How much life insurance do you need?

How much life insurance do you need? Enter your current assets, expenses, income and let us determine how much life insurance you need. You can also adjust the inflation rate and your expected rate of return to see how these variables can impact your insurance needs. Press the report button to see a year by year breakdown of your family's future income and expenses.

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Definitions

Current life insurance coverage
Total amount of life insurance coverage you currently have for yourself.

Years for insurance income to last
Number of years your spouse will need to use your insurance proceeds to provide for living expenses and income.

Inflation rate
What you expect for the average long-term inflation rate. This has been calculated by the Consumer Price Index from 1925 to 2002 to be 3.1%. Your total expenses are increased by this rate for each year you require income. The income you would receive from your life insurance policy is used to cover any shortfalls between your expected income from all sources and your expenses.

Return on investments
The annual rate of return for your investments. The actual rate of return is largely dependant on the type of investments you select. The actual rate of return is largely dependant on the type of investments you select. From January 1970 to December 2003, the average compounded rate of return for the S&P 500, including reinvestment of dividends, was approximately 11.7% per year. During this period, the highest 12-month return was 64%, and the lowest was -39%. Savings accounts at a bank pay as little as 1% or less. It is important to remember that future rates of return can't be predicted with certainty and that investments that pay higher rates of return are subject to higher risk and volatility. The actual rate of return on investments can vary widely over time, especially for long-term investments. This includes the potential loss of principal on your investment.

Income tax
This is your income tax rate. Changing this rate only affects your interest income from your investments. All other income and expenses should be entered on an after tax basis.

Cash and savings
Total you have in cash, checking accounts, savings accounts or other accounts that can be used to help cover expenses.

Home equity
Total amount of equity in your home that you are willing to use toward your living expenses. Only include the home equity that you consider available to use toward your living expenses. For example, the equity you would make available by selling your home and moving into a smaller one.

Investments
Total value of all investments that you are willing to use toward your living expenses.

Other
Any other assets that you may be willing to sell or liquidate.

Estate or inheritance taxes on assets
Taxes that are required to be paid on your assets at death.

Probate costs
Probate costs cover a state's legal fees for disbursing the assets of the deceased. You may incur significant probate costs, depending on your state of residence, even if you have a will.

Funeral costs
All costs required to cover the cost of the funeral.

Uninsured medical costs
Any medical costs that are not covered by your medical insurance. Make sure to include any deductibles.

Debt repayment
Credit card debt, auto loans, home equity loans, mortgages or other debt that you wish to repay. Providing the ability to repay these loans if you were to die can significantly help your family meet its monthly living expenses.

Other expenses
Any other items that you need to pay with your insurance proceeds.

College fund for children
Amounts you wish to provide your surviving children to cover future college expenses.

Spouse income from work
Income expected from your spouse after your death. If your spouse needs education or retraining, make sure that the starting year for this income provides adequate time to complete.

Social security survivor benefits
Depending on your work history, your family may qualify for Social Security benefits. Typically Social Security benefits for the Widow/Widower cease when the youngest child turns 16. The child's benefit generally continues to age 18. Once the children are gone, Social Security benefits are generally not available until the Widow/Widower turns age 60.

Living expenses with children at home
Total monthly expenses while your children are living at home. This should include all monthly expenses except child care.

Living expenses with children gone
Total monthly expenses after your children have left home. This should include all monthly expenses.

Children's education expenses
Monthly expenses for your children's education expenses. If your children have not yet entered college, and have no other educational expenses, leave this amount at zero and enter an amount in the college fund entry fields in the total expenses at death section.

Retraining and education for spouse
Monthly expenses expected to cover any cost of education or retraining for your spouse to re-enter the workforce.

Other expenses
Any other monthly expenses not included above.

Savings balance
The amount of funds available to your family after your expenses at death have been covered. This includes any current life insurance.