Although you may find it difficult to think about purchasing life insurance when you're young and healthy, you should consider it for two reasons: first, this will likely be the time when a policy is most affordable; and second, this will likely also be the time when your absence can have the greatest financial impact on your family. If you have dependents or provide your family's sole financial support, a life insurance policy can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved ones will be taken care of if you're unable to do so.
Financial security for your family
The death of a loved one deals a traumatic blow to a family's emotional health, but it can also cause financial hardship. Life insurance is one cornerstone of a sound financial investment strategy because it protects your assets and prevents your family from being overwhelmed by debt. Funeral and burial costs are obvious expenses that policy proceeds can pay for, but there may also be outstanding medical bills, mortgage payments, or business debts that need to be paid. Adequate life insurance can also help defray monthly living costs and provide funds for education, health care, and other ongoing expenses.
A valuable investment tool
Many ife insurance policies offer more than just benefits upon your death. Whole Life, Universal Life, and Variable Universal Life also offer investment benefits by accruing cash value that can be used as collateral for loans, to pay premiums or to supplement retirement income. Because the cost of the policy is based on health and age, the younger and healthier you are when you purchase a policy, the less expensive it will be.
How much insurance should you have?
You can quickly gauge how much insurance you need by multiplying your gross annual income by 7. Or, if you want a more exact figure, calculate your family's current expenses, including day care, cost of living, mortgage and auto payments, then add in future expenses such as health care and college tuition. You should also add to this calculation burial and funeral costs, outstanding debts, and medical bills. Although both methods give a rough estimate of your insurance needs, the best way to determine adequate coverage amounts is to talk with an experienced insurance agent.