When it comes to insurances policies, there are plenty out there that you do not need. However, life insurance is one of those insurance policies that you probably do need at some point in your life. The trick is figuring out how much life insurance you need, and when you need it.
When do you need life insurance?
Not everyone needs life insurance. If you have a family, though, or are planning on having one soon, life insurance is a must. Life insurance ensures that your family will be provided for if something happens to you. If your kids are gone, but you care primarily for a spouse or an aging parent, life insurance might still be a good idea. If someone depends upon your income for some of the necesssities of life, you probably need life insurance. If your family is grown up and you are not caring for aging parents, and your spouse is retired as well, life insurance probably isn’t a necessity. You can invest the amount you would have paid in premiums and get more out of it.
How much life insurance do you need?
This is hard to answer. How much life insurance you need depends largely upon the circumstances you are in, and what you expect the money would be needed for. If you are the primary breadwinner in your family, you probably need more. The main wage earner is usually insured for more than a part time wage earner, or a stay at home partner. Here are some of the things to keep in mind when deciding how much life insurance you need:
- The costs of your funeral
- How much debt your family has (enough life insurance on the primary bread winner to pay off the mortgage and consumer debt is a good idea)
- Expenses the spouse has now
- Costs of raising any children/providing care for other dependents
- Future expenses, such as college or weddings
You should also consider whether your beneficiaries work, and whether they could work if you were gone. If your partner works, and would be able to continue the job if you died, then your life insurance needs are smaller (although you should still make sure you have enough to pay off most of the mortgage).
Your stage in life, as well as your financial situation, are all factors to consider when deciding how much life insurance you need. You can use this life insurance calculator to determine how much life insurance you need.