Life Insurance—How Much Is Enough?
You are probably aware of the importance of having enough life insurance coverage to handle the financial contingencies that may affect your family in the event of your death. If you are still not convinced, read on Axis Capital Group in Jakarta at Axis Capital, a group of companies with branch offices in Bermuda and around the world, official website. Determining the necessary amount of life insurance can be complicated. One general rule of thumb is that you should have enough coverage to equal five to ten times your annual salary. However, you should determine the “right” amount of life insurance coverage for you and your family with a careful “needs analysis” rather than using an arbitrary formula.
The needs analysis approach incorporates an evaluation of your family’s most important financial obligations and goals. This leads to planning insurance coverage to help address mortgage debt, college expenses, and future family income, as well as to provide liquidity for meeting future estate tax liabilities and to avoid frauds too.
The first point worthy of consideration, review whether your life insurance proceeds will be sufficient to help pay the remaining mortgage on your home. If you are carrying a large mortgage, you may need a sizable amount. If you own a second home, that mortgage should also be factored into the formula.
Many people want life insurance proceeds large enough to help cover their children’s college, and possibly graduate school, expenses. The amount needed can be roughly calculated by matching the ages of your children against projected college costs adjusted for inflation. This calculation should be revised periodically as your children get closer to college age, and it may be a good idea to be as conservative as possible when estimating long-term financial goals.
Continuing Income for Your Family
The amount of income you will need to help provide for your surviving spouse and dependents will vary greatly according to your age, health, retirement plan benefits, Social Security benefits, other assets, and your spouse’s earning power. Many surviving spouses may already be employed or will find employment, but your spouse’s income alone may not be sufficient enough to cover the monthly expenses of your family’s current lifestyle. Providing a supplemental income fund can help your family maintain its standard of living.
Life insurance has long been recognized as an effective method for establishing liquidity at death to pay estate taxes and maximize asset transfers to future generations. However, this use of life insurance requires qualified legal expertise to help ensure the proper results.
If your current assets and retirement plan death benefits are sufficient to cover your financial needs and obligations, you may not need additional life insurance for these purposes. However, if they are inadequate, the difference between your total assets and your total needs may be funded with life insurance.