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Life Insurance Planning: The Basics

What is life insurance?

Life insurance pays a tax-free lump sum of money called the ‘death benefit’ to the beneficiary.

Providing financial protection to a family or business.

As a result, the death benefit allows the beneficiary to meet any financial obligations left when the insured passes away.

Which policy?

Your life insurance policy should match your need. If you need a policy on a short term basis, while your kids are going to school, then your policy should match that length (Term).

If you need a policy to last all the way past retirement then you may want to consider permanent life insurance. (permanent)

How to buy?

Many people want to know who has the lowest rates. But, you'll want to take other details into consideration most importantly underwriting.

The lowest priced option usually has the toughest underwriting, making it difficult to obtain.  You'll want to work with a professional to help you navigate your options.

Who sells it?

You'll want someone who has the ability to sell multiple companies called a broker.

If their business card has an insurance company name on it, they may not have an unbiased opinion.

You can also work with certified professional like a CFP® or CLU®.  It doesn't cost extra to work with a professional.

Not sure how much life insurance you need?

What factors determine the price of your life insurance policy?

Your health:

The healthier you are, the more discounts you qualify for. The insurance company will consider your medical history, prescription history, and current physical. (Exam Free Life Insurance)

Your age:

The younger you are the less expensive your policy will be. The closer you get to your Social Security Life Expectancy Age the more expensive you policy will be.

Your lifestyle:

Do you smoke tobacco or marijuana products? Do you have more than 3 moving violations in a 5 year period? These factors may increase your premium.

Type of policy:

Term insurance will be less expensive than a permanent policy 100% of the time. If you only need coverage for a specific period of time, term is the way to go.

Your gender:

You gender will determine your rates. Women on average live about 7 years longer than men, meaning their life insurance rates will be lower.

Extreme Sports:

Do you skydive? Mountain Climb? Scuba Dive? dangerous activities may make your policy more expensive.

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Types of Life Insurance


Term is the most commonly bought life insurance. Term life insurance provides coverage for a limited number of years. Therefore, the longer the term, the higher the cost.


Permanent life insurance provides lifetime coverage and will be more expensive than term insurance. Many people chose this coverage is they wish to provide a benefit after they retire.

Product Comparison

Does it expire?
Does it have cash value?
Can you add a LTC Rider?
Average Monthly Cost*?

Term Life


Universal Life Insurance


4-6x more than Term

Whole Life Insurance


2x more than universal life

* Based on average health class, average pricing from carriers we represent.

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* Sample monthly life insurance rates rounded up to nearest dollar; based on Preferred Best Class for a 10-year term life insurance policy for a non-tobacco male; quotes based on policies offered by Jerry C. Thomas, CFP® in 2020.

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Who needs life insurance?


If you have a family, life insurance protects your spouse and kids. It gives the surviving parent options to spend more time with their kids vs. having to spend more time at work.

New Home Owners

Life insurance can be used to pay off the remaining mortgage. Providing the financial security for your family to continue to live in their home.


Have you ever really thought about what would happen if your spouse passed away? I know, its tough. Life insurance gives them options, the ability to take time off from work and re-group without feeling financially strapped.


If you took out student loans to pay for undergrad, grad school, or even med school and you have a co-signer; you may be on the hook for a large loan. life insurance protects those who made you a priority.

Business Owners

Life insurance protects your business if something happens to you or to a key employee. You also may need a policy if you took out a loan or signed a note to buy a business.

Business Partners

If you have a business partner you'll most likely structure a buy-sell agreement and fund it with a term life insurance policy. The life insurance protects all the owners and helps transition the business in light of a major change.
The difference in working with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™

Why work with Jerry C. Thomas, CFP®?

We help you shop over 20+ life insurance companies.


You work with a professional who understands how to get life insurance right.

CFP®'s provide fiduciary advice, always doing whats in their clients best interest.

What are the steps to buying life insurance?

How buying life insurance works:

Most of the time it will take around 2-6 weeks for a policy to be issued.

It depends on whether an insurance company requires an exam and your medical history reports.

Some companies offer accelerated underwriting. This allows you to obtain a policy without an exam.

To qualify, you need a clean bill of health and background check.

Step 1

Determine how much coverage you need:
We use financial planning methodology to help determine how much coverage you need.

Step 2

Determine the type of coverage you need:
Most people just need term. But we'll help you review the differences so you can make the right decision for your family or business.

Step 3

Review your options with a CFP®
Work with a professional who helps works with you on your terms.

Step 4

Apply with life insurance company:
We'll help you apply with the carrier you choose. We'll also help you reapply with a new carrier if we need to make changes.

Step 5

Complete underwriting requirements:
We'll make sure you get the underwriting offer you deserve. We'll also help you find the best policy based on your unique medical or lifestyle factors.

Step 6

Review and approve your policy:
Once you're approved we'll review your policy and make any changes needed if your financial circumstances change or you need less or more coverage.

How do we rate our insurance companies?


Financial Rating

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Thank you,

Jerry C. Thomas, CFP®
Our Goal: Help You Find The Best Plan

On behalf of our entire team, I'd like to say thank you for choosing us as your insurance planning team.

We pride ourselves on doing whats best for our clients and hold ourselves to a fiduciary standard, doing whats in your best interest at all times.

Our team follows the CFP® Board's Financial Planning Practice Standards of Professional Conduct.

This means putting your best interests first at all times. Thank you for choosing us.

- Jerry C. Thomas, CFP®


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