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What You Need to Know About Life Insurance Settlements

Your life insurance monthly premium can start looking less and less appealing once you’ve retired. It’s a scenario Dan Simon, a retirement planning adviser with Daniel A. White & Associates in Middletown, Del., has seen quite often, even with his own parents. “The cost of the insurance had risen to the point where it was getting unaffordable. They were wondering do we really need to keep this coverage now that the kids are all grown up?”

If you stop paying your premiums, you lose your life insurance coverage, and your heirs wouldn’t get anything back for what you’ve paid in. If you cancel a policy that has cash value, a reserve of money built up in some types of life insurance, the insurer sends you a check for that amount, though it will be far less than the listed death benefit.

Over the past 20 years, a third option went mainstream: selling your policy to a company, a practice known as a life settlement, with the buyer getting the death benefit when you die.

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