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5 Ways to Overpay for Life Insurance

Faith & Finance

Christian talk radio with Rob West

December 9, 2021

What does God’s Word require of us when it comes to providing for our families? Well, leaving our families in good shape financially after we’re gone should be on the list, and doing that usually involves life insurance. A 30-year-old buying a 20-year policy providing $250,000 in coverage should only spend about $160 per year, but a recent survey showed that many in the target age range overestimated the cost. And if you’re expecting a high price, you’re setting yourself up to overpay. Today, Rob West has a list of five more ways you could overpay for life insurance without realizing it: 1. Buying whole life insurance instead of a simple term policy. Whole or permanent life policies build a cash value that you can tap into for certain things while you’re still alive, but that’s very expensive money. You’ll be far ahead if you buy term insurance instead and invest the cost difference in your retirement account. Determine how much insurance you need and then look for the least expensive term policy that provides that amount if you die during the policy’s term. 2. Not paying attention to costly add-ons or riders. These can be useful in customizing your policy to fit a specific need, but can also be very pricey. One of the worst is the Return-of-Premium rider in which the insurance provider will give you back all of the premiums you paid when the policy expires. That single rider could double your premiums and worse still, you won’t get the earnings you might have had if you’d invested the difference instead. 3. Buying insurance when the provider doesn’t require a medical exam. Most companies will require one. If your provider doesn’t, you can expect to pay more. Sometimes finding a policy that doesn’t require an exam can be a real blessing -- for example, if you have a pre-existing condition that might limit your access to a standard policy. These are called guaranteed issue policies. But keep in mind that you’ll almost certainly have higher premiums and less coverage with a guaranteed issue policy. 4. Buying an Annual Renewable Term policy or ART. These appear attractive because the premiums start out low. The policies basically guarantee coverage for the life of the term, but each year you have to renew the policy. And each year, the amount of your premium goes up. 5. The last way you can overpay for life insurance is by procrastinating. True, your chances of dying at age 30 are far less than it would be at 50. Insurance companies know that, too. And that’s why policies get more expensive as you age. If you have dependents who rely on your salary, Rob says to get term life insurance today. Choose a policy that will be in force until your dependents are grown up and on their own. That way, you’ll have adequate coverage without overpaying. LISTENER QUESTIONS: Next, Rob answers the following listener questions: ●I had been paying down my credit cards, but had to leave my job due to health problems during the pandemic. I can no longer make my minimum payments. What can I do? (Rob suggested calling ChristianCreditCounselors.org at 800-557-1985.) ●I’m 66 years old and collecting Social Security. I have $35,000 in savings but do have some health issues and I’m not sure that my money will last. What do you recommend I do? ●I want to pay off our mortgage which has a balance of about $50,000. We’re in our 70s. We have about $65,000 in savings. We have about $200,000 in retirement invenstments. We’re living on Social Security and part-time income. Should we pay off the house? ●I’m interested in Donor Advised Funds but don’t know if there are any caveats I should be aware of before using one? (Rob recommended checking out the National Christian Foundation at NCFGiving.org to learn more about Donor Advised Funds). Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to [email protected] Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. Like and Follow us on Facebook at MoneyWise Media for videos and the very latest discussion! Remember that it’s your prayerful and financial support that keeps MoneyWise on the air. Help us continue this outreach by clicking the Donate tab on our website.

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