If someone will suffer financially when you die, chances are you need life insurance because it provides cash to your family after your death.
This cash, known as the death benefit, replaces your income and can help your family meet many important financial needs like funeral costs, daily living expenses and college funding. What’s more, there is no federal income tax on life insurance benefits.
To help you understand how life insurance might apply to your particular situation, we’ve outlined a number of different scenarios below.
- You’re Married – Many people mistakenly believe that they don’t need to think about life insurance until they have children. Not true. What it one of you died tomorrow? Even with your surviving spouse’s income, would that be enough to pay off debts like credit card balances and car loans, let alone cover the monthly rent and utility bills? If you’re planning to have children, you’ll want to buy life insurance now instead of waiting until pregnancy—some companies won’t issue policies to pregnant women.
- You’re Married With Kids – Most families depend on two incomes to make ends meet. If you died suddenly, could your family continue meet all their financial obligations—from paying rent or the mortgage to daily living expenses? Could your family continue their standard of living on your spouse’s income alone? Would their plans for the future—like college stay intact? Life insurance makes sure that your plans for the future don’t die when you do.
- You’re a Single Parent – As a single parent, you’re the caregiver, breadwinner, cook, chauffeur and so much more. Yet nearly four in 10 single parents have no life insurance, and many with coverage say they need more than they have. With so much responsibility resting on your shoulders, you need to make doubly sure that you have enough life insurance to safeguard your children’s financial future.
- You’re a Stay-At-Home Parent – Just because you don’t earn a salary doesn’t mean you don’t make a financial contribution to your family. Childcare, transportation, cleaning cooking, and other household activities are all important tasks, the replacement value of which is often severely underestimated. With life insurance, your family can afford to make the choice that best preserves their quality of life.
- You Have Grown Children – Just because your kids are through college and the mortgage is paid off doesn’t necessarily mean that you no longer need life insurance. If you died today, your spouse will still be faced with daily living expenses. Would your financial plan, without life insurance, enable your spouse to maintain the lifestyle you’ve worked so hard to achieve now and into retirement?
- You’re Retired – Depending on the size of your estate, your heirs could be hit with an estate-tax payment of up to 45% after you die. The proceeds of a life insurance policy are payable immediately, allowing heirs to take care of these taxes, funeral costs and other debts without having to hastily liquidate other assets, often at a fraction of their true value. Life insurance proceeds are also generally income tax free and won’t add to your estate tax liability, if properly structured.
- You’re a Small-Business Owner – Besides taking care of your family, life insurance can also protect your business. What would happen to your business if you, one of your fellow owners or a key employee died tomorrow? Life insurance can help in a number of ways. For instance, a life insurance policy can be structured to fund a buy-sell agreement. This would ensure that the remaining business owners have the funds to buy the company interests of a deceased owner at a previously agreed upon price. That way, the owners get the business and the family gets the money. To protect a business in case of the death of a key employee, key person insurance, payable to the company, provides the owners with the financial flexibility needed to either hire a replacement or work out an alternative arrangement.
- You’re Single – Most single people don’t need life insurance because no one depends on them financially. But there are exceptions. For instance, some single people provide financial support for aging parents or a sibling with special needs. Others may be carrying significant debt that they wouldn’t want to pass on to family members who survive them. Insurability is another reason to consider life insurance when you’re single. If you’re young, healthy, and have a good family health history, your insurability is at its peak and you’ll be rewarded with the best rates on life insurance.
via Who Needs It? | Life Happens.
In addition to their social costs, workplace injuries and illnesses have a major impact on an employer’s bottom line. It has been estimated that employers pay almost $1 billion per week for direct workers’ compensation costs alone. The costs of workplace injuries and illnesses include direct and indirect costs. Direct costs include workers’ compensation payments, medical expenses, and costs for legal services. Examples of indirect costs include training replacement employees, accident investigation and implementation of corrective measures, lost productivity, repairs of damaged equipment and property, and costs associated with lower employee morale and absenteeism.
via Safety and Health Topics | Business Case for Safety and Health – Costs.
The popularity of mobile devices has had some unintended and even dangerous consequences. We now know that mobile communications are linked to a significant increase in distracted driving, resulting in injury and loss of life.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2012 driver distraction was the cause of 18 percent of all fatal crashes – with 3,328 people killed – and crashes resulting in an injury – with 421,000 people wounded.
Forty percent of all American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger, according to a Pew survey.
The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted.
Eleven percent of drivers aged 18 to 20 who were involved in an automobile accident and survived admitted they were sending or receiving texts when they crashed.
Distracted driving endangers life and property and the current levels of injury and loss are unacceptable.
via The Dangers of Texting While Driving | FCC.gov.
Falls are the second leading type of unintentional home-related injury deaths. Falls occur most commonly in:
- Crowded areas
- Areas with uneven surfaces
Among older adults, falls can result in serious injury and an increased risk of fatality.
Fall Proofing Your Home
You can prevent falls by “fall-proofing your home.” Take simple steps such as storing objects within easy reach and keeping electrical cords out of the way. If possible, add handrails to stairs to keep your family safe and use non-skid bath mats to prevent falls in the bathroom. Teach children to pick up their toys when done playing and keep your own home clean by wiping up spills immediately. These are just a few of the ways you can keep the ones you love from slipping and tripping.
Older Adult Falls
Adults 55 and older are more prone to becoming victims of falls. You can prevent older adult falls by improving balance through exercise and visiting the doctor annually. Other precautions include wearing fitted shoes, knowing the side effects of medications and storing those meds in a well-lit area.
via Safety at home: Falls.
The nonmedical use and abuse of prescription drugs is a serious public health problem in this country. Although most people take prescription medications responsibly, an estimated 52 million people (20 percent of those aged 12 and older) have used prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons at least once in their lifetimes. Young people are strongly represented in this group. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey found that about 1 in 12 high school seniors reported past-year nonmedical use of the prescription pain reliever Vicodin in 2010, and 1 in 20 reported abusing OxyContin—making these medications among the most commonly abused drugs by adolescents.
via From the Director | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
Research shows that healthy people working in a healthy environment are key to business success. That’s because a healthy workplace improves productivity and reduces employers’ costs.
A healthy workplace will:
- Improve employee health outcomes
- Make it easier to attract and retain qualified employees
- Lower absenteeism
- Reduce health benefit costs
- Enhance morale
- Reduce risk of injury
- Improve job performance
via What Makes a Healthy Work Environment? – Healthy Environments.
Being physically active is important to prevent heart disease and stroke, the nation’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers. To improve overall cardiovascular health, we suggest at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity). Thirty minutes a day, five times a week is an easy goal to remember. You will also experience benefits even if you divide your time into two or three segments of 10 to 15 minutes per day.
For people who would benefit from lowering their blood pressure or cholesterol, we recommend 40 minutes of aerobic exercise of moderate to vigorous intensity three to four times a week to lower the risk for heart attack and stroke.
via American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults.
What everyday steps can I take to stop the spread of germs?
There are steps you can take in your daily life to help protect you from getting the flu.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy food.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.
via Prevention of the Flu | Flu.gov.