Pick This, Not That: Best Financial Products for Working Families

Family at a barbecue
Family at a barbecue

American families face many challenges today, from paying the bills and saving for retirement to caring for both children and aging parents. With so much going on in your lives, figuring out the best financial products to buy to protect your family and help lay the groundwork for a secure retirement might seem like an impossible task. WalletPop consulted with experts in saving, investing and retirement planning to put together a road map for readers who want the best for their family's financial future but don't know where to begin.

Pick This: Term Life Insurance
Not That: Whole Life (aka "Cash Value") Insurance

The experts to whom WalletPop spoke all recommended getting life insurance for yourself and your spouse once you start a family. If you're offered life insurance through your job, check out the coverage levels to make sure they're high enough: Ideally, our experts say, you should carry 10 times your annual salary, which ensures that your family will be financially secure in the event of your death. When you're young or middle-aged, the cost of term life insurance is much lower than whole life insurance. "If you run the math, you're better off buying term when you start your family, and save and invest the difference yourself," says Don Chambers, author of Money Basics For Young Adults.