While the thought of premature death is unpleasant, it’s something that every individual with dependents must consider. You’ve probably heard varying ideas about life insurance, but the truth is that it’s two main purposes are to pay off your outstanding debts and to provide financial support to your dependents in the event that you die. These factors can help you determine if you need life insurance and, if you do, the amount you should purchase.
Individuals who have dependents and/or do not have enough money saved up to cover outstanding debts should consider purchasing a life insurance policy. You can use the following guide to help you determine the right amount you’ll need:
- Calculate your debt: When you die, your debt must be paid off in full. This includes mortgages, car loans, credit cards, personal loans etc. Add up the dollar amount of any debt you may have (and add a little more to cover interest); your life insurance policy must cover at least this amount.
- Calculate income replacement: On top of paying off your debt, purchasing a policy large enough to provide income replacement offers crucial financial support to your family during a difficult time. This is especially important if you are the sole wage earner of your family. Divide your annual income by five to eight percent, depending on the rate at which you plan for the payout to be invested; then add your income back onto that amount to account for inflation. You’ll want to purchase a policy large enough to support your spouse until age 65, when social security and retirement savings kick in.
- Plan for future obligations: You may choose to add to your amount if you wish to pay for your child’s college education or any other variety of events that may take place in your family’s future. Your debt, plus your income replacement plus future obligations will give you the dollar amount of life insurance that you should purchase.
If your spouse also earns a salary and/or you share a financial responsibility with a business partner (such as a shared property mortgage), you may want to encourage them to purchase life insurance as well for your own financial security.
We can address any lingering concerns you may still have. Call Sweet & Baker Insurance Brokers at (415) 512-2100 for more information on San Francisco life insurance.