Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn how we make money.
Like any other financial product, life insurance is a deeply personal decision, and the exact amount you’ll need will depend on your individual circumstances. If you have savings, investments or an inheritance to fall back on, you may want to curtail your coverage to take these things into consideration. Think of this calculator as a guide to help you find the right coverage for your unique situation.
How much coverage do I need?
Generally, life insurance experts suggest a number between 5 and 10 times your annual salary to make sure you can cover all of your obligations should you pass away.
Other factors to consider
Generally, your life insurance policy should cover the gap between fulfilling your long-term financial obligations — including things like a mortgage, student loans, credit card debt and your family’s ongoing living expenses. Because this calculator doesn’t account for your savings, investments and other assets, you may want to subtract your assets from the recommended coverage amount to get a more accurate estimate of your life insurance needs.
- Age. This applies to both you and your children. If your kids are younger, factor in the costs of college tuition should you die before they’ve completed their education. If you and your partner are nearing retirement and have children who are financially independent, your living expenses may not be as high as they once were.
- Medical bills. You’ll also want to keep in mind any medical payments your family will be left with as a direct result of your death. Unfortunately, dying doesn’t come cheap, so you may want to add in $15,000 to $20,000 extra to cover your funeral, burial and related costs.
- Inflation and potential taxes. With the rate of inflation averaging around 2% each year, the coverage you buy now won’t be worth as much in 20 or 30 years. And if you live in one of the six states that impose inheritance taxes — Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — you’ll want to account any taxes your family could be stuck with.
How would life insurance fit into my monthly budget?
|Monthly expenses||monthly Cost|
|Term life insurance||$15 – $30|
|Cell phone bill||$100|
|Credit card bill||$100|
Typical coverage amounts
Average life insurance coverage amounts range from $50,000 for a bare-bones policy all the way up to $5 million and beyond. For the majority of policies, providers offer coverage in multiples of $50,000 up to $1 million. When you’re young and healthy, the difference between adding an extra $50,000 or $100,000 in coverage to your policy can be low.
Use our calculator to learn a recommended coverage amount, and then factor in your assets and any other expenses unique to you and your family’s circumstances. After you’ve found a number you’re comfortable with, round up to the nearest $50,000 to get a typical coverage amount.
Now that you know how much coverage you’re looking for, compare life insurance providers to find a policy that ensures your family’s taken care of — no matter what happens in the future.
Compare life insurance providers
Read more on this topic
How to use your whole life insurance policy during the coronavirus How to use your whole life insurance to cover expenses during COVID-19.
Compare preneed funeral insurance Preneed funeral insurance can take the burden of funeral arrangements from your grieving loved ones.
Life insurance premiums and the coronavirus Find out if your insurance company has a hardship relief program during the COVID-19 outbreak.
How to make a will online If your final wishes are straightforward, making your will online saves you money and time.
Life insurance payments Compare your choices for how and when to pay your life insurance premiums.
Everyday Life insurance review This startup insurer helps you ladder your policies so you only buy the coverage you need.
Life insurance and coronavirus: Everything you need to know Everything you need to know about how the coronavirus pandemic affects your life insurance policy.
Is an annuity right for you? Annuities offer the security of a monthly income during retirement, but at a cost.
Ask an Expert