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QUESTION: I have a life insurance question, please.  Heres my situation. Husband is on Soc Sec Disability (has no pension) for a chronic condition, although not life-threatening. He is 60.  I am 57 and retiring in June from a state job. I will get a lifetime annuity state pension that we can get by on combined with his SSD.  I carry $100k of life insurance through my employer.  My retirement options are straight life (where I get the whole amt with nothing going to my spouse if he outlives me); 50% joint survivor where hed get half my pension upon my demise; 100% joint survivor where hed get my full pension upon my demise.  Realistically, we need the full amount of my pension, plus if I outlive him, Id need the full amount. The survivor options take too much of the pension monthly.  My thinking is to take my full pension with no survivor benefits and keep my $100k life insurance policy for my husband should he outlive me.  I realize the rates go up as I get older. Is there any other type of life insurance I should shop for? We have no burial expenses because we have donated our bodies to medical science. Our house is paid for.  Any suggestions or guidance would be welcomed! Thank you.

ANSWER: Carol,

Thank you for the question. I love life insurance questions, especially when they are coming from someone with some knowledge up front. I appreciate that for sure. It's good to have options.

It sounds like you've made the best financial decision for your pension. I am in a big believer in the fact the we are only as alive as we are today so go with what works for keeping your household running smoothly. You have enough things going on with a chronically ill spouse and money should not be the fighting point if it can be helped.

I would need to know more about your health to know where to turn in terms of advising you. If you have conditions that might keep you from getting a new policy enacted, you may need to stick with what you have but maybe with some variations (if they are offered).

The question to ask yourself is what do you want the money to do for the remaining spouse? With no burial and no house payments, what really would the policy be left for? Once you answer that, then you can make an educated and budget friendly decision.

I will say this and that is if you have term life insurance (which is what it sounds like the 100K is), then it will eventually become unaffordable. My advice would be to answer your question above and if the amount you need is not near that 100K then I would advise locking a rate down on a whole life type policy with easy underwriting requirements and a locked rate along with cash value accrual.

Again, figure out your answer to the question of what you want it for and if you would like to message me back to continue discussing the options, we can do that.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks, Gene...additonal information about my situation...if it would affect your advice...

My health is great. Healthy lifestyle and great genes. Both parents still living and in great health.

The life insurance money would be for him to stick in the bank and use to survive. He only gets $1300 a month and could not survive on that; not when it takes $1,000 to fill the oil tank, property taxes are $1,600 a year, plus utilities, food, vehicle insurance & repairs, house maintenance etc...and, of course, inflation.

I can get $100k til age $59 for $66 a mo; age 60-64 for $96 a mo. 65-69 for $109 a mo.  At age 70, well, we'll see. :)

Answer
Thank you for your answers to my questions.

What you are describing that you have through your employer is a 5-year term policy. I'd be very cautious as to the policy language stating if you can indeed keep the existing 5-year term when you retire or if they will require you to change the policy to be an individual one. Check that carefully.

Now, if you want to keep 100K then there are cheaper ways to go. With your health being good you should be able to acquire a 20 or 30 year term policy for less than you are paying now. If you're not set on 100K you can obviously drop the amount of a term or for close to what you are doing now or you could get a guaranteed universal life policy with a locked rate for life.

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Gene Ramsay

Expertise

I can answer questions from people regarding health, life, and voluntary insurance. I can also answer certain annuity questions, long-term care, medicare, vision, dental, group products, individual products, and certain carriers. Another area would be general discussion on an individual basis to determine need and help individuals make the right decisions for them. I can also field questions from other insurance providers about carriers I represent so we can do some business together and I am also willing to offer my thoughts on certain issues they may be having with clients/customers, etc.

Experience

My experience comes from helping many people every day handle tough situations in the health, life, and voluntary insurance markets. I do not claim to know it all, but I will always be direct and professional.

Organizations
National Association of Health Underwriters, Alabama Association of Health Underwriters, Birmingham Association of Health Underwriters

Publications
Self Funding Magazine, ezines.com, Birmingham Business Journal, North Jefferson News

Education/Credentials
My educational credentials are holding a health and life insurance license in multiple states.

Awards and Honors
Colonial Life Rookie Sales Award of the Year (2006), Treasurer - Birmingham Association of Health Underwriters (2010), NAHU Region 5 & 6 Leadership Conference Participant (2011), "Benefits Selling" Magazine Reader Council Advisory Board (2011), President Elect - Birmingham Association of Health Underwriters (2011), President (2012-2014), VP of Technology - Alabama Association of Health Underwriters, (2011-Present), NAHU LPRT Soaring Eagle Award Recipient (2013)

Past/Present Clients
I would prefer not to divulge clients without their consent to do so.

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