As soon as somebody depends on you financially, you need life insurance.
Most of us know this, but for some pretty good reasons, we don’t really want to think about it. To start, someone has to die for life insurance to be of use. Also, buying a policy means putting a price on the life of someone we love. That’s all complicated, messy, emotional stuff.
So we’re stuck lying in bed thinking about this dilemma: We know we need the insurance, but it’s the last thing we want to think about. So let me get to the point here and just give one very simple way to check life insurance off you mental checklist.
My goal is to give you a “good enough” plan that you’ll actually take action on, rather than spending time in the pursuit of the “perfect” plan you will never find. We want you to sleep at night, and this good enough plan will do that.
Step 1: Take your salary and multiply it by 20. First, you have to decide how much life insurance to buy. This is where most people get stuck. You’re not going to get stuck. Just take your income and multiple it by 20. For example, let’s say your income is $50,000. Take $50,000 times 20 and you get $1 million. This is the amount of life insurance coverage you’ll buy. This goes a long way toward replacing the economic loss that will result if you’re no longer around.
Step 2: Buy a 20-year term policy for that amount. Term life insurance is the cheapest policy you can buy, and it’s not complicated. As long as you pay the premiums each year, and your insurance company stays in business, you will be insured for the full 20-year term, and your premiums will not go up. If you die during that time, the beneficiary gets the money and pays no taxes on it.
At the end of 20 years, you no longer have insurance and the insurance company keeps the premiums you paid each month. Still, term insurance is the cheapest way to replace an economic loss, which is the purpose of life insurance. It’s not an investment or savings account. It’s clean, simple insurance.