You plan for retirement with expectations in mind. You hope to enjoy a certain quality of life, with sufficient income resulting from smart financial choices. Ideally, your future unfolds as planned.
But what if the unexpected happens? Will you have the right insurance in place to deal with it?
Insurance matters more in retirement planning than you may think. It is seldom “top of mind” in retirement planning conversations, but the right coverage could help you maintain some financial equilibrium in the face of sudden money pressures.
A life insurance payout could provide income for a surviving spouse. Thanks to late-night TV commercials marketing small funeral insurance policies, many retirees associate life insurance benefits with paying off burial costs. Benefits from larger policies can potentially accomplish much more.
Suppose a 75-year-old widow receives a $500,000 death benefit from a policy purchased by her late spouse. An income stream could be arranged from that death benefit, with the widow receiving $20,000 annually from that lump sum (or more) into her nineties. The payout could also be invested.
Liability insurance could help you out in retirement. As an example, say you are one of three drivers involved in a multi-car accident that leaves a teenager with a disability. You are the only driver cited for a traffic violation, and you happen to be in your seventies. You could now be a target for “predators and creditors.” Say you have some neighbors over for a barbecue, and one of them stumbles on your patio and breaks an arm or a hip; a lawsuit may be next. Few retirees think about or carry umbrella liability policies, but more may want to consider them.
What if you or your spouse need long-term care? Genworth’s 2016 Cost of Care Survey says that the median cost of a semi-private nursing home room was $6,844 last year. How many years of such care would you be willing to pay for out of your savings? True, long-term care insurance has grown costlier. True, some people may never need it. Even so, three or four years of such care – for you, your spouse, or your elderly parents – might draw down your retirement savings more quickly than you would imagine. Think of how large those costs might be ten or twenty years from now. Long-term care coverage may end up being worth every penny.
Insuring yourself against the above possibilities is only prudent. With such coverage in place, you may go a long way toward insuring the quality of your retirement as well.
Ken Weise, an LPL Financial Advisor, provided this article. He can be reached at 707-584-6690. Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. The opinions of this material are for information purposes only.