This article was written by Colin Lalley of PolicyGenius.
So, how was your New Year's Eve? Probably better than Mariah Carey's, which isn't saying much:
But it's finally 2017. Time to back away slowly from the dumpster fire that was 2016, regain your optimism, and start on those resolutions. You've only got the one, right? The one that will make you a better person, a healthier person, a more financially-savvy person, a family-oriented person, and someone who just generally enjoys life, all at once?
Those were pulled from a Marist College survey on 2017 resolutions. But rather than fill out your to-do list with items you'll inevitably drop, just do the one thing that will help you meet all of them: Buy life insurance.
Be a better person
Are you going to be less selfish? Care more about your family? Donate to charity?
If you're the kind of person looking for shortcuts to becoming more enlightened, why not buy life insurance?
With life insurance, you're ensuring that all of your debts are just that - yours. If you die, your co-signer won't take on that student loan debt. Your mortgage and auto loans? Paid for. Debt collectors won't even have time to call over those outstanding credit card balances. Not all debt is passed on after you die, but life insurance provides a tax-free lump sum of money to your loved ones and is a guaranteed worry taken off the table.
It also helps cover your family's financial needs. Whether it's housing, everyday costs (kids seem to need a lot of clothes, food, and school supplies...), or saving for college or retirement, there won't be any "what ifs" once the primary breadwinner is gone.
And what about those charitable donations? You can name a charity as your beneficiary so your death benefit goes toward a good cause. If the arts are more your thing, you can choose a museum instead. Maybe you'll even get a wing named after you! That'll go way beyond 2017.
If you're someone who goes to the gym regularly, you're probably annoyed at all of those people showing up to your SoulCycle classes. Don't worry, most of them will be gone by February. But life insurance might provide many people the incentive they need to get in shape, because it'll help slim down their life insurance premiums, too.
New Year's resolutioners have a lot of different ideas on getting healthy. Maybe it's losing weight. Maybe it's eating healthier. Maybe it's quitting smoking. The good news is these can all help.
Take losing weight, for instance. Obesity is linked to health conditions like diabetes and heart disease. That means that during the underwriting process, when a life insurance carrier is seeing how risky you are to insure based on your current health and health history, you'll pay more if you're overweight because you're more likely to develop chronic symptoms over the term of the policy. Losing weight and keeping it off for a year can help you get lower rates.
If you quit smoking, not only will you save hundreds or thousands of dollars a year on cigarettes, but staying tobacco-free for a year can bump your rates down to non-smoking levels when you apply. That can cut premiums by as much as half.
Fitbits and Pokemon Go are great and all, but if you really want motivation to get out and exercise, saving on life insurance should be at the top of your list.
Be better with money
Okay, I know what you're thinking. If you're paying for life insurance in the new year - an added expense - how is that making you better with money?
Because it makes you look at your whole financial picture.
It can be hard getting a grasp on money. You have immediate expenses like a mortgage and groceries, and then all of a sudden those Starbucks purchases are adding up, and then whoops! You haven't contributed to your IRA at all and Junior is going to have to participate in some weird clinical trials to afford college.
But when you buy life insurance, you're forced to think decades ahead. How long will you need a policy to last? What sort of expenses is it going to have to cover? That five-year plan your boss is always asking you about is nothing compared to the 30-year plan you're thinking about when it comes to your retirement.
All of your debts, expenses, and financial goals need to be considered when you buy life insurance. Want to get a better handle on your money, to start saving more and spending less? Life insurance will force you to look much further ahead than just 2017 - meaning you've already crossed something off next year's resolution list.
Spend more time with family
Technically life insurance won't make you spend more time with your family (unless buying it bring about an impending sense of mortality and you want to make the most with what time you've got left). But it will make you consider your family, and that can have a spillover effect.
Think about it: Life insurance isn't really for you. If it's being used, it's because you're not around anymore. You're really buying it for your family. You're making sure they can get by without you, and that your passing won't have a financial impact on their future. That shows that you really care about them.
Spending time with family is a great goal for showing you care about your family here and now. Buying life insurance shows you'll care about them for years to come, even when you're gone.
There's a lot to stress out about in this world. For most people, money is at or near the top of their freak-out list. Wouldn't you like a little peace of mind going forward?
Reduce the stress in your life and enjoy it more with the financial security blanket that is life insurance. If the worst happens, there's a built in safety net for your family's financial future. No more sleepless nights wondering what happens to the home if you were to pass, or how college plans might be derailed, or if your own student loans will be more likely to haunt your family than your ghost will.
So what's on your New Year's resolution list? Let us know, and let's figure out together how life insurance can help you cross out your own resolutions!
PolicyGenius is rethinking insurance from the consumer's perspective - because it's about time somebody did. We're making it easy to learn about, shop for and buy insurance. Our digital insurance advisor and online quote engines for life insurance, health insurance, pet insurance, renters insurance and long-term disability insurance will help you to get the coverage you need.