Life Insurance 101: What You Need to Know

Life insurance: it’s important but it can be a difficult topic to talk about and even more difficult to understand. However, life insurance is critical to grasp because it’s an important component to building a financial strategy.

Eight in ten adults say their family is most important in their lives, but just a little over half (55 percent) have life insurance to protect them in the event of an unexpected death. Another fact? Fifty-four percent of Americans would have trouble paying living expenses immediately or within several months if the primary wage-earner died. 

Life insurance is a cornerstone of a sound financial strategy and selecting the right contract can help provide for the people and organizations you care about. Here’s a quick primer from Thrivent Financial on the most common types of life insurance.

Types of Life Insurance

  • Term Life Insurance – Temporary life insurance that offers simply a death benefit and is generally less expensive than permanent insurance. It’s ideal for short-term life insurance needs, like when you are raising a family, paying off a mortgage or starting a business. 
  • Whole Life Insurance – Permanent life insurance that gives you a guaranteed death benefit, guaranteed level premiums and guaranteed cash value that increases each year. The guarantees are contingent on all premiums being paid and no loans or changes being made to the contract. 
  • Blended Life Insurance – Permanent life insurance with added flexibility. It lets you “dial-in” your premium to the level of whole life and term insurance desired. Offers lifetime protection through a blend of whole life insurance plus term insurance and paid-up additional coverage. 
  • Universal Life Insurance – Permanent life insurance that allows you to increase or decrease your death benefit and your premium is flexible; subject to any limitations in the contract. Accumulated value in a universal life contract earns interest at a current rate, with a minimum rate stated in the contract. 
  • Variable Universal Life Insurance – Permanent life insurance that gives you a flexible premium and the potential to build accumulated value. However, death benefits and other values may vary because you direct how the cash is invested among the investment portfolios offered. Remember that the investment performance has no guarantees and could lose money, so be sure to review the prospectus offerings in advance of making any investment decisions. 

Life insurance is an important tool to consider on your journey of being wise with money. At Thrivent Financial, many of the people we talk to want to prepare for the future, protect the people they love and live a more generous and fulfilling life. It’s important to have a trusted guide with you on your money journey so consider talking with a financial professional.  

Words Calvin M. Sievers CLTC®, FIC, LUTCF, Financial Associate at Thrivent Financial® – Black Hills NW Nebraska Group

This article was prepared by Thrivent Financial for use by the Black Hills NW NE representative FR-Calvin M. Sievers. He has an office at 2210 Jackson Blvd in Rapid City and can also be reached at (605) 399-9373.