Life insurance is another expense which adds to the ever mounting bills in our everyday lives. Although daunting, tor many it’s a necessary expense. Don’t worry, it can be affordable if purchased smart. Here are some tips on how you can save on your life insurance costs.
Can I do without any life insurance at all?
You may think of life insurance as just another unnecessary bill to scrap off your list. However, most people will need some form of life coverage during their lifetime, especially if there are children or other dependants involved.
There are some instances where you won’t need any life insurance. This would be the case, for example, if you were single, had enough saved to pay for your own burial and didn’t have any children, spouse or other people in your life that would suffer financially if you passed away. Even if this was the case, you may still wish to buy life insurance anyway for other reasons, for example to help your parents out with their mortgage.
How much life insurance do I need?
If there are loved ones in your life that you need to protect, then life insurance is very important. Most people don’t have enough assets (without debt/mortgage) to fully cover all their family’s needs should they pass away. Some form of coverage is needed particularly if you are the breadwinner in the family. You need to think of all the expenses that would need to be covered, such as the mortgage repayments, your family’s standard of living and even funds for college.
It’s important that you don’t try to save on the cost by dangerously reducing your coverage. If you’re going to get insured, get the right amount and then save by comparing plans and insurers rates. There are plenty of tools and calculators online to help you calculate how much coverage you actually need, so get this right to start from.
The amount should focus on two things; immediate expenses and your family’s needs. Immediate expenses are basically end of life expenses such as funeral costs, medical and estate settlement charges. For estates under $1.5 million this figure should be at least $15,000 or 4% of the total value of the estate (whichever is the higher).
As for calculating how much income your family needs, this is usually 60-70 per cent of the total income. It should be enough to maintain their current standard of living. Don’t forget to factor in your current savings, investments and retirement funds (at today’s value). If your spouse will continue to work after your death, then this can reduce the amount you need. If you’re unsure, see a qualified financial advisor to help you with the calculations.
Term or Whole Life Insurance
When it comes to lowering your cost of life insurance, the key message coming from today’s financial experts is to buy term and invest the difference. What does this mean? Well, there are essentially two main types of life insurance: whole life and term. Whole life insurance includes an investment component. So, part of your premium goes toward life insurance and the rest towards investments. This means if you keep up a policy for 20 years, you’ll actually have something at the end of the period (as opposed to term, where once the period is over, you’re left with nothing).