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.
Protecting your income during your working years Protecting your income if you're nearing retirement or retired
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
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
- 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.
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
Life insurance helps take care of your loved ones after you're gone
Perhaps the primary reason to maintain your life insurance is its
In your later years, the death benefit can help your spouse fill the "
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
Professional guidance can help you navigate your choices
Developing a plan to protect your income takes sorting through many variables and options. A