Planning for My Family's Future

Life insurance protects your family's future. College savings make the future even brighter.

Children bring so much to our lives, and while unconditional love is free, raising a child can be expensive. Children grow up quickly. Before you know it, they're out of diapers, going to prom and then heading off on their own. You make it all possible by providing financial security that should include having enough savings and insurance coverage that grows with them.

There is no one way to plan for the future.

Thinking ahead for you and your family is one of the most loving things you can do for them. But when it comes to insurance and saving, which choices will fit your particular needs and budget? Meet people who are reviewing their own situations to help make these decisions.

 
Single Mom New Family Established Family
  • Maria

    Working single parent of one

    Age: 25

    Yearly household income: $25,000

    Preparing for the unexpected As a single mom, Maria knows she needs to protect her son in case she were to pass away unexpectedly. Her own mother would struggle to support him financially, but she wouldn't want him in the care of anyone else. However, she also doesn't have a lot of wiggle room in her budget for a hefty monthly premium. Her term life insurance gives her the coverage she wants with low monthly payments so she can rest assured her son will be well taken care of.

    Saving for a college education Maria always wants to give her son everything she never had - like a college education. She knows it will be difficult, but if she starts to save just a little each month while he's a baby, she'll have more money for him when he's older. That's why she chose an age-based 529 college savings plan. By putting away just $20 a month, she appreciates how her money is invested based on his age and also likes how anyone can add to it - making it easy for her mom and brother to contribute as well.

    Protecting financial health Maria has a lot of responsibility resting solely on her shoulders. If she were not able to work because of illness or injury, she'd need help with her car payment and rent. Her disability insurance allows her to rest easy knowing her policy may provide a monthly cash benefit until she was able to work again so as not to fall behind on her bills.

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  • Molly and Jason

    Stay-at-home mom of one and working father

    Age: 28, 30, 11 months

    Yearly household income: $50,000

    Preparing for the future When Jason and Molly had their daughter, Joann, they knew they'd always do whatever they could to protect her and her future - including purchasing life insurance. But because Jason works as a contractor and his salary isn't always consistent, they needed an option that's affordable. So, they chose a term life insurance plan. If Jason finds himself out of work, they won't have to sacrifice their protection.

    Saving for a college education Molly and Jason both struggled to pay off their student loans from college, and they don't want Joann to do the same when she's older. Because Joann is still in diapers, they selected an age-based 529 college savings plan to save for his future education. They like how their money is invested aggressively at first, making it work harder while Joann is still young, and will eventually be invested in more modest investments once he's closer to choosing a school.

    Protecting financial health Because Jason works with heavy machinery, getting injured on the job is always a concern. That's why he and Molly agreed to purchase supplemental health insurance in case of an accident in addition to his employer's health insurance plan. It can provide money to help pay medical costs, including ambulance bills and hospital stays related to an injury that happened on the job. Plus, it can provide cash benefits to help cover additional out-of-pocket expenses.

    1 2 3
  • Mike and Mary

    Working parents of two

    Age: 48, 45, 15, 13

    Yearly household income: $100,000

    Preparing for the future As parents of two teenagers, Mike and Mary know this is a crucial financial time when raising children. So if either of them should pass away unexpectedly, they need to ensure their incomes are supplemented in order to continue living in their house. They already watch the market because of other investments, so they appreciate the investment options in their variable universal life insurance and how it carries greater potential rewards compared to other insurance types.

    Saving for a college education Mike and Mary focused on paying off their debt when they first started their family, so they waited until their children were older to create a college savings plan. They chose a fixed 529 college savings plan - which keeps their $50-a-month investments at the same level of risk until the kids are ready to go to college. They feel better knowing their children have a tax-free head start on paying for higher education to achieve a brighter future.

    Protecting financial health After losing his father to throat cancer, Mike knew he should take precautions in order to protect himself and his family. Along with following a healthy diet and getting regular exercise, he purchased supplemental cancer insurance as a preventive measure to help with the costs he saw his own parents struggle with - like hospital stays in a neighboring state.

    1 2 3

Here are some things to consider in this stage of your life.

As your family grows, you'll want to be thinking about what type of insurance and college savings you should have in place. By learning about your options, you can create a solid plan and know your loved ones will be taken care of financially.

  • Protect family with life insurance
  • Establish a college savings plan
  • Consider supplemental health insurance
  • What will happen to your family if something happens to you?

    You work hard to keep them safe and provide a home where memories are created. Yet the unthinkable could happen and your family could face life without you. Do you know the simple steps you can take to make sure they'll be taken care of?

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  • Life insurance can't replace you, but it can help cover expenses left behind

    2 of 4

  • Protect your loved ones with life insurance

    1. 1. Determine how much financial coverage is needed to support your family.
    2. 2. Decide the length of time you want your family protected.
    3. 3. Consider what you can afford in monthly premiums to fund your policy.

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  • Small steps today can provide big help tomorrow

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  • Will you be able to afford to send your child to college?

    One day it's animal crackers and backpacks, the next it's laptops and mini refrigerators. The time for your child to head to college will be here in the blink of an eye. Will you be financially ready?

    1 of 4

  • Average annual cost of college 2010-2011

    Includes tuition fees plus room and board.
    Source: The College Board, 2011

    The average price tag for just one year of college is steep. Fortunately, there is help to prepare you.

    2 of 4

  • Consider a 529 college savings plan

    1. 1. Each state sponsors a plan specific to college saving.
    2. 2. Professionally managed - a plus for busy parents.
    3. 3. Tax-free earnings.
    4. 4. Easy to set up online or with an advisor.

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  • Starting early can reap rewards later on.

    4 of 4

  • Can you afford to miss work if you are critically ill or injured?

    You have health insurance, but it doesn't cover everything. And it certainly doesn't cover costs to pay for daily life if you're in a severe accident. Do you have a prescription for your financial health?

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  • Supplemental health insurance can help fill coverage gaps such as co-pays, deductibles and nonmedical care (e.g. transportation and nonmedical housing).

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  • Supplemental health insurance can give you peace of mind

    1. 1. Examine your current health insurance to determine what gaps might need to be filled.
    2. 2. Determine whether you would need supplemental income to pay for daily living if you were unable to work due to injury or critical illness.
    3. 3. Consider what you can afford in monthly premiums.

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  • Can you afford supplemental health insurance?

    Payments can start as low as $20 per month. Adding more coverage would increase your payments, but it can also be a simple way to help keep you and your family financially secure.

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Things to think about.

What financial documents are critical to help protect my family?
Don't wait until an emergency happens to start getting your affairs in order. Start with these key documents:

1. Will. If you have children, a will is an absolute must. If you and your spouse were both to pass away, this is the document that will say who you want to become their legal guardians. A lawyer can help you draw up your will. Once you have the will, take a look at it every few years and update it whenever there's a significant change in your life, like marriage or divorce, a new child or a change in your preferences.

2. Living Will. A living will can clearly explain to hospital staff what sort of medical treatment you want if you're terminally ill or can't communicate on your own. Say you had a life-threatening health problem and were rushed to the hospital. They may provide you with a form like this to fill out, but if you were unconscious you wouldn't be able to. It's really important to have this document ahead of time.

3. Durable Power of Attorney. This document makes the person named in it your "attorney-in-fact" and gives them permission to make specific legal and financial decisions in your place. Just like with a will, this is an incredibly important document.

4. Emergency Information Sheet. If something happens unexpectedly, this will give the information someone needs to contact your family, find your other key documents, and take care of the things that need to be taken care of. Include names, phone numbers, and addresses of your doctor and your hospital. Label the information sheets clearly.

Saving for College: Where Do You Start?
If you're thinking of getting a head start on college savings, you've got the right idea. The sooner you start, the less you'll need to save overall, thanks to the power of compound interest. Getting started is easy, and here are four ways to kick things off right:

1. Set up a college savings budget. It's okay to start small. Even $10 a week adds up to $9,360 over 18 years-and that's without earning any interest. With a mere 4% return, you'd have $13,875. All for $10 a week.

2. Look for tax advantages. 529 plans are a great example. They're specifically designed to help save for college, and can offer tax benefits that really help out when it comes time to pay those tuition bills.

3. Encourage loved ones to contribute. For occasions where the present pile gets out of control, try turning the focus toward the future. Kids only need so many action figures, and money in their college fund will do them good for decades to come.

4. Take advantage of programs like Upromise. Upromise is a free program that offers rewards for things you buy every day. Over time, those rewards could add up to a big chunk of funds to use for college.

The Ins and Outs of Emergency Funds
Emergencies happen. There's no way to predict them and often no way to avoid them, so you might as well plan for them. An emergency fund is a great way to do that.

How Much Should I Save? The ultimate goal for your fund depends a lot on your circumstances. If you've been living paycheck to paycheck or are in debt, start with a goal to build up $1,000 as your emergency fund. Eventually you'll want to keep three to six months of expenses in your fund - more if you have children, are the sole breadwinner or are self-employed.

Why Not Just Rely on Credit Cards? Credit cards can be truly helpful in an emergency - there's no denying it. But if you need to use them, you'll probably end up paying interest. With an emergency fund, you'll earn interest.

Where Should I Keep It? Accessing the money in your emergency fund needs to be quick, easy and free. One great option is to have a high-yield savings account linked to your checking account. Transfers tend to be fast, and you'll still earn interest. For larger emergency funds, you might try a money market fund or a mutual fund (preferably a lower-risk type, like a bond fund).

How Often Should You Adjust Your Life Insurance Policy?
A good rule of thumb is to recalculate your life insurance needs once a year, or more often if there's a major change in your life. Consider raising or lowering your coverage when:
- You get married or divorced
- You have a baby
- Your children become financially independent
- Your children finish college
- Your long-term goals change
Life insurance and fixed annuities issued by Allstate Life Insurance Company: Northbrook, IL; Lincoln Benefit Life Insurance Company: Lincoln, NE; and American Heritage Life Insurance Company: Jacksonville, FL. In New York, Allstate Life Insurance Company of New York: Hauppauge, NY. You should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of 529 college savings plans before purchasing or investing money. Additional information about these and other subjects can be found in the Plan Description. You may obtain copies of the Plan Description from your Allstate Personal Financial Representative. Please read the Plan Description carefully before purchasing or sending money. Investors should consider whether the investor's or designated beneficiary's home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available with an investment in the home state's plan. Non-qualified withdrawals will be subject to taxation, including a possible tax penalty.

Securities offered by Personal Financial Representatives through Allstate Financial Services, LLC (LSA Securities in LA and PA). Registered Broker-Dealer. Member FINRA, SIPC. Main Office: 2920 South 84th Street, Lincoln, NE 68506. (877) 525-5727.

Variable universal life products are long-term investments designed to provide life insurance protection and flexibility in connection with premium payments and death benefits. You should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of the investment alternatives before purchasing a policy. These policies have limitations and are sold by prospectus only. The prospectus contains details on the investment alternatives, policy features, the underlying portfolios, fees, charges, expenses, and other pertinent information. To obtain a prospectus or a copy of the underlying portfolio prospectuses, please contact Lincoln Benefit Life Company or go to accessallstate.com. Please read the prospectuses carefully before purchasing a policy.

Please note that Allstate Life Insurance Company or its agents and representatives cannot give legal or tax advice. The brief discussion of taxes on this page may not be complete or current. The laws and regulations are complex and subject to change. For complete details consult your attorney or tax advisor.

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