If one of you isn’t working, you’ll want to consider the non-monetary contributions made to the household by thinking about everything that is done on a daily basis to support the family. If the non-working spouse dies, you won’t need to replace their income, but you will likely need to hire help.
Life insurance can create a safety net that can provide financial stability during a difficult time. Consider purchasing a policy for each person in the relationship with a benefit that can cover funeral and burial expenses, future income, debt repayment, and the educational needs of any children you support.
If a stay-at-home parent dies, the surviving parent will likely need to continue working to support the family. It may be necessary to hire a full-time nanny, housekeeping service, and personal assistant to keep the household running smoothly.
If you plan to start a family soon, it’s smart to purchase life insurance in an amount that will support the surviving spouse and future children.
Take a close look at your current financial situation. Could the surviving spouse take over the financial obligations of your household with the money they currently bring home? Consider debt as well. If one or both of you have significant credit card bills, a mortgage, car payments, or personal loans, it may be a good idea to purchase enough life insurance to pay off those debts.
To help determine how much life insurance to purchase for each spouse, you’ll need to calculate the potential financial impact that a death would cause for the other. How much money would it take for each of you to feel secure?
If you are responsible for the financial needs of anyone outside your household, you may need to provide a benefit for them, as well. Don’t overlook elderly or disabled parents, nieces and nephews, or friends who depend on your financial support for their quality of life.
In many cases, employers offer life insurance as part of their benefits package. While it’s a nice perk and typically costs only a few dollars each month, there are some drawbacks to depending solely on this type of policy.
Life insurance through an employer terminates if you leave the company, so you may wish to consider additional coverage, such as a relatively inexpensive term life insurance policy independent of your employer.
Rates for all types of life insurance increase as we age. If you develop a chronic illness, the cost of purchasing life insurance may be too high. You may even become uninsurable. If you already have a life insurance policy in place when you become ill and you keep paying the premiums, you’ll be insured while the policy is active and in force, no matter how your health condition progresses.
If your employer-sponsored life insurance is free, you may want to consider purchasing an additional policy. It’s OK to have more than one policy in place, as long as the majority of your life insurance goes with you when you change jobs.
People who are financially stable and have enough money in savings to cover outstanding debt, funeral, and burial expenses may be able to skip life insurance. If they can provide for the future financial needs of the surviving spouse and anyone else they currently support with savings there’s really no need for a life insurance policy.
Having this type of financial stability is something that couples work toward and often want to achieve before retirement. For some, financial success comes earlier. In this case, you are “self-insured” and your loved ones aren’t at risk of financial devastation upon your death.