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Get More Out of Life 10 Ways to Use Life Insurance


Submitted by Modern Woodmen

Life insurance is there for your family when the unexpected happens, but it can also do more. Here are some common ways — and a few ways that are more unexpected — to get the most from your life insurance protection. Ask yourself the following questions to see what uses may be right for you.

Business Planning
Have you protected your business?
Life insurance can be the most cost-effective way to protect your business if the owner dies or becomes disabled. Without a plan, your family could be forced to sell the business, perhaps for a fraction of its value. Life insurance can help provide cash for a properly structured buy-sell agreement. This agreement will protect the business and the family if the unexpected happens.

Tax Savings
Who will pay the taxes when you die?
If you are planning to leave any of your retirement savings to your loved ones, your beneficiaries will be responsible for the income taxes due on withdrawals they receive from your retirement accounts. Instead, take small withdrawals from your retirement savings while you are living. You can then use some of that money to purchase life insurance, which will provide your beneficiaries an income tax-free benefit upon your death.

Final Expenses
Does your family have an extra $10,000 to pay for your final expense?
In 2010, the average cost of a funeral was $6,500, not including cemetery plots and monuments, or other items like flowers, prayer cards, and obituaries. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the average funeral can easily exceed $10,000. Although many people think life insurance is complicated, it can be simple to help your family pay for funeral costs, doctor and hospital bills, attorney’s fees, and other probate expenses.

Modern Woodmen’s Simple Application offers an easy way to apply for up to $25,000 of quality whole life insurance by answering five quick questions — no medical exam required.*

Estate Planning
Do you want to provide an equal inheritance to your children or grandchildren?
Your estate is more than just money. Your legacy may include a family business, collection, or home — assets that are not easily divisible between heirs. Life insurance can provide liquid cash, helping replace the value of a portion of another asset. The benefit is income tax-free.

Charitable Giving
Do you want to leave a legacy after your death?
Life insurance can be the gift that keeps on giving. You could use your insurance to structure a gift that will provide for your favorite charity well into the future. You can designate a charity as the beneficiary to provide a gift upon your death, while maintaining control of the certificate during your lifetime.

Mortgage and Debt Protection
Do you have a mortgage or other debts?
Life insurance provides money when your family needs it most. There are other expenses that your loved ones will be responsible for if you die prematurely, including monthly housing costs and ongoing debts like car loans, college loans, and credit cards. These expenses would be faced without the additional support of your paycheck. Some families find these debts too much to bear and are forced to sell their home and other assets. Life insurance can provide immediate cash to help leave your family debt-free.

Do you want to ensure you or your family members will always be insured?
While you may be healthy enough to qualify for life insurance today, your health can change. Protect all members of your family with life insurance now so that coverage will be in place regardless of their health in the future.

Cash Value
Could you use some cash to purchase a house or send your kids to college?  
Permanent life insurance builds cash value. You can borrow or take a withdrawal from the surrender value to help purchase a house, pay for college, or cover financial emergencies. Flexible loan-repayment options are available. Surrender charges may apply to withdrawals.

Are any of these uses right for you? Every person is different. Talk with your Modern Woodmen representative today to discuss your personal life insurance needs.

Let’s start the conversation. Contact Ruth Ahnen, FIC, of Modern Woodmen of America, located at 2435 E. Kimberly Rd., Suite 310S, in Bettendorf. Call 563-508-0842, or e-mail ruth.ahnen@mwarep.org.

* Issue is not guaranteed; may depend on answers to health questions.

Founded in 1883 as a fraternal benefit society, Modern Woodmen of America offers financial services and fraternal member benefits to individuals and families throughout the United States.