By InsWeb, Project Wedding Sponsor
Approximately 2.3 million couples get married each year, with most couples exchanging vows during wedding season in June, July and August (U.S. Census Bureau). But what if "until death do us part" became an unfortunate reality? If you're getting married this summer, term life insurance is an affordable way to protect your loved ones.
Understand Your Life Insurance Needs
One's own understanding of life's priorities and their devotion to the people around them is profoundly clear. To love someone with such purpose is to accept responsibility for their well being. For the newly married couple, this is obviously the spouse and any children, and for the parents of the bride, perhaps this is the entire family. But what would those people do if something were to happen to you? The "what if" explains why marriage is an important time to review your needs for life insurance protection.
How Can Newlyweds Save on Term Life Insurance?
Securing adequate coverage while you're young and healthy is a wise financial decision. Locking in low rates when you pose a minimal risk to the insurance carrier is the way to go. For example, term life insurance rates for a healthy 25-year-old will likely be far less expensive than for a healthy 50-year-old, so it pays to secure coverage as early as possible.
The median age for a first marriage is 26.8 for males and 25.1 for females. If you're a 20-something newlywed in good health, now is the perfect time to shop for term life insurance.
Newlyweds and Life Insurance Coverage
Most newlywed couples do not need extremely high levels of life insurance coverage; however, securing extra coverage at a younger age is a sound financial decision. As you begin to purchase things together (such as a house) and acquire debt, it is important to make sure you are adequately covered in the event of a catastrophe. Many find it easy to pay their mortgage when they are part of a two-income household, but those same people could find themselves in a financial pinch if something were to happen to their partner and they had to survive on their income alone.
How Much Term Life Insurance Coverage Do You Need?
In any event, you should have enough life insurance to enable your surviving family members to maintain their current lifestyle. They should be left financially secure until they can comfortably provide for themselves.
Term life insurance is the most affordable and cost-effective life insurance protection available. The purpose of life insurance is to "indemnify" (replace financial loss), and what most people should be looking for is income replacement for their beneficiaries. Independent financial planners recommend purchasing an amount of coverage equal to 6-10 times your annual gross income.
As your marriage happily continues into your golden years, you should review your life insurance policy at least every three years, if not more often. Rates may be lower, and your circumstances may have changed, necessitating a change in your protection. If you are replacing a policy, make sure you allow enough time to get your new policy in place so coverages won't overlap or lapse.
Image courtesy: Geoff White Photography