Some time ago, you may have planned ahead by purchasing life insurance. But the way you saw your life then may be very different from the way you see it now. That’s why it’s important to reflect on your current needs and clarify your life insurance situation. A close look helps ensure that you have the right type and amount of coverage.

Life insurance has been a foundation of financial security for many individuals, yet it is rarely thought of because:

A. No one wants to think about his or her mortality.
B. There are many different types making it confusing
C. It is usually stored in a drawer or safety deposit box: “Out of sight, out of mind.”
D. All of the above.

Answering D puts you with the vast majority of individuals.

As a financial tool, life insurance protects your financial resources against the uncertainties of life and enables you to plan for your family’s future. Choosing a proper plan is an important decision, requiring a full consideration of your family needs. Whether you are 25, 55 or 80, this coverage can be a vital component for future financial planning or estate and tax planning. However, you typically don’t think about it because dying is the last thing on your mind.

There are good options available in today’s market and qualifying can be easier than ever, even at age 80. All too often, consumers harbor the misconception that life insurance is for younger people, but that’s not always true. In some situations the advantages of life insurance at age 55, 70 and 80 are greater than ever. Listed below are some of the reasons individuals may want to think about life insurance coverage at these ages:

• It can be used to protect the surviving spouse from lost income.

• New and improved insurance riders can help fund long-term care expenses. Seniors who are denied long-term care insurance may still have the opportunity to gain some measure of coverage through life-insurance policy riders because factors considered in underwriting for life insurance are different than underwriting for long-term care.

• Life insurance can leave a legacy for more than just one generation. The policyholders’ heirs can use the proceeds to pay off debts such as medical bills, long-term care costs, or mortgages. The proceeds can also be used to fund education for your grandchildren, left to a loved one or your favorite charity.

• It provides an exit strategy for tax-deferred annuities, IRAs, 401Ks and U.S. savings bonds. These tax-deferred accumulations are great, but eventually the tax bill comes due.  Individuals not wanting to leave a large tax burden to their beneficiaries can use life insurance proceeds to provide for taxes tied to these funds.

• A business owner who brings a younger person or family member on board to run the company can purchase “key person” coverage. If the younger person dies, this coverage can help the owner recover lost earnings while training a suitable replacement.

People tend to shy away from life insurance because all these choices and factors seem daunting. Re-think life! This insurance can be a valuable financial tool when used properly, especially when you work with a trusted professional financial advisor and get proper advice from your CPA or attorney.