In this blog post, we will be going over the basics of everything you need in order to figure out how much life insurance you need (specifically for physicians, doctors, residents, medical students, and fellows!)
One of the most common questions that we get asked by physicians is "How much coverage do I actually need?"
And it is true that there are people out there who will sell you too little, and people who will sell you too much, and it’s not good to be in either situation.
The last thing you want to do is waste your money on too much coverage, or leave your dependents without enough.
When it comes to determining your needs there are multiple methods.
Some people like to take a more general approach, some people like to project things into the future, some like to add up specific costs in their lives and determine their needs that way.
When you’re thinking about how much coverage to get, there are a few things to consider.
1. How much will be needed to meet immediate obligations? If you were to pass away, do you have debts that need to be taken care of? What do your monthly expenses look like? Are there burial costs?
Think about the immediate needs and obligations that your loved ones that you leave behind may have to meet.
2. Consider how much future income is needed to sustain the household. How long will your children be in the house, and what do their costs look like?
So you need to consider how much is needed to sustain your household as if your income were still coming in, and how much future income is needed to fund education and retirement for your spouse.
Times Ten Rule
The easiest rule of thumb a lot of physicians use is the ten times rule, where they buy ten times their base salary or income because that will provide their family with about ten years’ worth of income.
In most cases, if your family has ten years’ worth of your income that’s going to get children closer to or out of the house, and it will allow for income adjustment to take place more slowly over time.
It’s a tried-and-true way of calculating basic coverage needs so it’s not a bad way to do it. It’s simple and can provide that peace of mind.
However, the times ten rule does not account for your current expenses or future expenses that can really alter the amount of coverage you need.
Things like medical school debt or college funds for your children can really change the amount of coverage you need.
So it is always best to base your coverage amount off of your specific needs. For a more accurate coverage estimate, fill out our life insurance quote request, where we account for some of the specifics to give you a more accurate number.
Another good method for finding the amount of coverage you need is called the DIME method. Which is Debt Income Mortgage and Education. Just know that if you’re doing it this way, it will take a bit more calculating.
So whether you use a very specific method like the DIME Rule or the more general Ten Times Rule, the important thing is to be thoughtful as you consider how much life insurance coverage you need.
In order to have peace of mind that you got the right policy and the right amount of coverage to protect your loved ones, get started with life insurance here.