Life Insurance: Who Needs It And How Much Do You Need?
Your friendly, neighborhood life insurance agent is most likely to answer this question with the word "everybody."
The fact is, not everybody does need life insurance. If you don't have a family, you probably don't need life insurance unless, of course, you're a really nice person and just want to leave some money to a friend or a charity.
If you do have a family, the question isn't do you need life insurance. The question is how much do you need?
A life insurance sales representative may want you to apply some kind of formula. In years gone by, he or she might have told you that you need to buy insurance equal to four times your annual salary. So, if your annual salary is $50,000, you might have been told you need at least a $200,000 policy. Today, the same agent might tell you that you need eight times your annual salary or a $400,000 policy.
In most cases, this is probably too simplistic an approach, as it tends to assume that you are your family's sole provider.
Today, there are a number of other factors that should be taken into consideration. Does your spouse work or is he/she a stay-at-home mom or dad? Are you a single mother or father? And where does that put you? How old are your children? Will your surviving spouse be raising kids for three years or 15? If your spouse works, how much does he or she earn? If something should happen to you, is there family nearby that could help raise your kids or is the nearest family 1,000 miles away?
Let's take a hypothetical example. Jim W. is 45 years old, earns $75,000 a year and has two kids age 15 and 17. Jim's wife, Martha is 43 and earns $50,000 a year. Jim and Martha believe their kids are college material. How much life insurance does Jim need? Let's assume $25,000 a year times the two boys, times four years. That's $200,000. Jim also wants to make sure Martha lives comfortably for the rest of her working life and figures she'll need an additional $25,000 a year to do this. Multiply this $25,000 by 22 and that's $550,000. Add this to the cost of the boys' college, and Jim needs at least a $750,000 life insurance policy ... and that doesn't include anything for Martha's retirement!
Now, compare this to Beth who is the single mother of a boy, Robbie, age eight and a girl, Kinsey, age 12. How much insurance does Beth need? There's no spouse but if anything happens to her, the kids will go to her sister, and the sister will need financial help. So, assume $10,000 a year to the sister for 16 years -- $160,000 ? plus college for the kids at $200,000. This adds up to a policy of maybe $360,000. See the difference that circumstances can make?
Before you purchase a policy, sit down and figure out who will need to be taken care of, for how long they will need the help and, realistically, what that help should consist of. If you die this should not be like winning the lottery for your survivors. Don't buy so much insurance that you will be really strapped for all those years before you pass on.
The next step is to do some comparison-shopping. Different insurance companies often quote different rates on just about the same coverage as they tend to rate risks differently. You should also look at the cost of term vs. cash value life insurance. Many experts believe that if you're young, with young kids, your best bet is a term policy as it costs less, yet can offer good coverage. For example, if you're 35 and in good health, you can probably buy a $500,000, 10-year level term polity for less than $300 a year. And a 20-year, level-term policy might cost you no more than $400 a year.
You might also save money on the term insurance by buying more than one policy. For example, if you have two children, one age 12 and one age eight, you might consider buying a 10-year, level term policy to take the 12-year old through college, and a 20-year term policy to cover the eight year old through college.
Finally, you can get quotes on term insurance and even buy it without ever seeing a life insurance agent. There are a number of web sites where you can do this, including quickquotes.com, reliaQuote.com and intelliquote.com.
It is important to understand that the quotes available from these sites are just preliminary quotes. The insurance company you choose will not provide a firm quote until you have provided all requested information and, in most case, have taken a physical. The good news is that the physical will be done in your home and at your convenience.
Cash value life insurance is a much more complex issue. The best way to get information on it is to sit down with a good, experienced agent who can explain the alternatives available and the costs and benefits of each.
For FREE help with debt and credit problems, get Douglas Hanna's free email newsletter "8 Simple Steps to Debt Relief" at http://www.all-in-one-info.com
How Much Can My Auto Rate Increase After One Accident?
Accidents almost always make your insurance rates increase. Whether or not the accident was your fault, your insurance company may have to pay for your involvement in it. Most 'at fault' accidents result in an increase in premium, because the accident will get...(related: Insurance)
An Intro To Life Insurance
There are many options available for life insurance, and for most people these options can be somewhat confusing. Below is a brief review of each type and some advantages and disadvantages of each. When choosing a policy it is important to look at the larger picture so that you make a wise choice in terms of cost, coverage and benefits.Term life insuranceThese plans provide monetary benefits only if death occurs within the time period ...(related: Insurance)
How To Reduce Car Insurance Premiums
Here are some useful tips on how to reduce car insurance premiums. Firstly, you need to find a sense of balance between coverage and cost. Apart from negotiating a good deal, there are some other things that you can do to furth...(related: Insurance)
What Type Of Doctor Should I See Under My Hsa?
You can withdraw money from your Health Savings Account (HSA) to visit an MD, DO or a chiropractor.Since you will be writing a check or using your debit card to pay for these visits at the time of service, you will really notice how much it costs. Since you have a high-deductible...(related: Insurance)
Car Insurance No Claims Bonus Explained
No Claims Bonus is a term used to describe the number of years you have had Car Insurance without making a claim. Put simply, if you have had Car Insurance for 4 years and you have not made a claim in that time, then you have 4 years No Claims Bonus. No Claim Bonus is probably the single biggest factor affecting the cost of your Car Insurance premium. Every year that goes by without you making a claim is another year of No Claims Bonus.Generally speaking, the more No Claims Bonus years you have, the cheaper your premium will be for the car you need to insure. This is because Car Insurance companies can see that your history regarding making any claims is a good one.When changing provider, Car Insurance companies will usually ask ...(related: Insurance)
Life Settlement Overview
A "Life Settlement" is a lump sum settlement paid to the owner of a life insurance policy by one of many funding sources in exchange for the ownership of the policy. Never before have non-terminal policyholders been able to receive capital in excess of their policy's cash or surrender value to increase their wealth. A Life Settlement can usually provide anywhere from 2 to 5 times the cash surrender value of the policy. "With the life settlement option availble, there...(related: Insurance)
Cheap Car Insurance ? 7 Tips To Reduce Your Car Insurance Costs
With the cost of car insurance becoming more and more of an issue for the average American family, there are increasing numbers of people looking for cheap car insurance. But although it...(related: Insurance)
Is Your Auto Insurance Company Rated?
Several national rating institutions rate insurance companies. Do coverages, rates, and service vary from company to company? Why can you pay less with one company than another can for the same coverages? Choosing the best insurance company for you is a crucial financial decision. Does your insurance company have the financial strength to safeguard you and your family? If the company cannot pay future claims or benefits, other issues become far less relevant. Financial strength ratings are an analysis of a wide variety of risks that could affect an insurance company's long-term viability. Insurance companies have failed or ceased to operate due to inadequate financial...(related: Insurance)
Travel Health Insurance - Understand The Benefits
If you're planning an overseas trip, you need travel health insurance. Every year, nearly 1 million Americans require emergency medical treatment while overseas. Traditional health insurance plans limit the expenses and amounts that they will pay outside the country, and necessary care may be delayed while arrangements for payment are made.Imagine being on vacation in Europe and breaking your leg, only to f...(related: Insurance)
High Risk Auto Insurance - How To Lower Rates
How is your driving record lately? Do you have a large amount of speeding tickets or maybe a few car accidents on your driving record? High risk auto insurance generally means one thing for sure, higher car insurance rates. Even though high risk auto insurance rates are typically higher, there are a few things that you can do to reduce your costs now.There are other factors here as well. Insurance companies will continually deem men a greater risk than ...(related: Insurance)