Jan 11, 2009

How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?

In my many years of experience in the life insurance industry, most people tend to consider purchasing a life insurance during or after a major event in their life, such as marriage, birth of a baby, seeing a loved one in a life threatening illness or even after the death of a loved one.

Nevertheless, making that positive move to purchase a life insurance is an important one and I am sure many of you will wonder, “how much is enough?”. The truth is there is no single standard one size fits all formula. However, I’ve provided some guidelines here to assist you with making that crucial decision:

Are you the sole income earner in your family? - If you fall into this category of income earner, then the size of the life insurance policy has to adequately cover the income that would be lost in the event of your death, or in other words, ideally the income that you will earn until your retirement age.

The age of your children - If at the point of decision making here, your children are still very young and have yet to attend college, it is essential to have adequate life insurance coverage so that the surviving parent do not have to worry about college expenses.

Medical Needs and Costs
- When it comes to major illnesses, medical costs is a “Fear Factor” to many average income earner. Lengthy illnesses can very quickly increase the medical costs and as such, a comprehensive medical plan should be considered.

Do you have a lot of debts and mortgages? - If you have these, consider adding them to the amount of insurance that you need.

Funeral expenses - If you have never seriously sat down to calculate such expenses, you will be surprised to learn that expenses involving a service, burial or cremation are not cheap, in the least.

Perhaps taking all things into consideration, life insurance may seem a little expensive to some. If that’s the case, it may be sensible to initially purchase only enough insurance to cover your debts and obligations. I must add here that although it is risky to be underinsured, it’s better than not having any life insurance. As your financial situation improves, you can usually review your needs and coverage, then purchase more insurance under similar terms.

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