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OPINION – You can’t watch television or read a newspaper without being reminded of the uncertain times we’re in. Disappearing jobs, disturbing stock market losses. I don’t need to tell you it’s rough out there.

This has made retirement planning more complicated than ever. Many of us loss thousands of dollars in the stock market over the past eight years. We would just be breaking even if we had kept all our money in the stock market during this period. Many who were counting on their 401 (k)s don’t even read their account statements anymore.

But other factors have muddled the waters for mapping a course toward retirement. People are living longer. Americans born in 1955 were expected to live to age 69, on average. Fifty years later, life expectancy is 76 years. This is good news but now we must prepare for more years of retirement.
And, if you thought social security would take care of you, last year the maximum monthly benefit was close to $2,450 — not enough for many of you to live comfortably.

While there are no easy solutions, the purchase of a life insurance can guarantee the protection of your loved ones and additionally supplement your retirement savings, IF the death benefit is no longer needed.

Life insurance ‘s primary purpose is to provide guaranteed death benefit protection, which can provide a tax-free legacy to your love ones. But permanent live insurance can carry many benefits. Cash value is money that accumulates within the policy, tax-deferred. This means you do not have to pay taxes on any of the accumulation within the policy. In addition, you can get that money tax-free through policy loans. These same funds can be used for college expenses, as collateral for a small business loan, or any other happily anticipated or unexpected event.

In addition to the death benefit protection provided by life insurance, it can also be used to supplement your retirement income. As such, it can be a vital piece of the complex puzzle of retirement planning.

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By David Fontaine

David Fontaine is a licensed financial representative with 30 years of insurance and financial management experience. He serves as the CEO of the Minority Financial Literacy Project which works to eliminate the financial literacy gap between the minority and majority community. For more information, visit www.minorityfinancialliteracy.com.