Life insurance is a valuable investment for your dependants or anyone you have chosen as a beneficiary. If you are a financial support to others, it is imperative you leave behind something when you are gone so that your they will be able to look after themselves in case your gone.
However, it can be a challenge to determine exactly how much life coverage you require to ensure that your loved ones are well taken care of.
A recent survey showed that, while 20% of Americans agree that life insurance should be included as a part of any sound financial planning, only 40% said they would know what to look for in buying a life insurance policy. The same survey indicated that 50% of Americans felt they were under-insured.
Experts recommend at least six times the annual gross income as a good place to start for determining how much life insurance you should obtain.
As you consider the varying options available, always keep in mind that buying life insurance is like buying any other consumer product – your goal is to get the best value for your money.
Before taking out life insurance, it’s smart to speak with an expert to ensure that you understand all the options that are available to you.
And, working with an independent insurance agency ensures you can receive several quotes without having to call several carriers directly. This will help you make an informed decision while getting insurance that is tailored to fit your situation.
Beyond the “six times annual gross income” rule, you need to understand your “life value”. This may sound like an absurd thing to consider, but it is important. After all, you want to be sure that the money you leave behind will take care of your family.
So, do you expect to be earning more in the future? If so, plan for that. Do you take care of things around the house that someone might have to otherwise pay for? Be sure to include that as well.
Likewise, if you have debts, be sure there’s enough insurance to cover those bills as well.
And if you have kids and need to ensure they can go to college, you have to plan for that too… college is expensive and its costs are accelerating.
By taking full stock of your current situation and the impact your death will have, you’ll develop a clear understanding of what your family will really need to survive.
With an effective financial planning process, you will approach purchasing life insurance with an unbiased perspective that will allow you to make a sound decision. (If your life circumstances change, be sure to talk with your live insurance professional right away. Things like buying a vacation home, having kids, or even getting a divorce can impact your life insurance needs.)
We understand that life insurance is a subject most folks try and avoid talking about, yet it is important. It is about protecting loved ones from uncertainty in difficult circumstances. Please reach out to us for resources on getting the most out of life insurance. We’ll be happy to help point you in the right direction and help you explore your options.