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Keeping you and your Wallet Healthy: Five Tips to Save on Life Insurance

  • By Debbie Van Der Hyde
  • September, 2012
  • published in: Health & Wellness

Your life is valuable. One way you can protect your future and that of those you care about is through the right amount and type of life insurance. Yet according to the annual 2012 InsuranceBarometer Study: Understanding Consumer Perceptions of Insurance conducted by LIMRA, which measures consumer attitudes about life insurance, only four out of 10 people own individual policies.

Why is the number so low? In these cost-conscious times, 78 percent of people surveyed thought that life insurance is too expensive. Others believe they don’t need it because they are young or do not have a family to support.

“Consumers generally assume that the annual cost is three to seven times more than it actually is,” said Marvin Feldman , CEO of LIFE Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people make informed insurance decisions.

But there are ways to save. Consider these tips to help keep your future and your wallet healthy.

1. Buy early, when you’re young and healthy. Young people are generally healthy, which is a factor used to calculate premiums, along with age, gender and amount and type of insurance. So if they purchase life insurance coverage in their 20s or 30s before health issues begin to creep in, they will likely end up paying a lower premium over the lifetime of the policy and could save a significant amount in the long run.

2. Manage your health. “People who watch their weight, exercise regularly, and get routine physicals and preventative health screenings will generally have a better risk assessment, which could help reduce their coverage price,” said Val Kaufman, MD, vice president and chief medical director at MassMutual. Consistently taking prescribed medications can also decrease risk and cost.

3. Don’t smoke…or stop. It’s an undisputable fact: non-tobacco users qualify for significantly lower rates than people who smoke or chew tobacco. “There’s always a health benefit to stopping, too.” Dr. Kaufman added. Cardiovascular risks drop rapidly, and after a period of cessation, former smokers can obtain a better rate.

4. Buy the right amount and type. Work with a financial professional on a customized needs analysis and calculate your “lifetime economic value” (present income and estimated future earnings). You can also use a do-it-yourself calculator found online or via a mobile app. Choosing the right type of policy also depends on your needs, and it’s not an either/or decision; many people purchase a combination of term and permanent life insurance. And some opt for a convertible term life insurance policy that allows them to convert from term to permanent coverage. And if you make the change within a specified timeframe, you may receive a conversion which is a reduction in your first year premium.

5. Scan your policies annually. Meet with a financial professional if your health or needs have changed. Life events such as health changes (yours and your family members), marriage, a home purchase, the birth of a child or retirement are common reasons to adjust coverage amounts and types.

By following these tips, you can gain peace of mind and take financial responsibility for your future and that of those who depend on you – and you can help keep your wallet healthy, too.

What do you think?

Keeping you and your Wallet Healthy: Five Tips to Save on Life Insurance

About the author

Debbie Van Der Hyde is an experienced freelancer, writing for various corporate clients and publications. She has a strong interest in sustainability, clean energy and the green industry and writes for Sierra Club Green Home and GreenBiz.

The content on this web page has not been previously published and is sponsored by MassMutual.

MassMutual Financial Group is a marketing name for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and its affiliated companies and sales representatives.


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