If your finances are on your mind this New Year's, I'm not surprised. Nearly half of all Americans who make New Year's Resolutions choose personal finance as a subject. But no matter which financial resolution you make, I suggest making life insurance a part of it.
Why Life Insurance?
When you were a kid, you probably didn't think about what would happen if you lost a parent. You probably didn't stress out about how they were going to put food on the table every night. All you worried about was getting their attention. Now, you're the parent. Your kids don't think about how you put food on the table...they just know that you will. They trust that you've got everything under control. But what if something happens to you? How can you make sure they're still going to have food and shelter, no matter what?
Life insurance. It protects your loved ones, no matter what. It's as simple as that.
How Much Does Your Family Need?
The first question to ask when you start shopping for life insurance is how much your family will need. Here's what to take into consideration:
- Funeral & final medical expenses. According to ING, the average funeral cost is $11,145. Some people also want to have their life insurance pay for far-away relatives and friends to come to the funeral. At the very least, leaving $10,000 - $12,000 for a funeral keeps the financial burden from falling on the ones you love most.
- Short-term income needs. This is especially important if you're the family breadwinner. Without your paycheck, does your family have a way to pay the mortgage, buy groceries, and keep the electricity turned on? When calculating short-term income needs, take these things into consideration: mortgage payoff, credit card debt payoff, student loan debt payoff, and the need to create a 3-month emergency fund cash reserve.
- Long-term income needs. This includes expenses that will happen in the future, such as college tuition or caring for an elderly parent who will live with you.
If you combine all of these estimates, you'll have a number we can start working with. I can help you figure out how much life insurance you need to keep your family financially secure.