Enter a search term.
line drawing document and pencil

File a claim

Need to file an insurance claim? We’ll make the process as supportive, simple and swift as possible.

Action Teams

If you want to make an impact in your community but aren't sure where to begin, we're here to help.
Illustration of stairs and arrow pointing upward

Contact support

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Need to discuss a complex question? Let us know—we’re happy to help.
Use the search bar above to find information throughout our website. Or choose a topic you want to learn more about.

How to protect your family financially over the years

Maskot/Getty Images

Your income is more than just a paycheck. It's a tool that helps provide the life you share with the people you love. That's why it's important to protect it from the potential pitfalls that are hard to think about. That can mean losing your job, getting too sick or injured to work, or dying unexpectedly.

No matter where you're at, there are multiple ways you can protect your earnings and what's important to your family. We'll cover some foundation-building ideas for you to consider based on a typical milestone: retirement.

Strategies to protect your income during your working years

Although there are many ways to earn income, including investments, your ability to work is one of the most critical assets in your financial life. As you progress through your working years, it's important to have additional protection in place in case something would disrupt your income stream.

Disability insurance protects your income when you can't work

Disability insurance can offer you and your family a safety net by replacing a portion of your income if you were to get too ill or injured to keep working. Having this backup plan can help you cover your financial obligations without putting all the strain on your savings or finding other options. Ultimately, it can provide some stability for you and your loved ones as you focus on your health and your next moves.

Life insurance protects your family's lifestyle—now and in the future

It's not easy to think about your mortality. But once you imagine what life may look like for your loved ones once you—and your income—are gone for good, you may want to ease some of their potential burdens by planning ahead. One way to do this is with life insurance, which can provide your family with a potentially tax-free death benefit. If you die, they can use that money to:

  • Continue the standard of living you helped establish. 
  • Stay in familiar surroundings by covering housing costs and other needs. 
  • Pay for your final expenses and satisfy any outstanding debts. 
  • Fund their higher education. 
  • Continue to support causes close to your heart. 

There are many types of life insurance to consider. Whole life insurance can be particularly reassuring as it offers guarantees, as well as the opportunity to build savings over time that you can use during your lifetime—before or after retirement.

Illustration of coin, credit card, and phone displaying financial charts

Life insurance calculator

How much life insurance do you need? Do a quick check with our free calculator.

Try it out

Strategies to protect income if you're nearing or in retirement

As you look toward retirement and the financial changes it brings, it's even more important to think about how you'd keep your household and loved ones afloat without your income if you couldn’t be here to provide for them. Having a plan in place can mean your spouse or other beneficiaries may continue living the life you've envisioned, even if they no longer have your Social Security or pension money to supply income.

Keeping life insurance in retirement can mean access to cash

Many people think that once you retire, it's no longer necessary to have life insurance. But life insurance, particularly whole life, can offer you and your loved ones other important financial options and assurances.

One strong consideration is that the guaranteed growth from whole life insurance—its cash value—is like a living benefit that you can access for any purpose while you're alive.1 You could, for example, use your cash value to supplement your retirement income, cover the life insurance premiums or help supplement major expenses like a child’s, or grandchild's, college education.

Life insurance helps take care of your loved ones after you're gone

Perhaps the primary reason to maintain your life insurance is its death benefit. This can offer a tax-efficient way to pass down money to your chosen beneficiaries or favorite causes.

In your later years, the death benefit can help your spouse fill the "survivor gap." This is a common issue in which income goes down but expenses increase due to changes in tax-filing status, healthcare needs, home maintenance costs or other reasons.

For instance, a life insurance death benefit could help your spouse stay in the home where you raised your family by supplying money needed to pay a mortgage or property taxes. It could help them cover costs associated with settling your estate and other final expenses or pay healthcare bills and other debts.

Your loved ones also can spend the funds in any other ways they see fit, including:

  • Travel to visit faraway family. 
  • Continuing to give to your church or a charity you cared about. 
  • Education expenses for your children or grandchildren. 
  • Leaving a legacy for your heirs. 

Get more tips to protect your family as you near retirement

Timing your Social Security benefits.
Using tax-efficient strategies.
Passing assets to other generations.
Investing in annuities.

Professional guidance can help you navigate your choices

Developing a plan to protect your income takes sorting through many variables and options. A Thrivent financial advisor can work alongside you to understand your personal goals and the right mix of coverage to support them.

1 Loans and surrenders will decrease the death proceeds and the value available to pay insurance costs which may cause the contract to terminate without value. Surrenders may generate an income tax liability and charges may apply. A significant taxable event can occur if a contract terminates with outstanding debt. Contact your tax advisor for further details. Loaned values may accumulate at a lower rate than unloaned values.

Hypothetical example is for illustrative purposes. May not be representative of actual results.

This contract has exclusions, limitations and terms under which the benefits may be reduced, or the contract may be discontinued. For costs and complete details of coverage, contact your licensed insurance agent/producer.