Nurses save an unimaginable number of lives each and every day. They are often the ones that look after you when no one can. But, are nurses looking after themselves after their long yet important shifts? Life insurance for nurses could be the way they are able to help others one last time.
What Do Nurses Do?
Across the entire patient experience, and wherever there is someone in need of care, nurses work tirelessly to identify and protect the needs of the individual. Beyond the time-honored reputation for compassion and dedication lies a highly specialized profession, which is constantly evolving to address the needs of society. From ensuring the most accurate diagnoses to the ongoing education of the public about critical health issues; nurses are indispensable in safeguarding public health.
In a field as varied as nursing, there is no typical answer. Responsibilities can range from making acute treatment decisions to providing inoculations in schools. The key unifying characteristic in every role is the skill and drive that it takes to be a nurse. Through long-term monitoring of patients’ behavior and knowledge-based expertise, nurses are best placed to take an all-encompassing view of a patient’s wellbeing.
Life Insurance for Nurses – Male or Female?
One of the several major factors that are going to determine the cost of life insurance for nurses is the gender of the applicant. The cost for identical life insurance policies with the only difference being the gender of the applicant, the female applicant will be offered the cheaper rates. This is due to the higher average life expectancy of female compared to males. Traditionally, the nurses have been predominantly female. The percentage of male nurses have been growing, especially in recent years. However, according to the U.S. Census Bureau 91 percent of nurses are female while only 9 percent of nurses are male. There are approximately 4 million nurses in the United States alone. Therefore, there are over 3.6 million females nurse and about 360,000 male nurses working in the United States.
Life Insurance for Nurses – How Much Do Nurses Need?
There are many ways to determine the proper amount of death benefit that you should have on yourself. Lets describe a couple of a the more popular ways to determine how much life insurance is the right amount of life insurance for nurses.
The “10 times income” guideline is often shared, but it doesn’t take a detailed look at your family’s needs, nor does it take into account your savings or existing life insurance policies. And it doesn’t provide a coverage amount for stay-at-home parents, who should have coverage even if they don’t make an income. The value of a stay-at-home parent’s work needs to be replaced if he or she dies. At a bare minimum, the remaining parent would have to pay someone to provide the services, such as child care, that the stay-at-home parent provided for free.
Another variation to this method is to buy 10 times your income plus $100,000 per child for college expenses. This formula adds another layer to the “10 times income” rule by including additional coverage for your child’s education. College and other education expenses are an important component of your life insurance calculation if you have kids. For example, if your salary is $75,000 annually and you have 2 kids this method says you should have about $950,000 of life insurance coverage. Again, there are other techniques to figure out how much death benefit you should have that take into account more details of your specific situation, but this is good way to start thinking about the amount you should be looking for.
Life Insurance for Nurses with a Pension
According to U.S. News, 42% of registered nurses receive pension payments by the time they retire. Nurses who work in a government job are more likely to receive a pension payment than those that work in the private sector. If a nurse joins a nurse’s union, then they are more likely to have a pension than a nurse without a union. There are regions in the country that are more likely to offer pensions. In the Northeastern part of the United States, nurses are more likely to end up with a pension than a 401K.
Now, how does having a pension when a nurse retires affect their need for life insurance?
If a nurse has a pension when he or she retires, they will receive an amount of money from the pension until he or she dies. Many times the retiree is going to want to protect that source of income for their family god forbid something were to happen to them, especially early on in retirement. One accomplish this is to have life insurance, either permanent or term or a mix of both, in place on the retiree so the family will have a sum of money to withdraw from to make up for the loss of the pension income. Therefore, receiving a pension once a nurse retires could be another reason to have life insurance for nurses.
Is Life Insurance Through Work Enough for Nurses?
While basic employer-provided life insurance is usually low-cost or free, and you may be able to buy additional coverage at low rates, your policy’s face value still may not be high enough. If you have dependents who rely on your income, then you probably need coverage worth at least six times your annual salary. Some experts even recommend getting coverage worth 10 to 12 times your salary as stated in the methods above.
As with health insurance, you don’t want gaps in your life insurance coverage because you never know when you might need it. If you change jobs, are laid off, or are reduced to part-time status, then you could lose your employer-provided life insurance. The lack of portability can be a problem if you aren’t going directly to another job with similar coverage and aren’t healthy enough to qualify for an individual policy. Some policies do allow you to convert your group policy to an individual one, but it likely will become much more expensive.
Even if you can get all the life insurance you need for both yourself and your spouse through your employers, it’s a good idea to shop around to see if your employer’s insurance really offers the best value for the money. The younger and healthier you are, the more likely you will be to find a better rate elsewhere. Also, unlike the guaranteed level-premium term life insurance that you can purchase individually, which costs you the same amount every year for as long as you have the policy, the coverage provided by your employer tends to get more expensive as you age.
Ultimately, if your job offers you 1-2 times your salary as a free or cheap benefit it may not be a bad start but it will almost never be the end of the your life insurance journey to protect your family. Looking at different options with a life insurance professional could pay large dividends in the long term.
How Do You Start?
Obtaining life insurance for nurses may seem like a daunting task but if you break it down step by step it is manageable. First, you should take an inventory of your financial life to see what you are going to need to protect now and in the future. Once you have an idea of how much coverage you would like I would suggest consulting with a life insurance professional to help you through the process. When selecting the professional you would like to work with you should ask if they are independent agents. If a life insurance professional is an independent agent that means that they will have access to multiple life insurance companies to shop your rate around to get you the best rate and will not be pushing one company in particular because of the compensation they receive, instead of looking for the best deal for you.
If you are thinking about purchasing life insurance, want more information or want to apply for a life policy, contact NextGen Life Insurance. Get your free quote today or call us at 646-216-4199 to get started .