First, I know a few folks who think life insurance is bad because they see it as a lack of trust in God to provide for their families. I can make a case to the contrary; I think it is good planning to take advantage of this tool to care for your family’s needs. So if you don’t have any or inadequate coverage, here is my advice.
The purpose of life insurance is to allow your family members to pay the bills and live their lives as planned despite your absence. It is really hard to know how much coverage is needed and to purchase too much or too little.
Here is what you need to consider for coverage based upon an article at Kipplinger.com
Death expenses. A funeral, burial and related expenses should be covered. I don’t believe in buying expensive caskets, but make your own estimates here for what you will need.
Mortgages and other debts. Total your mortgage balance, car loans, student loans and any other debts that would be a heavy burden on your survivors. Be sure all of those are covered by your insurance amount.
Add future Education expenses. This calculation can be tricky because you need to consider the cost of college at the time your kids enroll.
Income replacement. Once you cover funeral expenses, debts and education, calculate future income and earnings.
Add all four categories to estimate how much life insurance is appropriate, then tweak the number to reflect personal circumstances.
For most families, this exercise will work out to an amount in the high six-figures, possibly even $1 million or more. But don’t be frightened. With term insurance, boosting your death benefit by hundreds of thousands of dollars should cost just a few hundred dollars a year.
If you want to learn more about how to apply God’s principles to your finances, come to Crown.org, While you are there I invite you to take the FREE MoneyLife assessment. The questions and answers in this tool will help you uncover hidden challenges that may be keeping you in financial bondage. Find the free MoneyLife assessment at Crown.org.
Chuck Bentley is the CEO of Crown, the largest Christian financial ministry in the world, founded by the late, Larry Burkett. He is an author, host of My MoneyLife - a daily radio feature, and a frequent speaker on the topic of Biblical financial principles. Follow him on Twitter @chuckbentley and visit Crown.org for more help.