Thursday, January 3, 2008

How To Save Money on a Life Insurance Policy

If you're the kind of person who is looking to save money, chances are you're the kind of person who needs life insurance.

Because let's face it--there's only one kind of person who doesn't need life insurance, and that's the person who doesn't have to worry about money.

Even if you're single and have no kids, you'll still at least want enough life insurance to take care of your funeral arrangements when you go, so nobody else has to.

But if you are married, or if you do have kids, you know you want the life insurance, so that things will be taken care of when you go.

How Much Life Insurance You Need

The first key to saving money on Life Insurance is to know how much life insurance to get.

The best way to determine this?

Well, think about it this way. As bad as it sounds, the purpose of the money that comes in from life insurance is to replace you when you die. The money needs to fill your role in the household.

If you're the family breadwinner, this means enough insurance that the interest the money could earn would replace your income, or the income your family could live on once you go. For instance, $250,000 in life insurance may sound like a lot, but that would mean a $25,000 a year income for your family. Would that be enough?

If your family gets by okay on what you make, you probably want to go with 10-15 times your income in life insurance.

However, it's not just the breadwinners that would be missed if they were gone. Often people neglect to insure the other members of the household, and this can be a costly mistake.

For example, if you're a stay at home mom, you would want enough life insurance that your family could pay to have the jobs done that you do. Nobody knows better than you do how varied those are! Not only does that include the obvious things like childcare, but if your husband keeps working, the family will probably need more pre-prepared meals, which are more expensive than the fine, home-cooked meals you make. They'll probably need to buy more clothes, since you won't be around to do the mending.

Talking with your husband about how much to insure you for may sound morbid, but it will force him to recognize just how many dollars your work is contributing to the household!

How to Save Money On Life Insurance

Once you decide how much you need, how do you get it as cheaply as possible?

The answer is to choose a Term Life insurance policy instead of Whole Life insurance policy.

What does this mean?

A whole life insurance policy is a policy that you buy and then have for the rest of your life. It generally has a fixed cost, but you make monthly payments on it as you "buy" the policy, sort of like financing a car. Just like a car or a home, this means that a whole life insurance policy can build up equity which you can borrow against as it gets paid off.

On the other hand, Term Life insurance policies are temporary. You pay each month in order to be insured that month. Whenever you want to stop, you can stop.

Because whole life policies always pay out (everybody dies someday), they're more expensive than term life policies. $500,000 in whole life will always be more expensive per month than %500,000 in term life.

One More Secret To Making This Work

Of course, there's one more secret to making this work--you actually have to save money in the meantime.

As we've said elsewhere, saving money doesn't just mean paying less for stuff--it actually means putting some money away for later, in a place that can earn you interest and make you money.

In this case, once you've managed to save the $500,000, then you can go ahead and cancel the term life insurance--you don't need it any more.

In fact, if you've managed to save 10 to 15 times your income, you're now in that category of people who don't have to worry about money any more. It means you could lose your job today--you could even quit your job today--and you wouldn't experience so much as a hiccup in your lifestyle.

That's the type of freedom we're looking to give you with the money saving tips we're talking about.

And as tragic as loss is, if you have life insurance, at least you have the comfort of knowing you've left your family that type of freedom.

Hope this helps.

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