by Jessica Bosari, FORBES Contributor on Oct 23, 2012
Buying life insurance for the first time can be overwhelming. You’ll run into a lot of terms that you may not understand at first. The good news is those terms are not very difficult to figure out once you do a little research. These tips are designed to help you create an organized approach toward investigating life insurance so that you can find the policy you need without the hassle.
Know Why You Need Life Insurance
Life insurance is a serious investment that shouldn’t be made on the spur of the moment. Don’t buy a policy just because someone says you should. Many people hear ads about life insurance so many times that they begin to feel an instinctive concern about needing life insurance. The truth is, however, not everyone needs life insurance.
The purpose of life insurance is to provide financial support for your dependents if you are no longer around to do it yourself. If you don’t have any dependents, you probably don’t need to spend money on life insurance. If you are contributing significantly to the financial well-being of someone in your life, you think about protect from any financial gaps that might occur if you no longer able to provide the same support. The key is to understand why you need life insurance before you begin shopping for a policy.
Understand the Type of Policy You Need
There are two basic types of life insurance policies: life and whole life. Term life insurance policies last for a specified period of time. Term life is less expensive than whole life because it usually expires before the benefits are used.
Whole life insurance lasts from the day you the policy until the day you die, no matter. A whole life policy is more expensive because the coverage could last a few years or several decades. Whole life policies can be borrowed against at a high interest rate, while term life policies.
Know When to Choose Term
If you are in a situation your dependents will not rely on you financially forever, your best bet is probably a term life policy. For example, many parents choose term life policies that are in effect until their children move out and become financially independent. Once kids are, there is no reason to continue paying for life insurance. Your beneficiaries will rely on your contributions.
Know How Much to Buy
Understanding the potential needs of your beneficiaries can also help you decide how much insurance you should have. Don’t follow any “rule of thumb” guidelines you may read. Your needs are specific to you. Your decision will depend on the math.
How much money do your dependents need each year and for how long? Because your children are likely different ages, that number is different for each beneficiary. Calculate the needs of each dependent annually, multiple times the number of years support is needed and then add those numbers together so all dependents have what they need.