Life Insurance – When to Get It, How Much, and What to Look For

When to Get It: Over thirty-four years ago, I announced to my father that I was going to propose marriage to my girlfriend, Tammi. Dad was the type of person that gave his advice freely and often. As a result, I was expecting some lengthy words of wisdom. My father’s first words were “Well it’s about time.” There was a long pause. Then he calmly instructed me to get a will and life insurance. Nothing else was said. I was somewhat disappointed, but my father was right. Marriage is the acceptance of responsibility. When you acquire personal or financial responsibilities is when you should get life insurance.   How Much: The first step is determining the death benefit amount. The number of scenarios is infinite. The circumstances range from very simple to complex. A common scenario is a young couple starting their adult life together. The young couple has initial and future obligations to consider. The initial obligation is providing financial stability for the surviving family. The family’s financial stability is how much money does the surviving beneficiary need to continue their future without hardship. The amount will greatly vary between personal situations and choices. The future responsibilities might include debt (home, autos, credit cards, etc.), college for the children, and funeral expenses.   Multiply the amount currently believed to be sufficient for family financial stability by two. Add...

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