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My sister was single for a large part of her life, and therefore had to deal with buying a house, supporting herself financially, and acquiring life insurance on her own.

Little did she know that when she finally got married, that her husband, a doctor, would be a recovering stroke victim and could not support her financially. He went from being a fully functioning, smart and aspiring physician to being unable to hold a job, support a family, or pay the mortgage on a house.

New York Life, one of the largest mutual life insurers in the United States, has identified this gap of not having life insurance in a single women’s financial foundation.

Historically speaking, women almost never have adequate insurance and many have no life insurance. In today’s society there are more single and divorced women than ever before and there is a greater need than ever for these single women to acquire life insurance.

Here are 10 reasons why single women should have life insurance:

1. Great Rate of Return on Your Money

Most people are not financial experts, and maybe one out of twenty are qualified by training or temperament to make good investments.

Life insurance provides the opportunity to get a stable 4-5% net rate of return, if you include dividends.

Life insurance is great at protecting the money of those who have a personal weakness in investing.

2. Tax-Advantaged Way to Grow Your Wealth

Life insurance can create a “tax-free” way for you to save for a down payment on a house, buy a car or to fund new equipment for your office, when used properly.

Cash values are very liquid and can be accessed quickly.

If you remain single, your life insurance can accumulate cash value to help provide a secure retirement for yourself and subsidize your income in later years.

3. Safety of Your Money.

Whole life insurance has almost zero market risk and volatility, which can give you the confidence that your money is safe and secure.

You also have the ability to deposit extra money into your policy through paid-up additions, giving you more money to work with from the first day you set it up.

4. Protect Insurability.

Ifyou’re young and healthy, your insurability may be at its peak. That means that you may be given the best rates on life insurance.

Locking in your insurability will also allow you to acquire a monthly premium that fits within your budget.

5. Prepare for an Unknown Future.

A single woman doesn’t know what the future holds for her. She may not stay single forever.

What if she does get married later in life? What if she decides to adopt? It’s better to get it now than wait until you’re older.

6. Secure Business Loans.

Life insurance has value as collateral for business loans.

It is required by most banks to secure a loan to purchase a new office building, build-out an existing location, or buy additional practices.

7. Peace of Mind.

Owning life insurance can provide more certainty and stability in your life than through any other investment vehicle.

You can sleep well knowing that your money is safe, and that safety and security will allow you to live your life full out.

8. The Heart of your Financial Plan.

Life insurance is at the heart of any well- designed financial plan. There is no more meaningful or caring way of saying how much you truly love someone than the gift of life insurance.

As a single woman, this is a great way of expressing love to your parents, brothers, sisters, or friends who may be required to manage your estate or take care of you in your later years.

9. Be Your Own Bank.

Life insurance can be a fantastic source of liquid cash.

Over the course of their lifetime, most adults pay a ton of interest to banks, from mortgages to car loans, to equipment loans and credit cards. This is a huge drain on your money.

If instead, you save money in your own bank within a certain kind of life insurance policy, you are able to hold onto more of your money and pay less interest to the banks.

10. Creditor Protection.

Life insurance cash values can be protected from creditors in the event of a lawsuit. It is virtually untouchable.

Any money you keep in a savings account does not offer that same degree of protection.

“Whether you’re single-never-married or divorced-no-kids-at-home, your need for life insurance may be even greater than for married women. That is because being single isn’t always the same as being without responsibilities. You may have loans (whether existing debt or future loans). Plus, should anything happen to you, there will be final expenses, which can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. These obligations — which could fall on parents and other loved ones — can be met with life insurance. If you eventually marry, your coverage will help protect your husband and, possibly, children. If you choose to remain single, your life insurance can accumulate cash value to help provide a secure retirement for yourself.”

New York Life Insurance Company

Had it not been for the careful planning and preparation of my sister long before she met her future husband, both in terms of owning a house, holding down a good job, and having life insurance, she may not have had the ability to take care of her husband, or the three children they have had since getting married.

Being single does not mean living without responsibility. No matter who you are, preparing for the future will be the best way to live without regret.