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For this week of my Life Insurance and Who Needs It series, I’m going to discuss why life insurance is imperative for retirees. The misnomer goes that once you retire, your debts are paid, and you are ready just to kick back and relax. As a result, some people assume that because they are retired, they don’t need life insurance, which isn’t the case.

This category is a bit more nuanced since retirees tend to have varying levels of financial responsibility. As a result – the retirees category can be broken down based on a few fundamental questions.

Do you have debt?

Debt can come in many forms and as Tim Parker from Investopedia points out not every person arrives at retirement entirely debt free. In fact Parker says that “In 2013, 30% of homeowners age 65 and older still carried a mortgage.” Things like a mortgage or student loans (even ones you only cosigned on to help a loved one) can financially cripple your family in the aftermath of an unexpected tragedy. These are all reason to consider purchasing life insurance potentially.

How are your loved ones?

Almost every life insurance category comes back to who you leave behind. The same statute stands for retirees. Does your spouse still count on any discretionary income you provide after retiring? Are your children and grandchildren financially stable or do you continue to lend them some level of support? Considering these types of questions, if your family members require some form of monetary help, you may want to consider a life insurance policy.

How is your estate structured?

As Cathy Pareto explains “Life insurance is present in almost every estate plan and serves as a source of support, education-expense coverage and liquidity to pay death taxes, pay expenses, fund business buy-sell agreements and sometimes to fund retirement plans.

These are the staple reasons for why you may be interested in life insurance as a retiree, but if you still have questions or think you may be an ‘outlier to the rules,’ look for a reliable insurance group or broker. They will be more than happy to help you decide where you are a strong candidate for a life insurance policy and what plan may be right for you.