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Do You Really Need Life Insurance?
Trying to decide if you need life insurance, how much you need and what kind you should get can often be difficult questions to answer. The best way to answer these questions is to think about whether or not you have the money to protect your loved ones if something unexpected happens. With some simple research, it’s not hard to determine what you need and then find a plan that best fits your needs and budget.
If you have dependents or family that depends on your income for support, calculate how much would be needed to replace your income if you were gone. If you do not have the savings to replace your income, then a life insurance policy is an excellent option to provide financial support for your family.
Secondly, determine what kind of insurance you should purchase in order to protect your family. The type of insurance you choose most often depends on your situation. If the benefits from insurance will be used to replace your income, then a term insurance may be the right choice for you. The pay-out amount on a term policy is usually higher than a whole life policy and the rates are typically cheaper.
In order to figure how much insurance you need, figure out how much unpaid debt you’ll have if something happens to you. This includes things like your mortgage and credit card bills. You’ll also need to determine how much your family would need to cover monthly living expenses. An easy way to calculate your expenses and figure out financial needs is to look at your bank statement and decide how much of your income is needed every month to cover expenses. In addition, if you are saving for any future college tuition for your children, for example, you should include that amount as well.
Think about extra income that your employer may be providing that will be lost in the event of your death, such as health insurance for your family, 401(K) plan, retirement contributions and pensions, as well as any other incentives that may be lost. Some financial advisors recommend 10 times your income, plus an additional $100,000 per child to ensure their monthly expenses and even tuition for college can be covered. That may seem like a lot and it may not work with your monthly budget to start out so high. Keep in mind, you can start a life insurance policy at an amount that fits your budget and add to it later as your needs change. Most insurance companies give the opportunity to add on a later date assuming you’re still in the same health you were when you originally purchased the policy.
Lastly, keep in mind the amount of the cost for your funeral. Funerals can be very expensive. According to the 2014 Funeral Price Survey by the National Funeral Directors Association, the average cost for a funeral is $8,508. This is based on a traditional funeral and does not include any additional burial expenses. There may also be additional final expenses that you need to keep in mind like medical bills, legal fees, as well as state taxes.
A life insurance policy can provide an umbrella from the financial unknowns if something happens to you. Whether to cover your income, pay for future education expenses, replace employer provided benefits or even to simply cover funeral costs, life insurance is an easy way to have peace of mind that your family will be protected.
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