How much life insurance do I need?
Life insurance is not one-size-fits-all. It’s important to take into account your unique situation—like your current assets, debts, and future plans. To make it easier, we created an online calculator you can use to help assess your needs based on your unique situation.
Rules of thumb
There also are several guidelines you can follow to help you quickly come up with a number.
Calculating your coverage amount

Your life insurance needs are dependent on your personal and financial circumstances. With that said, there are some general guidelines you can follow.

The first is simple—you can get a rough estimate of your coverage needs by multiplying your current income by 10.

You can also use the DIME formula for a more in-depth breakdown. Add up the four areas below to get a better idea of your needs.

  • Debt: The total of your current debts (excluding your mortgage) plus your estimated final expenses
  • Income: Multiply your current income by the number of years that you estimate your family would need support
  • Mortgage: The amount left on your mortgage
  • Education: An estimate of the costs of sending your kids to school and college
Choosing your coverage length

You’ll also have to evaluate how long you want coverage for. If you’re looking for coverage for the duration of your life that doesn’t expire, permanent life insurance might be your best bet.

If you want coverage over a specific time period, especially a financially demanding one, term life insurance is a good choice. You may want a term that lasts until:

  • Your mortgage is paid off
  • Your children are through school
  • You retire
  • You reach your savings goals
Coverage options with Ethos
Term Life Insurance with Ethos
(Recommended for most)
  • For applicants age 20-80
  • Coverage up to $1.5 million
  • Choose between 10, 15, 20, and 30-year terms
Whole Life Insurance with Ethos
  • For applicants age 65-85
  • Coverage up to $25,000
  • Good for the duration of your life
Why getting the right amount of coverage is important

If you passed away unexpectedly, it is key that your life insurance policy is large enough to help your family cover big expenses like a home mortgage, debt, college tuition, and more. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’ve got the right coverage amount to give your family enough protection.

Reevaluate your coverage annually

As your family life and financial goals change and evolve, you should reevaluate your current life insurance coverage annually and decide whether you have enough, or if you should apply for more.

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