SERIES: YOU Answer The Question – Part 3

Welcome to the latest series – YOU Answer The Question!

One thing that I love about traveling and teaching about finances is that I learn so much from the people I meet!

So here is how this series works.  I will share a question that has been sent in to me, and YOU Answer The Question!

QUESTIONI am 49 year old single person with no small children, and I am looking to purchase term life insurance for myself.  Do I still need eight to ten times my salary in insurance or just enough to cover any expenses my children will face?

Share Your Answer!

Do you have a question of your own?  Ask me HERE!


  1. Beth Snyder on June 11, 2008 at 5:10 am

    Why would you even need life insurance? Life insurance is for the surviovors of your estate or to dependents so they can live and survive without your income. If you are worried about expenses pre pay your funeral expenses and set up a will for what you want to happen to the rest of your estate. Save the prememiums for something else. If you had minor children or a surviving spouse it might be worth your time.

  2. Gail on June 11, 2008 at 6:24 am

    I couldn’t say it any better than Beth did. Or if you are looking for “something to invest your money in & cover expenses” put it into a mutual fund or long term cd. So if you expect to be moving in the next few years & are unsure exactly where you’ll end up when your time comes, I would consider the cd or mutual fund.
    Term life is inexpensive life insurance that has no added benefits other than to provide for your family/dependents when you pass. This is why Beth says to save your money & put it somewhere else.

  3. Mike & Ann on June 11, 2008 at 6:41 am

    For me it would depend on the ages of the children. If they are minors, definitely, their guardians will need money to help take care of them properly.

    If they are grown, just enough insurance to pay off all you owe and to cover burial expenses, for the time period set for your debt freedom date. Then you can save for burial expenses.

    I wouldn’t recommend prepaying burial expenses because you could invest that money and make sooo much more and leave an inheritance for your children too. By the time burial comes around, they could bury you in style. God doesn’t care about the packaging though, he just cares about you.

    Such a great dad to be thinking ahead for the family. Happy Fathers Day a little early!!!

  4. Darrell Jordan on June 11, 2008 at 7:32 am

    I have to agree with Mike and Ann. Like Beth said life insurance is for survivors which would include your children. The payoff from the insurance would go toward who ever is taking care of the kids after you pass, ie clothing, food, college. Your will can direct how the money is to go.

    Do you have debt now? If so, the money could be used to pay that off as well so the kids wouldn’t have to worry about it. They wouldn’t have to pay it themselves but the insurance would make sure that the estate is not wiped out by the debt.


  5. Michael on June 11, 2008 at 7:56 am

    If nobody is relying on your income anymore then you definitely don’t need 8-10 times your income in life insurance. If you are single when you die then your children or heirs won’t be responsible for your bills or debts. They die with you unless you are married or someone cosigned with you.

    The amount of insurance you need depends on how much savings that you have. When you die you will probably just need some money for your final expenses. If you have some money in the bank that should be sufficient to pay for your funeral. If you have a very large estate or business then you should talk to a professional estate planner about using life insurance for that transition. If you don’t really have any savings then a small whole life policy might be a nice gesture so that your burial expenses aren’t a burden to your children.

  6. justatron on June 12, 2008 at 5:41 am

    I used to be a life insurance agent, I would not (even when my commissions were on the line!) have recommended 8-10x income if you don’t have a huge amount of debt or dependents at home. I would recommend at least a small amount to cover final expenses, regardless of your savings. One thing to consider too is the potential for a long hospital stay prior to death. $10k would get you buried, but if you for instance are in a car accident and are in the hospital for two weeks before passing, you could rack up some hefty bills that I imagine you wouldn’t want passed on to the kids or sucking up all the savings you worked hard to put away.

    I would recommend probably $25k to maybe $40-50k depending on how you would qualify and how much you want to put toward it. Be careful with term too. I know Ramsey and the like hate whole life, but you don’t want to spend money for 20 or 30 year term, just to die a year after the policy expires. If you are healthy, you should be able to get a small amount of whole life for a reasonable amount of cash.

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