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The value of life insurance

Whether you’re a stay-at-home or working mom, the contributions you make to your family couldn’t easily be replaced if anything happened to you. That’s why life insurance should be part of your financial plan. Life insurance is even more important if you’re a single mother who is the major source of financial support for your children.

There are two types of life insurance you can purchase: term and permanent. The type that makes the most sense for you depends on a number of things, including your budget, the amount of coverage you need, and how long you want the coverage to last.

Term life insurance

Often the most affordable life insurance you can buy, Traditional or Return of Premium Term life insurance provides you with coverage for a specific number of years. While both can help ensure that your family will be able to meet expenses such as college tuition, medical insurance, and mortgage payments, there are some differences:

Traditional term life insurance
  • This coverage is usually less expensive than permanent insurance at the start, giving you the opportunity to get more coverage.
  • Premiums are generally fixed during the term of coverage.
  • In some cases, you can convert your policy to permanent life insurance without having to take another medical examination.
  • This policy doesn’t build cash value.

Return of premium term life insurance
  • You get back your premiums if you outlive the term of coverage.
  • The money that’s returned is yours to use however you want to.
  • Premiums may be higher than that of traditional term life insurance.

Permanent life insurance

There are several types of permanent life insurance policies, each offering coverage that lasts a lifetime:

Whole life insurance

  • This coverage provides a guaranteed death benefit with guaranteed scheduled premiums.
  • Cash value accumulates at a set fixed rate.
  • Some policies offer non-guaranteed dividends that may increase the death benefit and cash value. Those that pay dividends may offer the potential for a larger cash value.
  • Premiums are generally more expensive than those of universal or variable life insurance.

Universal life insurance

  • If your financial situation changes, you have the flexibility to change your premiums or the amount of coverage.
  • Cash value accumulates at a guaranteed minimum interest rate. Additional non-guaranteed interest may be credited to the cash value.
  • The policy’s cash value is not guaranteed because of changing interest rates.
  • You can borrow against the cash value of the policy.*

Variable life insurance

  • Cash values can go up or down, depending on the variable investment options you select based on your financial goals and risk tolerance.
  • If your financial situation changes, you have the flexibility to change your premiums or the amount of coverage.
  • You can withdraw or borrow against the cash value of the policy.*
  • The policy is not guaranteed to build cash value.

Investors should consider the contract and underlying portfolios' investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses carefully before investing. The contract prospectus and the underlying portfolio prospectus contain information relating to investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses, as well as other important information. Contact your financial professional for the prospectuses. You should read the prospectuses carefully before investing. It is possible to lose money by investing in securities.

Life insurance may seem complicated because of the many options available, but speaking with a licensed financial professional can help you decide which policy is best for you.

* Life insurance policy cash values are accessed through withdrawals and policy loans. Loans are at interest. Unpaid loans and withdrawals cause a reduction in cash values and death benefits. In general, loans are not taxable, but withdrawals are taxable to the extent they exceed basis in the contract. Loans outstanding at policy lapse or surrender prior to the death of the insured will cause immediate taxation to the extent of gain in the contract. For policies which are Modified Endowment Contracts, distributions (including loans) are taxable to the extent of income in the contract, and an additional 10% federal income tax penalty may apply. You may wish to consult your tax advisor for advice regarding your particular situation.

Insurance issued by the Prudential Insurance Company of America, Newark, NJ, and its affiliates. Each is a Prudential Financial company that is solely responsible for its own financial condition and contractual obligations. Our policies contain exclusions, limitations, reduction and terms for keeping them in force. A licensed financial professional can provide you with complete details. The availability of other products and services varies by carrier and state. Prudential Financial, its affiliates, and other financial professionals do not render tax or legal advice. Be sure to consult with your personal tax and legal advisors.