Making plans now may help you enjoy life to the fullest.
It’s hard to think about the future, especially when it comes to health and inheritance planning—but addressing end-of-life issues now may help provide your spouse and family with a safety net. Buying life insurance and creating advance directives may ease the burden on your loved ones and help ensure your wishes are carried out.
Buying the right life insurance policy doesn’t just address legacy concerns and cover your final expenses. Buying the right amount of life insurance can free up disposable income right now. Kiplinger.com suggests considering the following as you comparison shop:
- When are you buying? If you’re young and single or retired with considerable assets, you probably don’t need as much life insurance as a married, working couple with children.
- How much do you need? Think of both immediate and future needs that would face your family if something happened to you. How much would it cost to pay off the mortgage? What would your family need to maintain their standard of living over the long-term? Your Nationwide agent can help you calculate these figures.
- What kind should you buy? Although there are many different policies available, there are really only two types of life insurance coverage: term or whole life. Term life insurance is the simplest and cheapest. You insure your life for a certain dollar amount for a fixed period of time. Whole life insurance premiums are higher, but a portion is put into tax-free reserves that you can borrow against. Speak with your agent to determine which type of life insurance best suits your needs.
As your personal situations change (i.e., marriage, birth of a child or job promotion), so will your life insurance needs. Care should be taken to ensure this product is suitable for your long-term life insurance needs. You should weigh any associated costs before making a purchase. Life insurance has fees and charges associated with it that include costs of insurance that vary with such characteristics of the insured as gender, health and age, and has additional charges for riders that customize a policy to fit your individual needs.
A 2010 study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine determined that one in four seniors will eventually need someone to make medical decisions on his or her behalf. To be sure your medical preferences will be honored if you can’t make decisions yourself, put advance directives in place now—and review them every few years with your family.
The Mayo Clinic breaks advance directives down into three categories:
- Living wills usually include your preferences for the use or conditional use of life-sustaining measures such as feeding tubes, dialysis and artificial respiration.
- Healthcare power of attorney allows you to designate a person (healthcare proxy) to make medical decisions for you if you are not capable of making your own decisions.
- A do not resuscitate order on file at the hospital prevents a doctor from performing CPR if you stop breathing or your heart stops beating. In some states, you may also keep a copy of the order in a visible place at home to guide emergency medical technicians in an emergency at your home.
You can find advance directive forms at Caringinfo.org. Speak with your doctor and an attorney if you’re not sure what options you should select on them. Please note that neither Nationwide nor its representatives provide legal, financial or tax advice, and this information is for educational purposes only.
All guarantees and benefits of the insurance policy are subject to the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company.
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