Can I Have More Than One Life Insurance Policy?

Life insurance can be an interesting thing. There are many rumors and misunderstandings that surround it.  Do only breadwinners need coverage?  Are my premiums deductible?  Am I better off investing my money?  However, there seems to be one question in particular that has many people feeling lost: can/should I have more than one life insurance policy?  The simple answer to this question is yes, with a few limitations.

While insurance is heavily regulated, it is completely legal to own more than one life insurance policy. It is, in fact, a common practice of those with knowledge of the insurance industry.  The restriction doesn’t lie in how many life insurance policies you own, rather in how much coverage total you have compared to your assets, income, and other financial responsibilities.  When you apply for a life insurance policy you must disclose to the insurer all coverage you have, and possibly justify why you feel you need to coverage you’re requesting.  In general, these limitations are considered generous and most people won’t run into an issue acquiring multiple policies.

With that being answered, the natural next question to ask is “Should I, though?” While the answer will vary for every person and their situation, most would benefit from having multiple policies.  Many life insurance policies complement each other, such as final expense policies and term life policies.

Let’s use a few examples: Suppose a mid-age husband and father seeks coverage.  He may elect to purchase a larger term life insurance policy should something happen to him over a set number of years, while also taking out a smaller but permanent final expense policy to assist his family with covering funeral and burial costs.  Let’s say a mother initially took out a life insurance policy when it was just her and her husband, but now has added children to the family and has determined that her current coverage isn’t enough?  She may elect to take out an additional policy to increase her total coverage.  Since there isn’t a limit to the number of policies you can take out, it is easy to combine policies to create the coverage that you need.

It’s important to remember the purpose of life insurance. Should something happen to you, the last thing that you would want is for your family to be put in a difficult financial situation.  Oftentimes, having a single policy isn’t enough to cover the everyday expenses like a mortgage, daily necessities, or educational expenses.  Make sure you consider the benefits of multiple coverage while doing your financial planning.  Should you have any questions or thoughts about taking out additional life insurance policies, reach out to a trusted insurance agent or insurer.  Doing so now may make a world of difference when it counts.

Blog written by: Andrew Jordan, Creative Marketing Specialist II for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co.

Financial Planning – Never Too Young to Start

Millennials have become adults in a very interesting time: in our years, one could argue we have seen more than our fair share of economic upticks and downturns.  Having been fortunate enough to grow up in a time where information is readily available (thanks, Internet), I’m sure that most of us are already familiar with this roller coaster of economic stability.

Many of you were probably like me: put huge amounts of time and effort into your schooling to receive that coveted college degree and stepped out into the world to take on its challenges, only to find yourself stuck in the middle of a recession with high unemployment rates.  That “dream job” that was supposed to be waiting for you at the other end of that collegiate career is not there for the taking.  You find yourself searching a lot longer than you expected to in order to get started down your path to financial security.
When you finally get yourself a solid job and steady income, it’s easy to want to put that money toward immediate rewards that you worked your butt off for. Planning ahead for the future might slip into the backseat.  “Europe and that 4K TV have already waited long enough.  Retirement is such a long ways away. I’ll get to that eventually.”
Cue the meme of Kim Kardashian rolling her eyes.
Financial planning and strategy are just as, if not more, important to our generation than it was to those who preceded us.  Unless we have a solid playbook of how to get to where we want to be financially, it is frighteningly easy to not make it there.  Please thoughtfully consider some of the following tips to help set yourself up for financial success.
All achievements are met by first considering what you want to accomplish.  Money is a tool and if you use it correctly it can get you to where you want to be.  Is your goal to be able to set enough aside to start your own business five or ten years down the road?  Maybe your heart’s desire is to retire at 55 and see the world?  Maybe even take some trips before then?  Make sure you understand where you want to be.
Understanding your goal is vital to do now for one simple reason: time.  With the oldest millennials being in their early 30s,  we have plenty of time until we reach the age where we are no longer able (or willing) to work.  Plenty of money can be made in various forms during this time.  Salaries, benefits and investments can strongly contribute to your comfort later in life.
With time on our side, one would be wise to set up a retirement plan.  Are you familiar with the term “compound interest”?  If not, make sure you give it a quick look online.  Setting up a 401K (offered through many employers), traditional or Roth IRAs, or annuity can take your money and multiply it many times over.  Each one comes with its own benefits and restrictions, so make sure you research which plan is best for your interests.  You’d be amazed at how just putting in small amounts now can become huge sums later.
Budgeting.  To many, just hearing the word is enough to make them cringe as if they just jabbed their toe.  Fewer have the willpower to stick to one, but those that do reap the benefits.  I myself have found that this is not only a great tool for setting up long-term goals but short term ones as well.  Maybe Europe doesn’t have to be so far away.  Setting aside a bit of money each paycheck instead of, say, going out to eat 7 nights a week, will make vacations and larger purchases achievable without sacrificing your future financial safety net.
This is all assuming the road ahead is straightforward, but life tends to steer you in different directions. All it could take is one bad car accident or losing your partner to make it so you are no longer able to earn the living you were. There is one form of financial planning that not many people our age take seriously: life insurance.  With death feeling so far off, it’s natural to not consider planning for it.  Life can unfortunately be disastrous at times, and the last thing we want to do is leave our loved ones in a position of not only mourning, but financial difficulty.  Life insurance can help to alleviate the pressures and stresses that a family suffers through during a death.
I hope you were able to get something valuable from what you have read here.  We have many challenges in front of us, but I feel we are more than up to the task.  By following through and applying smart and strategic financial planning, we will be able to make sure that money isn’t something we’ll have to worry about throughout our lives.
 Blog written by: Andrew Jordan, Accountant for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co.

“Too Young” for Life Insurance?

For many people, life insurance is only important when you get “old.” I used to believe that, until I realized that seemingly solid finances can take a sharp turn at any moment. The sudden death of your spouse will definitely sting on every emotional level, but what happens to the household finances when that happens? Many young couples and families become financially crippled due to the lack of planning.

After her husband was hit while riding his bicycle and later died from his injuries, Chanel Reynolds said, “I was finding it really hard for me to stay present and in the room and to be able to hear what the doctors were saying because I was so overwhelmed with not knowing how much money we had in our checking account, and the fact that we had our wills drafted but not signed.” She also added that she was unsure of whether she was going to be able to care for a family by herself. Although not a large policy, Ms. Reynolds was saved from financial ruin because of life insurance.

It is not surprising that Ms. Reynolds’ quality of life was preserved due to a life insurance policy. The typical coverage amount for a policy is often determined by either the net worth or a multiple of the annual income generated by the applying for the policy. With the income from her husband’s policy, Ms. Reynolds was able to gain some time in order to figure out their mortgage situation along with other bills, keep her son in the same school, and give her time to look for secure employment.

Aside from crises, there are other benefits to buying a life insurance policy while you are young. You are able to open up more options in payment type, which can provide you with lower premiums or even shorten the amount of time that you would have to pay those premiums. Since health risks do commonly increase with age, life insurance policies generally get more expensive to purchase down the road. Life insurance policies can also be another way of saving for retirement, especially if other options are not available to you. Tax-deferred strategies are really popular among other savings vehicles, and life insurance policies provide this as well.

Whether this is all new to you or you are seasoned in life insurance, make sure to do some research on your own. A great place to start is with the nonprofit Life and Health Insurance Foundation for America. You are never too young to begin thinking about your future. You are never too young to begin planning.

For more information visit www.sslco.com or call us at 800-247-1423.

Blog written by: Thy Mims, Marketing Communications Manager for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co.

*Sources
[1] Lieber, Ron. “YOUR MONEY; A Shocking Death, a Financial Lesson and Help for Others.” The New York Times, 12 Jan. 2013. Web.
[2] “Why Single People Need Life Insurance Too.” DailyFinance.com. N.p., n.d. Web.
[3] “You’re Never Too Young for Life Insurance.” – MSN Money UK. N.p., n.d. Web.
[4] “You’re Not Too Young for Life Insurance.” Insurance and Health Care. N.p., n.d. Web.

Planning for Your Future

The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to reflect upon the year that just passed and to plan for the year ahead. For most people, these plans are related to finances, health and family. These may seem like three different matters, but for many people all three are interwoven and each one plays a role in the total outcome. Sentinel Security Life offers products that address all three aspects of your family’s well-being. You need to ask yourself, will your family be able to afford all the expenses if you were suddenly not around to provide for them? This is a daunting but necessary question to ask when planning for your family’s future.

Sentinel Security Life offers several products including Life InsuranceMedicare Supplemental InsuranceHospital Advantage and Annuities. Our focus is to provide you with the options that can address your family’s finances, health and overall security. Our products can provide you with the peace-of-mind that you are seeking.

After reviewing our products, it is important that you find a qualified and licensed professional that can assist you in selecting a policy that will meet your family’s needs. Sentinel Security Life has many licensed agents in your area, and are able to answer any questions you might have. For additional information on any of our products, please visit us at www.sslco.com or call 800.247.1423.

Blog written by: Thy Mims, Marketing Communications Manager for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co.