Sometimes life insurance doesn’t get the credit it deserves.
Most of us know it’s used to replace income if the worst were to happen, but that’s about it. This week, I have had several appointments with money savvy twenty-something year olds who were pleasantly surprised to find out how much of a benefit life insurance can be to them right now.
Life insurance can be a multi-faceted financial tool that has many interesting applications. In fact, there’s probably a life insurance policy for most every person or situation.
Read on for some uses of life insurance you may be able to take advantage of when you’re young – you might find some interesting surprises!
If you have your eye on entrepreneurship, life insurance can be of great service. Some types of business loans may require you to have a life insurance policy as collateral. If you have an eye on starting a business and think you may need a business loan, put a life insurance policy into place.
Pay off debt
A permanent life insurance policy has cash value. This is the amount the policy is worth should you choose to cash it in before the death benefit is needed. If you’re in a financial bind with debt – maybe from unexpected medical expenses or some other emergency you weren’t anticipating – using the cash value on the policy to pay off the debt may be an option. Some policies will even let you borrow against this cash value and repay it back with interest. (Note: If you’re thinking about utilizing the cash benefit of your life insurance policy, talk to a financial professional about the consequences.)
If a certain cause or charity is near and dear to you, consider using the death benefit of a life insurance policy as a charitable gift. You can select your favorite charity or nonprofit organization and list them as a beneficiary on your life insurance policy. This will allow them to receive a tax-free gift when you pass away.
Leave a legacy of wealth
A life insurance policy can serve as a legacy to your beneficiaries. Consider purchasing a life insurance policy to serve as an inheritance. This is a good option if you are planning on using most or all of your savings during your non-working retirement years.
Mortgage down payment
The cash value of a whole life policy may be able to be used for large expenses, such as home buying. A whole life policy can serve as a down payment on a home – for you or for your children or grandchildren.
Key man insurance
Key man insurance is a useful tool for businesses. A key person is someone in your business with proprietary knowledge or some other business knowledge on which your business depends.
A business may purchase a life insurance policy on a key man (or woman) to help the business navigate the readjustment should that person die unexpectedly. A life insurance policy can help the business bridge that time and potential downturn in income, and help cover expenses to deal with the loss.
Financing college education
With the rising cost of college tuition, many families are looking for tools to finance their children’s college education. You may consider using the cash value of your life insurance policy to help with college tuition. Just remember to account for any possible tax implications you may incur.
Life insurance policies have many uses. There are great applications for young people, business owners, and just about anyone. Talk to a financial professional about your financial wishes to see how a life insurance policy can work for you.
Starting your business requires making a myriad of decisions.
You’ll have to consider everything from a marketing budget to the theme of your website to how you’re going to arrange your office. But if you give careful consideration to the financial decisions concerning your business, you’ll start off on the right foot.
What is your business structure going to be?
Business structures have different tax and liability implications, so although there are only a few to choose from, make your selection carefully. You may consider:
A sole proprietorship is the simplest of business structures. It means there is no legal or tax difference between your personal finances and your business finances. This means you’re personally responsible for business debts and taxes.
Limited Liability Company
Under an LLC, profits and taxes are filed with the owners’ tax returns, but there is some liability protection in place.
A corporation has its own tax entity separate from the owners. It requires special paperwork and filings to set up, and there are fees involved.
Do you need employees
This may be a difficult decision to make at first. It will most likely depend on the performance of your business. If you are selling goods or a service and have only a few orders a day, it might not make sense to spend resources on employees yet.
However, if you’re planning a major launch, you may be flooded with orders immediately. In this case, you must be prepared with the proper staff.
If you’re starting small, consider hiring a part-time employee. As you grow you may wish to access freelance help through referrals or even an online service.
What are your startup costs?
Even the smallest of businesses have startup costs. You may need computer equipment, special materials, or legal advice. You may have to pay a security deposit on a rental space, secure utilities, and purchase equipment. Where you access the funds to start your business is a major financial decision.
You may have your own personal savings to start your business. Maybe you continue to work at your “day job” while you get your business off the ground. (Just be mindful of potential conflicts of interest.)
Grants or government loans
There are small business grants and loans available. You can access federal programs through the Small Business Administration. You may even consider a business loan from a friend or family member. Just make sure to protect the personal relationship! People first, money second.
Securing a traditional bank loan is also an option to cover your startup costs. Expect to go through an application process. You’ll also likely need to have some collateral.
Crowdfunding is a relatively new option for gathering startup funds for your business. You may want to launch an online campaign that gathers donations.
What’s your backup plan
A good entrepreneur prepares for as many scenarios as possible – every business should have a backup plan. A backup plan may be something you go ahead and hammer out when you first create your business plan, or you might wait until you’ve gotten some momentum. Either way, it represents a financial decision, so it should be thought out carefully.
Develop a backup plan for every moving part of your business. What will you do if your sales projections aren’t near what you budgeted? What if you have a malfunction with your software? How will you continue operations if an employee quits without notice?
How much and what kind of insurance do you need?
Insurance may be one of the last things to come to mind when you’re launching your business, but going without it may be extremely risky.
Proper insurance can make the difference between staying in business when something goes wrong or shutting your doors if a problem arises.
At the very minimum, consider a Commercial General Liability Policy. It’s the most basic of commercial policies and can protect you from claims of property damage or injury.
Make your financial decisions carefully
Business owners have a lot to think about and many decisions to make – especially at the beginning. Make your financial decisions carefully, plan for the unexpected, insure yourself properly, and you’ll be off to a great start!
As you plan for 2023, feel free to reach out to any of our agents for expert advice.
Meet the author: