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What would happen if you died tomorrow?

Posted September 03, 2014 in Advice Column, Perry

No one wants to think in those terms, but given that many of us are still in the financial rebuilding stage, you need to ask yourself, “Would my family be OK financially without me in the picture?”

Life insurance is one of the few guarantees your family could rely on to maintain their quality of life. September is Life Insurance Awareness Month, making it the perfect time to take stock of your life insurance needs.

As difficult as it may seem to look beyond the bills due at the end of the month, you should make it a prior­ity to maintain your current life insurance or get coverage if you don’t have it. It will provide an anchor of stability for your family’s finances, ensuring that your loved ones will be financially secure when you die.

For those without any life insurance or for those who may need more because of changing circumstances, here are a few suggestions:

• Step 1: Determine how much life insurance you need. Start by figuring out how much of your income would need to be replaced for your family to maintain its standard of living. Add up your family’s current and future financial obligations and subtract from that number the financial resources that will be there when you’re gone. The remaining number is a good target to shoot for when buying insurance.

• Step 2: Decide what type of insurance you need. There are two main types of life insurance: term and permanent. Both offer advantages, but the kind of coverage that’s right for you — term, permanent or a combination of both — will depend on your personal situation and financial goals. There are policies available to meet virtually every budget and need.

• Step 3: Understand your buying options. You have several options when it comes to making your life insurance purchase. There are insurance professionals in the community who will sit down with you, free of charge, to assess your life insurance needs and then recommend the type and amount of coverage for your situation and budget. You may also be able to obtain life insurance through your employer. Check with your benefits manager at work to see what your options might be.

The most important thing is to get the coverage. You don’t want to leave your family’s financial future to chance.

Every September, Life Insurance Awareness Month is an industry-wide effort that is coordinated by the nonprofit LIFE Foundation. The campaign was created in response to growing concern about the increasing number of Americans who lack adequate life insurance. For more information on life insurance, visit LIFE’s website at

Information provided by David Finneseth, agent, Farm Bureau Financial Benefits, 1009 Willis Ave., 515-465-2005,

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