tone

It’s sometimes best to preface the conversation with a little warning. Something along the lines of “I want to talk about something that might be uncomfortable for both of us, but I think it’s important.” This might make him or her a little uneasy, but it’s better than just blurting out something about death out of nowhere. It’s also important to be in a place where you can sit down face to face. So try to avoid springing it on them in the middle of a dinner out or while running errands. If you set the tone up front, it will allow your spouse to adjust a little bit and prepare for the difficult conversation beforehand.

Whatever You Do, Don’t Give Up

There are a lot of misconceptions out there about life insurance (i.e. it’s only for old people, it’s too expensive etc.) and it can take some time to break through these misconceptions. So if your spouse puts up the defenses, or is having trouble making a decision, be respectful, but be persistent. Prices tend to increase the longer you wait, so don’t give up right away if he or she says no at first. If need be, get a professional involved. Most agents and advisors will be happy to sit down with you and your spouse and discuss your options.

If you and your spouse are ready to purchase life insurance or increase life insurance, get started with a free quote today.


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Term Life Insurance vs. Whole Life Insurance

Deciding which type of life insurance product is right for you can be difficult; regardless of whether you’re considering retaining your current policy or you’re shopping for new coverage, it’s important to note that there are benefits to both term life insurance and whole life insurance. Which is the best fit for your needs, preferences, lifestyle, and family?

There are some key differences and similarities between these two types of coverage. As for similarities, they both offer a guaranteed death benefit, and they both offer generally federal tax-free benefits. But let’s consider some of the differences between whole life insurance and term life insurance.


Whole Life Insurance and Its Value

Whole life insurance premiums are generally higher initially than those for term life insurance because those premiums are guaranteed to stay the same for the life of the policy. A whole policy offers tax-deferred cash value accumulation, which you can access through partial surrenders or policy loans. This growth is dependent upon premiums being paid, as well as your eligibility to earn dividends, and grows very slowly. The dividends are also usually not guaranteed. Therefore, you can borrow against the value of your policy by way of a loan, and use the funds for any purpose. However, if any policy loans aren’t repaid with interest, the death benefit is reduced.


The Value of Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance, on the other hand, offers much lower, inexpensive premiums initially that are guaranteed for that initial term; this makes term life insurance a popular choice for those who need coverage at a low rate now. There are privileges that are often available with many policies; these would enable you to convert a policy that builds cash value without the need for additional medical underwriting.

Terms are usually designed for anywhere from one to 30 years, with the most popular coverage term being 20 years. With most policies, the premium is going to remain the same through the duration of the term, so if you purchase a 30-year term policy, the premium you pay wouldn’t increase during that 30 years. Many people appreciate the ability to change the length of their policy, which is unavailable with whole life insurance plans.


To Choose Whole or Term Life Insurance?

Your personal situation is going to be the best determinant of which type of policy is best for you. Whole life insurance might suit you best if:

-You need coverage at higher, but steady premium for the rest of your life

-You want to provide money for heirs to pay estate taxes

-You want to make inheritances equal

-You want to spend your retirement savings and still leave money for things like funeral costs


Term life insurance, on the other hand, would best be suited for these candidates:

-You want the most affordable coverage

-You need permanent life insurance but cannot afford it

-You want a policy that you can convert to permanent coverage

-You need life insurance to only cover a certain period of time, such as while you’re raising children or paying on your mortgage

-You have a family that needs life insurance coverage


Since different types of policies are best suited for different people, and even at different stages of their lives, it’s important that you obtain the right kind of coverage. For answers to your questions about the various types of policies available, and to shop for life insurance quotes online without obligation or divulging sensitive information, browse the Education Center of our website.

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How Family History Affects Your Life Insurance Rates

We all know how a good life insurance policy can positively affect your family—providing stability, financial security, peace of mind, etc. But have you ever considered how this relationship works in reverse? It’s true, while life insurance does wonders for your family, your family might have some not-so-desirable effects on your life insurance rates.


So how can this be?

In short, it all has to do with your family’s medical history. During the underwriting process, insurance companies generally require your medical history as well as a physical exam to determine the risk factors related to your coverage—which also helps determine your life insurance rate. And this usually includes a brief summary of your family’s medical background. Even if you have the cleanest possible bill of health—even if you’re a non-smoking, non-drinking personal trainer whose biggest medical scare was that case of chicken pox back in the third grade—you could still be charged a slightly higher rate based on any potentially serious illnesses experienced by your parents or siblings.


What exactly are they looking for?

Most insurers are only concerned with major potentially hereditary illnesses when it comes to your family medical history. These typically include cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Other conditions they might worry about include obesity/diabetes and high blood pressure, but most insurance companies simply want to know whether or not your parents or siblings have suffered from or died from cancer or heart disease before the age of sixty-five.


The most common forms of cancer they look for include:

  • Breast
  • Colon
  • Lung
  • Melanoma
  • Pancreatic
  • Prostrate
  • Ovarian


And the most common cardiovascular conditions/procedures include:

  • Heart attack
  • Angioplasty
  • Bypass surgery
  • Valve surgery
  • Arrhythmia


However, if your family does have a history of any of the above conditions, it doesn’t mean you can’t find affordable insurance, it just means you have to know what to look for.


The importance of shopping around

Each insurance company has its own specific guidelines of what they look for in you and your family’s medical history. For instance, some insurers place more emphasis on cardiovascular health and are less concerned with cancer, and some only consider cardiovascular conditions and leave out cancer altogether. Furthermore, some will only look into your parents’ medical history, while others consider both your parents and your siblings.


That’s why consulting a life insurance broker with access to multiple quotes from a selection of top companies is a smart option if you. This can help you get a better idea of what you’ll be facing in terms of how you and your family’s medical histories will affect your life insurance rates and the type of coverage you can get. So before you acquire any life insurance policy, make sure you have a look at what else is out there. No two insurers are quite the same, so shopping around can make a world of difference. At Intramark, we offer dozens of life insurance quotes from top-rated insurance companies. Get started with a free life insurance quote today.

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