3 Ways to Ensure You Have Enough Life Insurance Coverage
by Dr. Napat Jatusripitak
Admit it. It’s hard to figure out how much coverage you need for your life insurance policy. But that doesn't mean you can't start thinking about it in productive ways.
Here are three simple questions that can help lead you to a policy that matches your needs and lifestyle.
Question 1: How much money do your dependents actually need without you around?
Remember. The most important thing about buying a life insurance policy is your dependents’ livelihood after you're gone. Nothing is more important. That's why a ballpark estimate like “1 million” or “10 million” just doesn't cut it.
Talk to them.
Ask them how much money they need to be “ok” with you being forever gone. Sure, it is a tough question for anyone to answer. But you'll be glad that your loved ones get to play a role in this very important financial decision. After all, shouldn’t they have a say?
Question 2: How will your dependents use the life insurance benefit?
Let's say the answer to the first question is 10 million. You think that this should cover most major and everyday expenses. But don't forget to think about turning it into a “money making machine,” that will stretch the 10 million a lot farther than you think.
What I mean by “money making machine” is this. Rather than depleting this sum of money over time, your partner could invest part or all of it to “grow” a new stream of income. If she can earn 5% on it each year, she'll have more than 500,000 of “new money” available to spend or reinvest each year. If you plan on doing this without letting the benefit deplete at all and 500,000 doesn’t sound like it’s enough, the 10 million figure might be too low.
Question 3: Do you have any debt?
Your debts are future expenses for your beneficiary after you’re gone. And they are also easy to forget. Car loans, house loans, and credit card debt are all examples of debt you would want to factor into the decision of how large the benefit should be. After all, we don't want to leave our trouble behind, right?
I hope that these three questions give you a good starting point to think about the coverage that fits your need the most.
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