November 13, 2017
10 Things

10 Things I know about...Life insurance

Ryan A. Wagner

10) Where to get it. Some employers will offer life insurance as a benefit of employment. You can also get your own policy by working with a licensed agent.

9) When to get it. As early as possible. Life insurance cost is based on your gender, age, and health.

8) How much to get. A very simple calculation is to take your current income and multiply it by how many years you have left to work before retirement.

7) How long to get it for. You will typically want insurance to cover you until you can retire, or until you die.

6) What type to get. Either term and permanent. Term expires after a term of time and permanent – you guessed it – lasts as long as you do.

5) Beneficiaries. Ideally you would like the beneficiary to be a revocable trust you have set up while doing your estate planning.

4) Taxes. You are going to want to pay your premiums after you have already paid your income taxes. If you do it this way, most times the death benefit will be tax free to your beneficiary.

3) Changes. Life insurance is quite flexible, especially if purchased through reputable companies. You can change the beneficiary, the amount of coverage and the type. You can also ask the insurance company to reevaluate your health rating if you lost weight or stopped smoking to reduce your premium.

2) Cost. The younger, healthier, and less coverage you want, the less the premium will be.

1) Guarantees. Life insurance can have four things guaranteed in writing. The things you want to look for being guaranteed are: 1) The death benefit amount 2) The premium amount 3) How long you have to pay the premium for 4) The cash value amount (if it is a permanent policy).

Ryan A. Wagner is a financial representative with Robert Fine & Associates in Framingham. Reach him at


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