How Much Life Insurance Is Enough?

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One reason for choosing a life insurance policy is to figure how much your dependents will need after you’re gone. In order to choose the face value (the amount your policy pays if you die) of your life insurance you should consider the following:

  • How much debt you have: All of your debts must be paid off in full, including car loans, mortgages, credit cards, etc. If you have a $200,000 mortgage and a $4,000 car loan, you need at least $204,000 in your policy to cover your debts.
  • Income Replacement: One of the biggest reasons for life insurance is for income replacement, which will be a major determinant of the size of your policy. If you are the only provider for your dependents and you bring in $40,000 a year, you will need a policy payout that is large enough to replace your income plus a little extra to guard against inflation. 
  • Future Obligations: If you want to pay for your child's college tuition you will have to add this to the amount of coverage you want.