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Help for a Family of One

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If we look at the makeup of our practices, I think we’d find that we spend a lot of time helping couples, families and businesses protect their financial futures. But what about those who are single? According to a recent study by Pew Research, only 51% of adult Americans are married.

While that number doesn’t show us how many of those singles have no dependents, we can assume it’s a number not be ignored. That means there are a lot of single men and women who need our help understanding how life insurance might come into play in their financial lives.

There are likely a few that have no one depending on their income, no ongoing financial obligations and sufficient cash to cover final expenses. But how many of those people do we really know?

It’s important, then, that we illustrate for singles the various ways in which a life insurance purchase can be a smart financial move. Asking a few questions can help us get at the heart of the matter:

  • Do you provide financial support for aging parents or siblings?
  • Do you have substantial debt you wouldn’t want to pass on to surviving family members if you were to die prematurely? 
  • Did family members pay for your education?

Life insurance is an excellent way to address these obligations, and in the case of tuition, reimburse family members for their support. To help reinforce the need for life insurance, it can be a good idea to let them “do their own math.” The nonprofit LIFE Foundation’s online Life Insurance Needs Calculator (at can quickly help them come to the same conclusion.

In addition to addressing any financial obligations the single client may have, the current economic climate has made permanent life insurance an attractive asset class for the purpose of building a secure long-term rate of return for safe money assets. Cash value in traditional life insurance may provide a 3% to 5% long-term rate of return over a 20-year period. This can provide singles with money for opportunities, emergencies and retirement.

The other factor that is worth discussing with young singles is that they have youth on their side. Let them know that the cost of purchasing life insurance is very nominal at young ages and allows them to protect their insurability for when there is a future need.

While all of these reasons are valid, the most important reason may be that they will have peace of mind knowing their financial obligations will be taken care of should anything happen.