Calculate How Much Life Insurance You Need
This calculator will answer your question how much life insurance you need.
In order to provide accurate results our calculator takes into account your assets, expenses (including the future ones), income and taxes altogether, and adds to the calculations the inflation rate and the expected rate of return on your investments. The resulting report will show you in details how all of these factors affect your insurance needs.
Explanation of the fields that need to be filled in:
- Current life insurance coverage
The amount of life insurance if you already have such.
- Years insurance must last
The number of years your beneficiary will need to use the payment from your insurance to provide for their living expenses.
- Inflation rate
The current long-term average of the inflation rate is about 3%.
Why you need this number? Your expenses will increase annually by this rate and the income from the life insurance policy should reflect that.
- Return on investments
This is the annually compounded rate of return that you expect from your investments.
It is important to understand that this rate depends on what types of investments you make and cannot be predicted with certainty. The actual rate will not only vary through the years but also you may lose the principal on your investment.
- Income tax rate
This tax rate only affects the income from your investments. You should enter your other income and expenses on an after-tax basis.
- Cash and savings
Calculate this amount by adding all your cash, saving accounts, and any other account you may use to cover expenses when needed.
- Home equity
Fill in only the amount of equity in your home that is available to use it toward your living expenses when needed.
Fill in only the amount of your investments that you can use toward your living expenses when needed.
The value of your other assets that you can sell or liquidate when needed.
- Taxes on assets
Estate or inheritance taxes that need to be paid at death.
- Probate costs
The fees and costs that will be incurred in the probate process (the legal processing of your will).
- Funeral costs
The costs required to cover the funeral.
- Uninsured medical costs
The medical costs that your medical insurance does not cover.
- Debt repayment
Any debt you wish to repay if you were to die (this may include auto loans, credit card debt, mortgage, and etc.).
- College fund for children
If you want to provide for your children's education in a college, fill in the desired amount here.
- Other expenses
Total amount of all other items that you want to pay with your life insurance proceeds.
- Social Security child benefits
Your children may qualify for Social Security benefits. If this is so fill in the monthly amount, the year to start and the duration of the benefits. A surviving child's Social Security benefit usually continues till the child turns 18.
- Social Security survivor benefits
If your family qualifies for Social Security benefits fill in the monthly amount, the year to start and the duration of the benefits. Have in mind that usually Social Security benefits for the widow/widower last till your youngest child turns age 16. After that they may be available again when the widow/widower turns 60.
- Spouse income from work
Fill in the income that your spouse is expected to receive after your death. You may adjust the starting year if some education or retraining is required before your spouse begins to receive such income.
- Other income
If your family will receive other monthly income after your death, fill it in here.
- Child care expenses
The monthly expenses for childcare.
- Children's education expenses
Fill in the monthly expenses for the education of your children. Leave the college expenses out – they should be filled in in the college fund field in the total expenses at death section.
- Living expenses with children at home
This number should reflect the monthly expenses (except child care) while your children live at home.
- Living expenses with children gone
This number should reflect all monthly expenses when your children no longer live at home.
- Retraining and education
This is for your spouse. If he or she needs some education or retraining to re-enter the workforce, fill in the required monthly amount.
- Other expenses
Any other monthly expenses that were not included above.
For a detailed guide on what criteria you should include to determine your life insurance needs, read the Q&A How much life insurance do I need?.