5 Reasons to Keep Life Insurance in Retirement

Oct 25, 2012

By Staff Writer

Your house is paid off, your kids are independent and you’ve built up a considerable nest egg. So why should you continue to pay life insurance premiums after you retire?

If you’re thinking about dropping your life insurance, or if you’re younger and looking at your long-term options, know that your life insurance may allow you to do one or more things in retirement:

  1. Care for Dependents
    “Some individuals may still need the underlying coverage that life insurance provides,” says David Morganstern, a certified financial planner in Portland, Oregon. Life insurance can help supplement available income sources such as Social Security—or help your family pay off significant financial obligations—like a mortgage—once you’re gone.
  2. Secure a Loan
    Whole life insurance accumulates a tax-deferred cash value, and policyholders can borrow against this amount. A retiree who’s downsizing, for example, could use the money to cover expenses while waiting for his or her home to sell. When choosing this option, keep in mind that the loan will accrue interest, which must be paid in order to keep the policy from terminating prematurely. Loans also reduce the cash surrender value and death benefit of the policy. Consult your tax advisor about possible tax consequences of this option.
  3. Ensure an Inheritance
    You can choose to leave your life insurance payout to your children, their children or your favorite charity. Even better: “Life insurance proceeds are generally not taxed as income,” Morganstern says. Beneficiaries generally receive the money tax-free.
  4. Boost Your Pension
    Pension recipients typically choose between two plans: single-life, which pays an income for as long as you live; and joint-and-survivor, which pays a smaller income over both your and your spouse’s lifetimes. With life insurance, you could choose the larger single-life option and your spouse could use the insurance payout to help cover the lost income if you pass away first.
  5. Pay Estate Taxes
    When properly owned, and in conjunction with an estate plan put together by a qualified attorney and other professionals, life insurance can be an effective tool to help pay taxes on a high-value estate after your death. “Life insurance is instantly liquid,” Morganstern says. With funds available to help pay taxes, your family could avoid taking on additional financial burdens or having to sell the estate.

Choosing a Policy

Start your evaluation by considering which type of policy best suits your long-term plans. Once you decide which type of insurance is right for you, use our Life Insurance Calculator to see how much coverage you need.

Life insurance is not an alternative to retirement savings. Use this information to build a comprehensive retirement plan.

Contact your State Farm® Agent to see what coverage is right for you.

This is only a general description of coverage. A complete statement of coverage is found only in the policy.

Insurance policies and/or associated riders or features may not be available in all states, and policy terms and conditions may vary by state.

State Farm agents do not provide tax, legal, or investment advice. Please consult your tax, legal, or investment advisor regarding your specific circumstances.

A 10 percent tax penalty may apply for withdrawals from tax-qualified products and/or non-tax-qualified annuities before age 59½.

State Farm Life Insurance Company (Not Licensed in MA, NY or WI)
State Farm Life and Accident Assurance Company (Licensed in NY and WI)
Home Office, Bloomington, IL

    Was this article helpful?Yes ()  |  No ()

    If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.

    Questions?

    Find a local agent below

    Get a Rate Quote Now