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Do I need life insurance in retirement?

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As life changes, so do the reasons for why you have life insurance. In the early years of family and career, it likely was about making sure your family could keep their lifestyle and pay final expenses if something should happen to you. It may have been about covering the mortgage or setting aside funds for college.

As retirement nears, you may be thinking—or have heard—you don’t need life insurance anymore. Here are some reasons why life insurance could be important in your financial strategy.

Protect and preserve

“If something happens to you, it’s still important to ensure that your spouse, or those you care about, can continue to live their lifestyle,” says Andy Leraas, Thrivent financial associate in Minot, North Dakota. “What sources of income do you and your spouse plan to rely on in retirement? “If one of you dies, you’re not going to continue to receive both Social Security checks,” Leraas says. “How’s your life going to change without one?”

And if part of your income comes from a pension, could it be reduced or eliminated? “Survivor gap” is a common issue. While income goes down, your surviving spouse may see expenses increase, due to changes in tax-filing status or perhaps home maintenance or home health care needs.

Leave a legacy

“Perhaps you’re in a situation where you have plenty of assets,” Leraas says. “Would you like to see any passed on to your heirs or favorite charities? Life insurance can provide a tax-efficient way of leaving money to your heirs. If you are nearing the age where you must take a required minimum distribution from your retirement plans and you don’t need it because you have other assets, he says, you could use it to purchase a life insurance contract that you could leave as a legacy.

Access it while living

In addition to the death benefit, some permanent contracts may provide an opportunity for guaranteed growth that you can access while you’re living. “It may be a safe place to put some dollars, offering a potentially good interest rate in these lower-
interest environments,” he says.

Learn more

Talk to your Thrivent financial advisor about how life insurance may benefit your priorities.

Thrivent and its financial advisors and professionals do not provide legal, accounting or tax advice. Consult your attorney or tax professional.