Why You Must Discuss Life Insurance with Your Family

A Family

Choosing to get life insurance is a great responsibility. It’s something that you should do, even if it’s not something you want to do. No one likes to think of their own mortality, and for good reason. It’s depressing to think about dying, and not one of us enjoys that thought. However, life insurance is something you just have to have. We’ve discussed it before, and we will discuss it again; even people who don’t work because their spouse does all the working still need life insurance. Your death can and will affect your entire family, and the least you can do is provide for them once you are gone. That husband that does all the working and financial providing? He’s not paying for daycare since you’re home, so you need to be able to provide that when you’re gone. That husband that works and makes good money isn’t going to help if he has so much debt you can’t deal with it when he’s gone unless he leaves you something with which to pay it off.

Life insurance is a sad subject but dealing with it now means getting it out of the way and never having to think about it again. We have some tips that will help you tremendously in your quest to find life insurance and to do it in a way that will ensure you get what you need to care for your family after your death. Here are a few tips that will help you calculate what you need so that you can get the right policy.

Talk to Your Spouse

Here’s the deal; you must include your husband or wife in this decision. This is not to say that you need their permission to get life insurance. It is simply to say that you must have their input and opinion when it comes to getting life insurance on yourself. Why? Because you probably both need it. And you need to know where you both stand in the event of your death. It might also be a good idea to speak with your children about your policy if they are old enough to understand what it means. You’re not going to do any good talking to your toddlers or preteens about it, but you will want to include teens and adult kids in this decision, because they might have an opinion on the matter as well.

Calculate What You Need

There are so many suggestions as to how much life insurance to carry. Some people say you need to carry at least a year’s salary, others say two years. Bankrate.com says you should carry 7 to 10 times the amount of your annual salary. However, that doesn’t always apply to those in every situation. For example, if you’re a family with a tight budget and a primary breadwinner who only makes $50,000 per year, 7 to 10 times that might not be enough to cover everything you need to cover. For example, if that family has a stay-at-home parent as well as a working parent, you will want to know whether or not the other parent will go back to work or if that parent will try to stay home with the family, and then you need to prepare for that.

So how do you calculate what you need? You have to get creative. It’s not going to work for everyone since some people have special considerations and other people have different needs, different debts and different expectations. However, you should start by calculating what you owe to debtors. You’ll definitely need that much. You should then calculate your annual cost of living, your funeral expenses and even the cost of a college education for your kids. What you do with the money you leave to your family after your death is up to you, but it doesn’t mean that you can buy too little.

When Should I Buy Life Insurance?

Honestly, you should buy it yesterday. The younger you are, the less you will pay each month for your premium. However, not everyone takes this into consideration when they are young. Perhaps a change of lifestyle will inspire you to insure yourself. A new job, a new baby, a new spouse, a new house; these are all things that you should concern yourself with when it comes to life insurance. It is always a good idea to buy young so that you pay very little as you get older. The older you are, the more expensive your premiums will be. The younger you are, the better a chance you have of being healthy. If you have health problems, many insurance companies will not offer you an affordable premium, which could affect how much you are able to provide for your family in case of your death. It’s always better to be prepared, which means buying sooner rather than later. Additionally, you just never know what the next second will bring. Act now, before it’s too late.

Talk to an Agent

There are many different policies and considerations you might need to make, which means you will need to go ahead and speak to an agent. An insurance agent will be able to answer your questions, talk to you about what it is you need to know and help you with the decisions you have to make. This is a great way to ensure that you are making the right decision, not forgetting anything and not making any mistakes when choosing a policy.

The care of your family is something that you might not have any control over when you are gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for that so that your family is taken care of to an extent should anything ever happen to you. Everyone in the family can breathe easier at night knowing that they are taken care of should you leave the family before your time, or even during your time. Life insurance is always a good idea for any family.

Photo by Michel Porro/Getty Images


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