At Life Ant, we strongly recommend to most families that they opt to buy life insurance coverage for both partners in a marriage. While the need for life insurance may not seem important, especially to the young and healthy, accidents and tragedies, unfortunately, do occur. In the event of the death of a husband or wife, financial pressures can certainly add up for a family (even if the deceased was not working).  This is why life insurance is crucial.

Take the stay-at-home-mom for example, if your wife did not have a traditional job and decided to watch the kids at home every day instead of pursuing a career, she still has “economic value.” In the event of her passing, you would still need to find somebody to watch the kids, drive them to school, go grocery shopping, prepare meals, run errands, do basic housekeeping, etc. in the event of her passing. Those expenses can certainly add up over time. The surviving member of the marriage may also have to take time off work and make different career decisions that he/she would normally not be forced to make. Could you really afford to not have him/her around?

If the deceased was the “breadwinner” of the family, the need for life insurance becomes more obvious. How much income would your husband/wife need in order to take care of your family if you were not around?

Remember – life insurance is there to fill the need for protection. In the unfortunate event that your spouse was to disappear tomorrow, would you be protected from the financial burden than the loss of the sole income of the family produces? Unless you have a fortune sitting in your bank account, the answer is most likely “NO!”.  This is why having life insurance is so important.  While you will never be able to replace your spouse, life insurance will certainly help to replace his/her financial contribution.

How Much Life Insurance Should You Purchase For Your Spouse?

If you are looking to purchase life insurance for your non-working spouse, this kind of insurance is designed to cover the contingent cost of him/her not working in the future. As mentioned above, these costs may or may not include childcare, transportation, shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc. To get a rough idea of how much life insurance you should purchase for a non-working spouse, subtract the age of your youngest child from 18 and then multiply that number by your estimated contingent cost.

If you are looking to purchase life insurance for a working spouse, the amount of coverage will obviously be much greater. This life insurance benefit would ideally be used to pay off debts such as student loans, car loans, and mortgages, and also cover living expenses for at least a few years after his/her passing.

In order to figure out how much life insurance coverage you should purchase, you could go by the “rule of thumb” and by the industry recommended amount of 5-10 times the income of the sole income earner. Remember to also carry enough coverage in order to cover funeral expenses, and any debts tied to his/her name.

How Much Does Life Insurance Coverage For My Spouse Cost?

Term life insurance is the recommended type of insurance for income replacement.   You could purchase a term policy that will cover you or your spouse until your retirement and/or your kids’ college graduation.

Assuming there are no major health issues in the family, the cost of purchasing term life insurance for both spouses in a marriage should be relatively affordable. To get an idea of how much it will cost, let me give you an example – A healthy 35-year-old non-smoker can usually obtain a 20-year policy worth $250,000 for around $20 to $30 per month. Depending on you and your family’s needs, a policy such as this one should prove to be more than sufficient.

Although you obviously hope to never need to use life insurance, its certainly beneficial to those left mourning. Because it is not only convenient and affordable but also a sound financial decision, buying a life insurance policy for both you and your spouse is strongly recommended.

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