Ask Andy: Life Insurance - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Ask Andy: Life Insurance

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Andy has a fast formula for calculating your life insurance. Andy has a fast formula for calculating your life insurance.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Life insurance is all about one thing:  replacing income.

How much is not a hard-and-fast figure, considering we all have our own crazy life circumstances.

But Timothy J. Maurer, vice president of The Financial Consulate (www.FinancialConsulate.com) and contributor to consumer resource Bottom Line Secrets magazine, has a formula that can help you calculate an accurate ballpark figure:

* TOTAL UP YOUR DEBTS. Include your mortgage, car loans, credit card debt and college loans.

ADD YOUR KIDS' COLLEGE EXPENSES. Subtract any cash you've already saved toward college and any guaranteed financial aid.

* ADD $15,000 FOR YOUR FUNERAL EXPENSES.

Total those three steps, then set that figure aside for a second. Now do this:

* DIVIDE YOUR ANNUAL INCOME IN HALF, THEN MULTIPLY THAT FIGURE BY THE NUMBER OF YEARS LEFT UNTIL YOU RETIRE (MAXIMUM 20).

Add that figure to the total of the other three, and Maurer said you should have a number that represents how much life insurance you need to take care of your spouse/family.

My life insurance agent said his formula's simple:  10 TIMES YOUR ANNUAL INCOME. 

Add up the four steps above, and you should come pretty close. 

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