Should Your Life Insurance Change When Your Kids Leave Home?

Most people take out life insurance in order to protect their spouses and children in the event of their death. They want to make sure that even in their absence, the bills will get paid, debts won’t pile up, and that college will be in reach for their children.

But should you change your life insurance policy when your kids leave home? Once you no longer have children under your roof, what kind of insurance is good for “empty nesters?”

The Osceola Sentinel-Tribune does a wonderful job of examining just such a situation.

Whether or not you still need your life insurance after your kids leave home depends on your financial situation right now. Do you still have debts? Could your debts continue to grow while you pay for your child’s tuition and living expenses? Does your child plan on going to graduate school? If so, maintaining your life insurance policy is a good idea.

You would not want your passing to leave your family buried in debts, or unable to finish school.

And how about your retirement funds? If you haven’t been consistent with establishing or paying on your retirement, or your portfolio is still recovering from the economic downturn of 2009, then it’s a good idea to hang on to your life insurance. This way, your spouse will have financial support and security if something were to happen to you.

Also, will your family be responsible for estate taxes upon your death? If so, a life insurance policy is a great way to make sure that they aren’t burdened with excessive taxes upon your death.

And even if you don’t have such concerns, you can always establish a life insurance trust in order to offer your family the benefits of your policy for other reasons. Your trust could pay for your children’s weddings, for your spouse’s long term medical care, for the care of your grandchildren, and much more.

In this case, your life insurance policy would be less like a financial stop-gap, and more like a gift to family members to enjoy after your passing.

Of course, if paying for your life insurance policy has become a financial burden, and you don’t feel that your children or spouse could use the financial support in the event of your passing, then you can certainly downgrade to a smaller policy if you’d like.

There are many options available for empty nesters today. Talk to a knowledgeable life insurance broker to find out what type of policy best suits your needs and the needs of your loved ones.

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