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Is It Time to Re-evaluate Your Life Insurance?

The recent upsurge in life insurance sales suggests that Americans are re-evaluating their insurance needs, and recognizing the importance of a good insurance policy to protect their loved ones.

So how do you know whether or not it's time to change your life insurance policy? Are you under-insured? Over-insured?

There are 5 major life events that will determine the importance of, and amount of, life insurance that you need, including:

  • Marriage - If you are the main breadwinner for your family, or just important enough that your sudden hospitalization and/or death could leave your spouse unable to pay the bills, you'll want to establish a life insurance policy. Keep monthly expenses in mind, as well as your income and that of your spouse when choosing the policy you want.
  • Purchasing a Home, or amassing Debts - If you've finally purchased your dream home, you'll want to get enough life insurance that your spouse won't lose the home if you should pass away. If you have debts to pay off, including credit card debts, loans, and car payments, try to choose a life insurance policy that will relieve the burden of paying for these things on a single income.
  • Children or other Dependents - Whether it's diapers, childcare, school clothes or college loans, your children rely on you for their financial wellbeing. When planning for the protection of your children and/or dependents, keep in mind how old they are and how long they'll need your life insurance benefits to get by. Younger kids will require more help than older ones, unless you want to leave a substantial amount for college. Likewise, aging parents might need your life insurance benefits to pay for long term care in their later years.
  • Career Changes - If you make more money today than you did when you purchased your life insurance policy, then you'll need to re-evaluate your coverage. Your new lifestyle will likely be reflected in your monthly expenditures, and you'll want to protect your loved ones if you should pass away suddenly.
  • Retirement - Are you planning to retire soon with a big lump of cash squirreled away? If so you might not need as much life insurance as you had previously carried. On the other hand, if you're concerned that your spouse won't be able to retire on the income you've got, then a good policy will protect him or her in their later years.

It's a good idea to speak with your insurance broker every 3 years or so about your life insurance policy and your changing needs. This way you'll always be prepared should the worst happen, and your loved ones be left behind without the financial means to support themselves.