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IPS / Lighthouse Insurance Group Blog: term life insurance

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Family RunningLife insurance can do some pretty amazing things for people. It can buy loved ones time to grieve. It can pay off debts and loans, providing surviving family members with the chance to move on with a clean slate. It can keep families in their homes and pre-fund a child’s college education. It can keep a family business in the family. It can provide a stream of income for a family to live on for a period of time. First things first, though: you need to own life insurance.

Too many Americans do not have adequate life insurance protection. According to the industry research group LIMRA, 95 million adult Americans have no life insurance whatsoever. Here’s the bottom line: A majority of families either have no life insurance or not enough, leaving them one accident or terminal illness away from a financial catastrophe for their loved ones.

What if you were suddenly gone and your family had to manage on their own? When was the last time you did the math to make sure your loved ones would be financially sound? Have you checked with your employer to find out what kind of life insurance benefit you have through work and whether you have the option to increase your coverage? When was the last time you had your life insurance needs reviewed by an insurance professional?

Visit our Term Life Insurance page to learn more about term life insurance and to learn how to determine your life insurance needs.  You can even answer a few questions to obtain a free quote online.  

Call us at 800-220-5582 if you have questions about life insurance.

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A quick glance at how women have been portrayed on TV in the past 50 years reveals a significant change in their roles and identities. From Barbara Billingsley, the pearl-and-white-gloved mother on “Leave It to Beaver” to Linda Lavin and Mary Tyler Moore (just to name two) portraying career women to today’s crop of actresses playing everything from an ex-IRA operative (Gabrielle Anwar in “Burn Notice”) to a police detective and medical examiner duo (Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander in “Rizzoli & Isles”), the message is that women have stepped far beyond their homemaker roles.

And in many cases, due to choice or circumstances, they are making their life journey without a partner—about 51%, according to some studies. There are almost 15 million households led by single women in the United States, and close to three-fifths have children under 18. Independent? Yes. But with that independence comes an increased need to plan for life events that are challenging enough with a partner but can be overwhelming when faced alone.

Life and Long-Term Care Insurance

While life insurance is critical for single mothers who might otherwise leave their children without financial resources, even those women without children should consider some type of life insurance—either term or permanent. Depending on the type and benefits, life insurance can replace the financial support that may have been provided to other family members (an aging parent or disabled sibling, for example) or pay off any of her remaining debts after she dies. While the policy cost will be affected by the type and benefit amount, it’s interesting to note that most consumers assume the price of life insurance to be far higher than reality.

Long-term care is an expensive proposition. According to the Genworth 2012 Cost of Care Survey, rates start at $18/hour for in-home basic homemaker services and increase to $3,300/month for assisted living to more than double that for a private room in a nursing home. And it’s not just the elderly (those 75 and older) that may need it. According to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, 37% of those who require some form of long-term care are 64 or younger.

Even if family members are available to help provide care, the cost can still be significant. According to the Genworth’s “Beyond Dollars” report, the average that recipients pay for out-of-pocket expenses (not including the cost of facility care) can reach $14,000/year, while family members spend another $8,000/year. Long-term care insurance can help defray the expense, and, for those single women without family members to call on, it can help relieve the worries of what will happen if they are no longer able to care for themselves due to accident or illness.


The statistics are sobering: The average age of disabled-worker beneficiaries was 53 in 2010, and almost a quarter of people would have financial trouble immediately if they couldn’t work and earn a paycheck, while half would have trouble in just a month, according to a LIFE Foundation survey.

For women on their own, the impact of even a short-term disability could be devastating. Unable to rely on their partner to provide an income, they could find their savings depleted and their future (and that of any dependents who rely on them) in jeopardy. Given that the majority of accidents are not work-related, women need to take proactive measures such as purchasing disability insurance to protect themselves, their assets and their future.


Retirement used to be called “the golden years” but with the increase in health-care costs and the decrease in value of most investments, the “gold” is more than a little tarnished, and women especially are worried about what the future might hold. According to the 2010 Wells Fargo Retirement Fitness Survey, about 40% of women have less access to defined benefit plans, while 58% worry that they haven’t saved enough for their retirement. As for relying on Social Security, 30% of women plan to wait until age 66 or older to apply. Compared with their male counterparts, they have far less confidence in the stock market, or, for that matter, their own ability to save enough to make the years ahead appear anything less than challenging.

For single women, it can be even more difficult, since they may only have their own pension, retirement funds or Social Security check to depend upon. Taking a proactive approach by meeting with a retirement planning specialist is a critical first step to planning for the years ahead.

Woman have proven themselves capable of handling a variety of life roles and responsibilities—from raising children to succeeding in the workplace. Evaluating their needs and putting key strategies in place is one more empowering step that all women—married or single, with or without dependents—need to take to secure their future.

For more information on how to secure your future, call the insurance experts at Insurance Planning Service today at 800-220-5582 or use our online contact form!

Article Source: LIFE Foundation
Photo Source: LIFE Foundation

American workers plan to keep working past Age 65. If you’re one of them, will your life insurance also continue? The recent Transamerica Retirement Survey found that a majority of workers plan to work past age 65 (56%) and a majority (54%) plan to continue working after they retire. Just 39% believe they are building a sufficient nest egg, thereby underscoring the need to redefine “retirement readiness” in a way that is better suited to these new realities.

For the past few years, the Transamerica Retirement Survey has seen an emerging trend of workers who plan to work past age 65, including some workers who do not plan to retire. This year’s survey found that these expectations are prevalent to varying degrees among workers of all age ranges, not just older workers.

If you are one of these workers, your need for insurance after 65 to replace lost income in the event of your death becomes very important. You should review your current life insurance policies to determine if they continue past age 65, and if so, for how long and at what cost. Now may be the time to replace your term insurance with permanent insurance, which will stay in-force as long as you need it at a fixed price with no future increases. You could even choose a life insurance policy that includes long-term care benefits in the event you need extended care.

The effects of the Great Recession are reflected in workers’ changing expectations of retirement. Working past age 65 is an important opportunity to help to alleviate a retirement savings shortfall. Life’s unforeseen circumstances, such as a job loss or health issues, can have a devastating impact on the best laid plans. The “what if” scenarios are critical for American workers of all age ranges to include in their long-term preparations.

Nearly one in three workers (29%) expect to financially support family members other than spouses or partners, after they retire, while 13% expect to receive financial support from family in retirement. This makes the need for insurance after age 65 even more important.

To answer your questions about your life insurance policy, get in touch with Insurance Planning Service by calling us at 800-220-5582 or using our online contact form today!

Source: LIFE Foundation

When people talk about life insurance, it seems to cause a great deal of apprehension and confusion. Unfortunately, the common myths surrounding coverage result in too many people waiting too long to buy or not buying at all. Clearing up these myths may help you get the right coverage at the right price and at the right time in your life.

Myth #1: There’s no reason to buy life insurance when you’re young.
Many people believe they should wait until they have large debts to cover or dependents to provide for before purchasing a life insurance policy. The truth is there are many reasons to acquire life insurance at a young age. If you provide financial support for aging parents or siblings, you may want to consider it. It may also be appropriate if you have substantial debt you wouldn’t want to pass on to surviving family members if you were to die prematurely. Other types of insurance are a must, even for single people. If you borrow money to buy your car, the lender will require you to purchase at least some insurance to protect your investment, and if you buy life insurance when you are young, it will mean lower premiums.

Myth #2: No-medical exam life insurance is the best choice.

While it may be a good choice for some, those who are in good health would do well to consider a traditional policy. The health exam might take a little more time, but taking that time can mean qualifying for much lower rates. Traditionally underwritten policies also offer more options in terms of policy length and coverage amounts, letting the buyer choose what they really need.

Myth #3: Buyers need to choose between term and permanent insurance.

These are the two main types of life insurance, and choosing between them can be difficult.  Term life insurance, the most affordable type of insurance when initially purchased, is designed to meet temporary needs. It provides protection for a specific period of time (the “term”) and generally pays a benefit only if you die during the term. This type of insurance often makes sense when you have a need for coverage that will disappear at a specific point in time. For instance, you may decide that you only need coverage until your children graduate from college or a particular debt is paid off, such as your mortgage.

Permanent life insurance, by contrast, provides lifelong protection. As long as you pay the premiums, and no loans, withdrawals or surrenders are taken, the full face amount will be paid at your death. Because it is designed to last a lifetime, permanent life insurance accumulates cash value and is priced for you to keep over a long period of time.

It’s impossible to say which type of life insurance is better because the kind of coverage that’s right for you depends on your unique circumstances and financial goals. Often, a combination of term and permanent insurance is the right solution.

Myth #4: Life insurance is expensive.

There are so many options for life insurance today that it can be affordable for just about anyone. The key is to shop around and to obtain life insurance as soon as possible—the older you are, the higher the premium is likely to be. Term life insurance policies are surprisingly affordable, and provide the coverage when it is most needed.

Myth #5. Life insurance isn’t available to senior citizens.

Many companies provide life insurance to seniors. Seniors who lose work-related coverage as they retire may be at a loss to provide for final expenses, but they can get coverage at affordable rates, and those who are continuing to work may still need life insurance to cover lost earnings when they die.

There are 95 million Americans that have no life insurance, many because they don’t understand the need or are confused about their ability to qualify. The truth behind the life insurance myths is that most people do need life insurance, and it is easier and more affordable to obtain than most people think. Don’t procrastinate. Do the research and make the decision to buy your life insurance today.

To learn more about your options for life insurance, get in touch with Insurance Planning Service today by calling 800-220-5582 or use our
online contact form.

LIFE Foundation

Decades ago, once you turned fifty, your were issued your AARP card and you could retire peacefully.  Nowadays, the odds of any of us being able to retire at age fifty are slim to none.  Just because you can't retire at that age doesn't mean that you can't go over some important documents and figures to look forward to your retirement.

Make sure your retirement planning is on track. Hiding your head in the sand because your 401(k) took a hit over the past several years is not a retirement plan. While it may be painful to dissect what you currently have and what you need to save (probably much more than you are), it’s better than the alternative: living in poverty in retirement.

Review your life insurance coverage. Rates for life insurance have come down recently and it is often less expensive now than it was 10 years ago. Sit down with an agent to make sure you’re not overpaying for your coverage and that you have appropriate coverage for your risks.

Explore long-term care insurance. It’s important to understand that this isn’t “nursing home insurance”—80% of people who need long-term care services are receiving them in community settings, which for many of us will be our home. Long-term care insurance protects against the significant financial risk (aka draining your retirement funds) of potentially needing extended care services, at home or in a facility, due to a chronic illness or disability.

Examine your estate plan (or get one if you don’t have one). I know this is daunting, because it is for me, too, and I’m in this business. Keep in mind that the plan you had in place 20 years ago (when choosing a guardian for your children was key) needs to be reexamined. Now it’s about more about managing your assets, mitigating estate taxes and debt. Your advisor may be able to help you with this, or can refer you to someone who can.

Get your legal documents in order. Make sure you have durable power of attorney, which is a legal document that gives someone you trust the ability to act on your behalf if you were to become disabled or incapacitated. In addition, make sure you draft a health-care directive, which gives instructions about medical treatment if you were terminally ill or permanently unconscious.

If you need help putting together a checklist, get in touch with your insurance agent at Insurance Planning Service to discuss your post-fifty plan.  Call us today at 800-220-5582 or use our online contact form.

Source: LIFE Foundation

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Lighthouse Group Main Office in Grand Rapids, MI
Mailing Address | P.O. Box 530009, Livonia, MI 48153

Phone: 734.421.9900 | Toll Free: 800.220.5582 | Fax: 734.421.9911

Also serving these Detroit area communities in Michigan: Livonia, Farmington Hills, Ann Arbor, Southfield, Plymouth, Canton, Westland, Northville, Novi, Dearborn, South Lyon & Walled Lake