Have you thought about what would happen to your family if you were to die too soon or unexpectedly? Making sure that your family can stay in their home without the stress of paying outstanding debt is important. But you want to make sure that taking care of this is affordable as well.
This is where a term life insurance policy can fit the bill. Term life is great in that it can fit into almost any budget as it is pure death insurance. Most of the time there are no bells and whistles like cash value accumulation or extra benefits.
Term life insurance is, as the name implies, covers you for a determined amount a time, such as 10 years, 20 years or 30 years. The rate is locked in for that term and won't increase. We at Surf Financial Brokers, have one insurance carrier that offers a 40-year term which is great for younger people who want a policy that will stay the same price into their 60's.
Which term should pick? That depends on what your needs are. Take into consideration things like your mortgage. If you have just purchased a home and have a 30 year mortgage, a thirty year term policy will be appropriate. But if you have just a few years left on your mortgage, you can lower the term.
On the other hand, if you have small children, you may want to consider how long it will be until they are out of the house and on their own. We all know that kids aren't cheap and even if the mortgage is paid off, raising the children will still take money that won't be there if you were to pass away.
How much coverage do you need? The simple way to figure this out is to add up the total amount of the following:
- The balance on your mortgage.
- Credit card debt.
- Balances on car loans
- Final expenses. When doing this I like to add in what I call "costs associated with death", which could be your medical deductible if you are in the hospital for a few days before passing away. And even though many have decided they don't want a funeral, there are those who do. I had a client who wanted to cover the cost of catering and an open bar. He wanted his friends to have a good time.
- Replacement of income. Figure in your annual income and multiply by 5 to help your spouse or significant other pay the expenses that will need to be addressed like car repairs or other emergencies that can pop up.
- Educational costs. If you have kids you may want to help them pay for college when you aren't around.
Another factor that may determine your term life insurance purchase may be a convertibility option. This means that at some point in the term the insurance carrier may allow you to convert to a permanent policy. I discussed this in a previous post.
If you have any questions about purchasing a term life policy, drop us a note on our website. In the meantime, please stay healthy!
Chris Castanes is the president of Surf Financial Brokers, helping people find affordable life, disability, long term care, cancer, accident and other insurance coverages in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia. He's also is a professional speaker helping sales people be more productive and efficient and has spoken to professional and civic organizations throughout the Southeast. And please subscribe to this blog!