Do Empty-Nesters Need Life Insurance? This is what Dave Ramsey says

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There are certain life events that may encourage you to apply life insurance. Getting married, for example, can trigger the decision, especially if you have a lot of money that you spend together with your spouse, such as mortgage loan.

Similarly, having children tends to encourage people to take out life insurance. After all, if you’re bringing children into the world who depend on you for financial support, it makes sense that you want to protect them as much as possible.

But what if you get to the point where your children grow up and move away, and you still haven’t bought life insurance? Should you worry about life insurance at that time? If you ask financial expert Dave Ramsey, the answer is yes.

Homeowners need life insurance, too

If you’ve spent your life raising children, being empty can be a change. But if you don’t have life insurance by then, it’s not too late to apply.

In fact – while your children may no longer be dependent on you for financial support, the same may not be true for your partner. Therefore, it is important to put in proper protection so that your husband or wife does not suffer.

Let’s say all your children leave your home and have good jobs. Maybe, at that point, you still have 10 or 15 years before you and your partner retire. During that time, you can have aggressive goals – pay off your debt, increase your income IRAand pump more money into your savings account for better income for your senior years.

But what if you die suddenly? During that time, your spouse can’t pay the debt from their income, or boost IRA contributions.

The last thing you want to do, says Ramsey, is leave your surviving spouse in financial jeopardy in the years leading up to retirement. And because of that, life insurance makes sense.

What type of life insurance should you get when you get older?

If you and your spouse are in your 50s and your children are gone, you may want to consider a long term insurance a policy with large enough benefits to replace several years of your income and pay off any debts you have with your partner, such as your mortgage. You may find that a 10-year plan will be sufficient in this case. That way, you can protect your loved one until they are old enough to start collecting Social Security benefits and tap into an IRA without penalty.

That doesn’t mean you can’t go shopping whole life insurance. But the price can be very low. And if you have other financial goals that you are trying to achieve, you don’t want to tie up a lot of money in expensive payments.

No matter what type of insurance you choose, don’t make the mistake of thinking that you don’t need help at all because all your children have left the nest. Not only may your spouse need protection, but you never know when an older child may need to return home. The last thing you want is to leave your child in financial trouble by neglecting to set up insurance.

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