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How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?

Trying to decide how much life insurance to buy can be confusing. You have different life goals that could be better suited to temporary coverage, and long-term goals that only a whole life policy can provide. And your insurance needs will change over time, which means you will have to increase the coverage as needed.

The way to have enough coverage is to use both a whole life policy to protect your primary financial interests, and then take out term life policies as you need them. For instance, you have a whole life policy of $100,000, but you also have term life policies for each of your kids, to make sure they have the opportunity to attend college when they graduate high school.

The value of a term life insurance policy is set when the policy is purchased, which make this type of insurance perfect for insuring the cost of another piece of property, paying off the existing mortgage, or settling other financial debts if you die before they are paid off.

Consider your personal liability as well. As you accumulate value, you must protect it better. If someone were to sue you because they broke a leg on your property, liability coverage would avoid legal proceedings and pay for the medical care. Liability insurance does not include residents in the home, only visitors. Health insurance is still necessary to provide for your family's health.

How much coverage you need depends on what you own, your net worth, and what your family goals may be. Most people find it easier to use a mixture of whole and term life policies, but your insurance agent may be able to help you decide what is best for you. Some people would say that you cannot have too much insurance, but the truth is that you have no reason to insure beyond your net worth and the value of your life's goals.