When embarking on the trials and tribulations of adulthood, many young doctors or residents are encouraged to purchase some form of term life insurance, especially if they have purchased a home or have gotten married. The advice given regarding how much life insurance to buy can vary widely. Some will say, just get enough to cover your mortgage. Others will recommend a couple years salary. In order to determine the amount that is right for you, here are some things to consider.
Family’s future. If the unexpected should happen, you will want to make sure that your family will be able to maintain the life you had planned for them. In addition to any mortgage you are carrying, also consider the annual maintenance on your home, in addition to taxes and other necessities that need to be covered. If you have children, you may even want to look ahead to college expenses. Bankrate.com offers a handy calculator that can help put these projected costs into real dollars and cents.
True value of your partner. If you are the income provider for your family, you may not consider life insurance for your stay-at-home partner. This is a mistake. Your partner often does more than you realize to preserve your way of life and wellbeing. Childcare services, cleaning, cooking, home improvement, and other various costly and skilled services will need to be addressed. Take the time to explore the true value of your partner’s contribution and the insurance you will need if they are unexpectedly taken from you.
Research your student loans. According to CNBC, federal student loans are forgiven when the student dies before completing repayment. However, as Forbes reminds us, if you have a private student loan or a cosigner on the loan, someone may be on the hook for all that educational debt. Review your loan contracts and make sure you have them covered in your life insurance policy.
Acknowledge the timeframe. A term life insurance policy is a reasonable expense, but just as its name suggests, it has a time limit. You can purchase a 10-year or 20-year policy, but after that time has ended, the coverage disappears. Be sure to plan for coverage after your term life policy runs out—you can do this through a whole life policy conversion or simply savings that you accumulate on your own.