Royal Neighbors: April is Financial Literacy Month

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Know the ABCs of Life Insurance

'Life insurance is an important part of financial protection, but it’s often misunderstood,' says Cynthia Tidwell, President/CEO of Royal Neighbors of America.

April is Financial Literacy Month, a good reminder that understanding life insurance can protect your family’s finances. “Life insurance is an important part of financial protection, but it’s often misunderstood,” says Cynthia Tidwell, President/CEO of Royal Neighbors of America, one of the first and largest women-led insurers in the United States. “Contrary to what many believe, life insurance does more than just pay for funerals. It can also provide money to help replace your salary, cover childcare expenses, pay off a mortgage, or protect college dreams if you were to die prematurely.” Women in particular are underinsured. While women are the sole or primary breadwinners in a record 40% of U.S. households*, women’s life insurance coverage is only 69 percent of the average coverage on men.** “If you or your family depends on a loved one’s income, you need to learn more about how life insurance can strengthen your safety net,” advises Ms. Tidwell.

Know the ABCs of Life Insurance that can:

•Accumulate cash: Many life insurance products feature a cash accumulation option. Look for whole life or universal life options. These products are considered permanent life insurance with cash savings opportunities that can be used in the form of a loan for emergency expenses, college tuition, wedding costs, or even starting up a new business.

•Benefit your family: When a family member dies, beneficiaries receive what’s called a death benefit. A death benefit is the amount of money an insurance company is required to pay under the terms of the policy upon the death of the person who is insured. That money can be used to not only help pay for a funeral, but provide cash for significant expenses such as mortgages, auto loans, or reduce debt.

•Cover daily expenses: If you were to die prematurely, how would your family pay its bills? Don’t forget daycare, tuition, grocery, and energy costs. Nearly two thirds of financial decision makers admit they would have trouble paying everyday bills within a few months of the death of a loved one.***

Read Financial Editor Jean Chatzky’s Key Life Insurance Terms to Know

LIMRA reports that one in three U.S. households have no life insurance at all. For those that do, they only own enough on average to replace household income for 3.5 years. The recommended industry rule of thumb starts at twice that from 7-10 years.****

Royal Neighbors of America, one of the nation’s largest women-led life insurance organizations, exists for the benefit of its members. It offers insurance products to fulfill financial needs of growth, savings, and protection. Members receive valuable benefits and can participate in volunteer activities through the organization’s local chapters to help make a difference in their communities. The organization’s philanthropic efforts are dedicated to changing women’s lives through its national programs, including the Nation of Neighbors (Service Marked) Program, and through the Royal Neighbors Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity.

Headquartered in Rock Island, IL, with a branch office in Mesa, AZ, Royal Neighbors serves more than 200,000 members and is licensed to do business in 42 states and the District of Columbia.

For more information about Royal Neighbors of America, visit or call (800) 627-4762.

*Pew Research Center Analysis and Social Trends, 2013
**LIMRA, Facts About Life, 2013
***LIMRA, Trillion Dollar Baby – Growing Up: The Sales Potential of the U.S. Underinsured Life Insurance Market, 2011
****LIMRA, Trillion Dollar Baby - Growing Up, 2011

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Rita Toalson
Royal Neighbors of America
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