Determining how much life insurance you need requires an examination of your current and future financial obligations, along with the resources your family could tap.
Your future obligations are a combination of what it would cost to help your surviving family members meet immediate and ongoing needs like funeral costs, taxes, food, clothing, utilities, mortgage payments, and your future obligations like college and retirement funding.
The resources that your surviving family members could draw on to meet those obligations include your spouse’s or partner’s income, savings and investments, other income producing assets, and any life insurance you might already own.
The difference between the two—your financial obligations minus the resources your family has to meet those obligations—is the approximate amount of additional life insurance you need. If this sounds confusing, you’re not alone. That’s why most people turn to a qualified, licensed insurance professional when they want to figure out how much insurance they may need.
If you don’t feel you’re ready to speak with an agent or if you want a preliminary sense of your insurance needs before meeting with an agent, visit our Life Insurance Needs Calculator. This tool will walk you through the various questions you need to ask yourself and provide you with a rough estimate of how much life insurance you may need to protect your family.What type of policy should I buy, term or permanent?−
It’s impossible to say, because the kind of coverage that’s right for you depends on your circumstances and financial goals. But, generally speaking, term offers the greatest coverage for the lowest initial premium and is a great solution for people with temporary needs or a limited budget. Permanent insurance may make more sense if you anticipate a need for lifelong protection, or if the option of accumulating tax-deferred cash values is attractive to you. Also, it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Often, a combination of term and permanent insurance is the right answer.