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Understanding life insurance plans

Key Points

  • Life insurance can provide you with the growth and security you need to protect your dreams and goals over a lifetime.
  • Term life insurance provides protection at a low cost, but doesn't have cash value.
  • Permanent life insurance provides protection while providing an opportunity for cash value growth potential.

What is life insurance?

Life insurance provides a way to help those you care about maintain their quality of life in the event of an untimely death and can also provide retirement and other benefits to you during your lifetime.

Types of life insurance

A life insurance policy can provide protection based on your current situation, goals and needs:

  • Permanent life insurance. Provides lifelong coverage that may build cash value
  • Term life insurance. Often costs less, but covers only a set period of time and does not have cash value

If you already took steps to financially protect your family, remember to periodically assess your situation and life insurance needs. Changes in your income, financial obligations and long-term goals mean the type and amount of life insurance you need may have changed, too.

Life insurance planning with Ameriprise Financial

When you discuss life insurance with an Ameriprise financial advisor, you’ll need to review information about your financial situation. Including:

  • Current life insurance and savings
  • Current income and monthly expenses
  • Family commitments, such as college funding
  • Survivors' basic needs
  • Survivors' expected income vs. income needed to cover expenses for life

Life insurance comparison

After assessing your coverage needs, your advisor can work with many carriers to identify and recommend the most appropriate insurance solution for you.


Term life insurance Permanent life insurance
Choose for a specific time period (term) Choose for long-term protection
  • Provides coverage for a selected time period such as 10, 15, 20 or 30 years
  • Your beneficiaries collect the proceeds of the policy if you pass away during the selected years
  • A term policy does not have cash value
  • Provides coverage until death, as long as premiums are paid on time
  • A permanent policy may build cash value
  • You can borrow from the cash value income tax-free to meet other financial needs


Client story on the benefits of life

Take the next step toward a life insurance quote

To determine the type and amount of life insurance that's right for you, talk to a financial advisor.

Ameriprise Financial can help you protect what's most important through third-party insurance carriers and with our affiliate RiverSource® life insurance. Learn more and receive a life insurance quote today.

Before you purchase, be sure to ask your financial advisor about the life insurance policy’s features, benefits, risks and fees, and whether the life insurance is appropriate for you, based upon your financial situation and objectives.
Policies and features may not be available in all states, or may vary by state.
Each person represented is a policyholder or beneficiary of an insurance policy issued by RiverSource Life Insurance Company or RiverSource Life Insurance Co. of New York, and is discussing his/her experience in that regard.
Fixed Insurance:
Is not a Deposit | Is not FDIC insured | Is not insured by any Federal Government Agency| Is not a Bank, Credit Union or Savings & Loan Guaranteed 
Accessing policy cash value through loans and surrenders may cause a permanent reduction of policy cash values and death benefit and negate any guarantees against lapse. The amount that can be borrowed or surrendered will be affected by the surrender charges applicable to the policy. Loans may be subject to interest charges. Although loans are generally not taxable, there may be tax consequences if the policy lapses or is surrendered with a loan (even as part of a 1035 exchange). It is possible that the amount of taxable income generated at the lapse or surrender of a policy with a loan may exceed the actual amount of cash received. Surrenders are generally taxable to the extent they exceed basis in the policy. If the policy is a modified endowment contract (MEC), pre-death distributions, including loans, from the policy are taxed on an income-first basis, and there may also be a 10% federal income tax penalty for distributions prior to age 59-1/2.
Issued by RiverSource Life Insurance Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and in New York only, by RiverSource Life Insurance Co. of New York, Albany, New York.  Affiliated with Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC.
Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC. Member FINRA and SIPC. CA License #0684538

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