What a somber topic indeed.  Yet, no matter how uncomfortable the topic may be, the fact remains that we’re all going to die sooner or later.  We don’t know when, or where, or how it will all take place…but it’s inescapable.   In fact, it’s one of the very few guarantees in life.  Since I work in a mortuary, I probably think about death more than any person should.  I help with countless funerals and have written thousands of obituaries.  And unfortunately, some of those obituaries were for people who died far before their time.  As we all know, life can be unfair.   

Don’t Fear the Reaper

This is why I’m glad that I have life insurance.  My husband and I both have term policies worth 250K.  Because we bought our policies in our 20’s, our premiums are dirt cheap.  My monthly premium is around $22 and Greg’s is about $25. Since our policies are “return of premium,” we are due to get back all of the money that we paid in over the thirty-year term.  So, in about the year 2036, we will get the $17,000 back that we paid in.  I think that’s a pretty sweet deal, and it’s like getting super bonus points for not dying.  Cha-ching!

$250,000 is a lot of money, but sometimes I feel like we need to buy additional life insurance.  Insurance companies even make it easy for you these days as you can apply online. However, since our expenses are so low, I’m hesitant to purchase any more coverage.  My gut tells me that $250,000 is the right amount, and that it would be enough for the surviving spouse to take care of our children.

But, am I right?

I was curious whether my assumptions about our life insurance were correct, so I started tinkering around with some online calculators.  Amazingly, Yahoo! thinks that I don’t need any life insurance at all.  However, Bankrate is a little more realistic.  Their online calculator thinks that I need about $300,000 in life insurance.

Things I Need Life Insurance For

Believe me, dying young is not in my master plan.  However, I would much rather be safe than sorry.  Beyond funeral expenses, there are so many life events that I would want my life insurance dollars to help fund.  Some of these are:

  • My daughters’ weddings
  • My daughters’ college tuition
  • Vacations for my husband and children
  • A cash cushion that could help my family weather any financial hardships

If something were to happen to me, I definitely wouldn’t want my family to struggle.  I want them to have enough money to be able to enjoy life in my absence.  Having life insurance brings peace of mind, and it’s one expense that I never mind paying.

How about you guys?  How much life insurance do you have?  How did you determine the right amount for your family?