Life insurance has been called a euphemism for death insurance, but who wants to think about it that way? The important thing is that you think about it, and get insured, if needed.

• A primer on life insurance, from the Boston branch of the Better Business Bureau, explains the many kinds of policies. The guide explains the different kinds of insurers and notes you must read the actual policy before buying. writer Jay MacDonald explores the “myths about buying life insurance.”

James Hunt, with the Consumer Federation of America, recommends term life and 401(k) investments as an alternative to whole-life policies, saying, “The problem is, 40 (percent) or 50 percent of the buyers drop out within 10 years and never get a good return on their money.”

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• Tips at explain more about term insurance. “If you are in a situation (where) your dependents will not rely on you financially forever, your best bet is probably a term-life policy,” writes contributor Jessica Bosari. “Once kids are [financially independent], there is no reason to continue paying for life insurance.”

• You can look up Standard & Poor’s ratings for companies at, an independent insurance website. advises caution even with a well-rated company. This article gives guidelines for deciding if ratings are trustworthy and how to evaluate the financial health of an insurance company.