Whether you are 32 or 92, you want to give your family protection and security in case something might happen to you. One of the best ways to achieve this is through the use of life insurance. Generally speaking, this type of security blanket is a great way to cover burial and funeral expenses as well as your families living expenses. Unfortunately, many people do not know how much money their loved ones will need in the event that something happens to them. Others are simply uneducated as to what their policies will actually pay out to their families. Let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes in this important area of planning and how you can avoid them.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when buying life insurance is buying too little to replace their income. The small policy that most employers provide, which generally covers one year of salary is nowhere near the amount that your family needs in the event of your passing. As a general rule, it is recommended that you get a policy that is worth ten to twelve times your yearly salary. This is especially important if you provide the main source of income for your family. In that case your spouse and loved ones need to be taken care of for a significant period of time. You want to provide enough coverage for them to live comfortably and maintain their current lifestyles until they can figure out the next steps in their lives.
Another big mistake in this area is simply waiting too long to purchase a plan. If you continue to wait until you think you are the age that you need coverage, then you are leaving your family extremely vulnerable in the event that something might happen to you. Not only that, but premiums generally increase as you get older because the older we get, the more prone we become to health-related issues. Waiting to purchase coverage might actually be costing you money. Some people who have waited to get coverage find that they are no longer insurable when they finally decide to try to obtain protection for their families.
Let’s say that you have purchased your life insurance, and you made sure that you have enough coverage that your family can live comfortably if something happened to you. You should be all set, then, right? Well, not exactly. Another factor to consider is the term of your policy. Many people try to save money by purchasing plans that last for only a short period of time. If, for example, you purchase a plan that is good for ten years, then twelve years down the road something happens to your health, you and your family have a major bind. If you are able to obtain any coverage at all, it will definitely cost you significantly more than what you could have paid for a longer term. It is generally recommended that you buy for a term that will cover your family up to the point that your kids would be leaving for college. If you have a newborn and are not expecting to have any more children, a safe term for your policy would be twenty years.