Category - Family Finances

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Life Insurance 101 – Part 3: How much life insurance do I need?
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Life Insurance 101 – Part 2: How does life insurance work?
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Life Insurance 101 – Part 1: Why Do I Need Life Insurance?

Life Insurance 101 – Part 3: How much life insurance do I need?

In Part 1 of this series, I explained why people need life insurance; in Part 2, I explained the basics of “how insurance works.” A question that people always have is, “how much life insurance should I buy?” There are various guidelines for estimating how much life insurance one should buy. Alas, they usually lead to the wrong answer.

Life insurance is unique among insurance products. With most forms of insurance, you insure against a specific financial loss – the cost of a demolished automobile or a burned-out building.  Although no amount of money can compensate for the loss …

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Life Insurance 101 – Part 2: How does life insurance work?

Today I’d like to offer a simple explanation for how life insurance “works.” This discussion will also lay a foundation for discussing the difference between term and permanent life insurance. The first post in this series, on the reasons someone might need life insurance, is worth reading if you’re not sure whether you need life insurance.

Suppose that you’re a 20-year old male and you’ve decided that you need some life insurance.  For the purpose of this illustration, let’s assume you’ve determined that you need $1,000,000 in coverage for an indefinite period of time.  Let’s also assume that you …

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Life Insurance 101 – Part 1: Why Do I Need Life Insurance?

Everyone has heard of life insurance and most people have some; it’s not an exotic concept. Yet for the average person, buying life insurance means signing the most complex contract you’ll ever enter into. This will be the first of a series of short primers on life insurance: why people need it, how it works, how much to buy, what kind to buy.

One of my favorite graphics is this one, which originally appeared in the August 2006 National Geographic.  It illustrates a fundamental fact: although we don’t know when we will die, we each have a 100% probability …

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