GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Do you have life insurance?
Most of us realize we need it, but an estimated 30% of U.S. households don't have life insurance-- or about 37-million households overall.
Financial advisor Dan Ament with Morgan Stanley in Wayzata says many Americans are only buying enough life insurance to replace three years of income. The insurance industry recommends anywhere from 5 to 15 times your income.
Determining how much life insurance you need can be calcuated by adding together your various expenses, then subtracting available assets:
$ ____ Annual income required (70% of annual gross income divided by rate of interest)
+ $ ____ Amount needed to pay off mortgage/rental expenses
+ $ ____ Amount needed to pay off loans, credit cards, other debts
+ $ ____ Emergency fund (3-6 months of income)
+ $ ____ Education costs per child
+ $ ____ Estate settlement, funeral costs
- $ ____ Assets (cash, checking, savings, retirement, investments)
= Total life insurance needed
However, long-term care insurance is expensive and many people do not want to pay premiums for something they might not need. There are "hybrid" options available that cover both life insurance and long term care; however, Ament says such hyrid products may not cover certain areas like home care, or inflation protection.
You can find additional information about life insurance types, needs, and other details from Morgan Stanley here.
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