Life insurance is not for the person buying the insurance; it is for the people they leave behind.

Purchasing life insurance is one of the more important decisions you will make in a life time. When you first decide how much life insurance to buy, you are determining the quality of life for your loved ones if something unexpected should happen to you. We're ready to help you.

A Real Life Story About Life Insurance

This is a true story about life insurance, although I have obviously changed the names to protect the person's privacy. It was Sunday morning. Jim and Betty were outside, on the driveway of their modest home. They were washing the car. Jim was washing one side, Betty was washing the other. Betty was talking to Jim, but all of a sudden she noticed he wasn't on the side. She walked around the back of the car and there he lay on the ground, dead from a massive heart attack. I met with Betty a week after the funeral to complete the paperwork to file a claim for the $50,000 of life insurance. I was quite a sad time and Betty was still very upset. She sat in my office and cried. Greif Counselors have told me that in cases of sudden deaths like Jim's unexpected heart attack, the grieving process can take a lot longer. Betty was facing two problems. First, she was too upset to go back to work. Second she had financial obligations including the house payment and now and now she only had one paycheck to cover all the bills. The life insurance helped with both problems. Betty took three months off from work and used part of the life insurance proceeds to replace her salary. Betty used the rest of the life insurance money to pay down the mortgage so could have lower monthly payments that would be within her one paycheck budget. Betty told me that without the life insurance, she would have been financially ruined. Of course, she wished that they had purchased a bigger life insurance policy, but at least she had enough money to see her through the difficult times.

How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?

If you asked 100 different financial planners or life insurance agents how much life insurance is enough, you will get 100 different answers. There are some "rules of thumb" for selecting how much life insurance you need. A common rule of thumb is seven times your annual income. When working with clients on deciding how much life insurance they need, I like to start with the minimum amount they should buy. The minimum amount of life insurance should be the amount necessary to pay off all of your debt (mortgage, car loans, credit cards, student loans, etc.) plus funeral costs plus 3 months' salary for your spouse.
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