You probably are aware it is important to have enough life insurance coverage to handle the financial contingencies that may affect your family in the event of your death. However, determining the necessary amount of life insurance can be complicated. It is important to understand your needs before you go online for term life insurance rates comparisons. One general rule of thumb is that you should have enough life insurance to equal five to seven times your annual salary. However, to be more specific, you may want to determine the right amount of life insurance coverage with a careful needs analysis, rather than using an arbitrary formula.
The Needs Analysis approach acts as a term life insurance calculator that incorporates an evaluation of a family's most important financial obligations and goals. This includes insurance coverage to help address mortgage debt, college expenses, and future family income, as well as liquidity for meeting future estate tax liabilities.
If you have an impaired risk or special situation, we encourage you to call and speak to one of our licensed insurance specialist. When granted the privilege to work for you; we will look at the bigger picture and provide creative solutions in easy to understand language.
You can also take advantage of our online life insurance calculator.
Term Life Insurance Calculator Variable: Mortgage Debt
The first point worthy of consideration is whether your life insurance proceeds will be sufficient to help pay the remaining mortgage on your home. If you are carrying a large mortgage, you may need a sizable amount. If you own a second home, the mortgage on that home should also be factored into the formula.
Term Life Insurance Calculator Variable: College Expenses
Many people want life insurance proceeds large enough to help cover their children's college expenses and, possibly, graduate school. The amount needed can be roughly calculated by matching the ages of your children against projected college costs adjusted for inflation. This calculation should be revised periodically as your children get closer to college age, and it may be a good idea to be as conservative as possible when estimating long-term savings goals.
Term Life Insurance Calculator Variable: Continuing Income for Your Family
The amount of income you will need to help provide for your surviving spouse and dependents will vary greatly according to your other assets, retirement plan benefits, Social Security benefits, age, health, and your spouse's earning power. Many surviving spouses may already be employed, or will find employment, but their income is based on education, training, and experience. Your spouse's income, alone, may be insufficient to cover the monthly expenses of your family's current lifestyle. Providing a supplemental income fund can help your family maintain its standard of living.
Term Life Insurance Calculator Variable: Estate Taxes
Life insurance has long been recognized as an effective method for establishing liquidity at death to both pay estate taxes and maximize asset transfers to future generations. However, this use of life insurance requires qualified legal expertise to help ensure the proper results.
Term Life Insurance Calculator Variable: Existing Resources
If your current assets and retirement plan death benefits are sufficient to cover your financial needs and obligations, you may not need additional life insurance for these purposes. However, if they are inadequate, the difference between your total assets and your total needs may be funded with life insurance.
There are many factors to consider when completing a Needs Analysis. In addition to the areas already mentioned, some other questions you might want to address are:
- How much will Social Security provide and for how long?
- How do you inflation-proof your family income, so the real purchasing power of those dollars does not decrease?
- What is the earning potential of your surviving spouse?
- How often should you review your Needs Analysis?
- How can you use life insurance to help provide retirement income?
- How do you structure your estate to reduce the impact of estate taxes?
- Which assets are liquid and which would not be reduced by a forced sale?
- Which assets would you want your family to retain because of future growth possibilities or sentiment?
As you develop an insurance strategy, remember to analyze your existing policies. Calculate the additional coverage you may need based on your family's financial obligations and any other resources, such as retirement benefits and savings. Remember, having the proper life insurance coverage can play a major role in any family's financial protection.
Once you understand the variables, you can utilize our online life insurance calculator to help you determine your needs.
When you are ready, please request a free term life insurance rates comparison.