»Women should think carefully when insuring their lives

Women should think carefully when insuring their lives

When it comes to writing an article, it's always best to start off with good news. This sets a positive tone to the piece and keeps people reading. So, here it comes. The premiums for life insurance have been dropping! Yes, you did read that properly. It may not feel like it, but there has never been a cheaper time to buy a life policy. How come? Well, unlike other forms of insurance, the policy only pays out in the future when the life insured ends. If you go back to 1980, men lived to an average of 70 years, women to 77 years. In the latest figures released by the Center for Communicable Diseases, men now live to an average of 75.6, with women now into the 80s at 80.8 years. As an aside, the poor quality of the US healthcare service is highlighted by the life expectancy figures. The US ranks only 38th in the world. That said, since the obligation of having to pay out on a life policy is disappearing into the future, the cost of the benefits payable can be collected over more years. This brings down the premiums.

You will have noticed that women live longer than men. There are a number of explanations for this, but the reality is simple. Women have always had stronger levels of immunity to the diseases that strike down men. They are also more careful and less likely to be killed in traffic accidents or while indulging in dangerous sports. This reflects the gender roles with women acting protectively over their children and, in later years, acting as the primary caregivers to older family members and relatives. This throws up the first major decision. If a woman is going to leave dependents behind her, there will be a need to leave a more substantial lump sum behind. Women multitask and buying in professional help to do all the work is expensive. Whereas it's estimated that men should leave an average of seven times their average pay, women with dependents should aim for a multiple of not less than ten. The plan should be to provide a substantial lump sum that can be invested and generate an income to supplement the capital for those who remain.

With family responsibilities, the second decision is the type of policy to buy. If your budget is tight, there will be a temptation to buy the cheaper term insurance. But, with life expectancy extending, you are gambling you will not outlive the policy. Remember, there is no payment if you are still alive when the term ends. Although permanent insurance costs more, it gives a valuable safety net for your dependents. More importantly, a permanent policy has a cash value and this can give you access to money if expenses are threatening to overwhelm you. So when you start shopping around, always get life insurance quotes from the widest possible range of companies. Then check out that they are financially stable. You need your choice to be around in the decades to come. It's also a good idea to find out whether the company offers an advice service to help older people manage their money. So don't stop when you get a list of the life insurance quotes using the online search engine. Talk to the companies before deciding which is going to offer you the best deal.

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