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How much life insurance do I need?

From your income to your children’s future education, here’s what to consider when you buy life insurance.

Mother playing with baby

How much life insurance do I need? Is the life insurance I have through work enough? I bought life insurance a long time ago, do I need more now? These are common questions people have about life insurance, and the answers are different for everyone. As an individual, you have your own unique needs and dreams for the future, and you have your own unique family situation.

Who should get life insurance?

Figuring out how much life insurance you might need starts with looking at what and who you want to protect, and that often depends on what life stage you’re in.

  • If you’re newly married or a young parent, your income may be what you primarily need to protect. So if something happened to you, you could leave enough behind to help your spouse or family replace the lost income for a certain amount of time.
  • If your family is growing and you’ve purchased or upgraded your home, you may need to add additional coverage for some of your bigger assets. You might also be thinking about protecting your children’s future education needs.
  • If you’re going through a divorce, there are several factors to consider, especially if you have children.
  • If you’re nearing retirement, you may start thinking about what your spouse would need to live comfortably if they live longer than you.

How much life insurance do I need?

When looking to purchase life insurance, look at income, your family size, your home’s value, the debt you carry and any business you may own. If you have a family you’ll want to make sure that everything will be taken care of, from their basic costs like mortgage, taxes, food and clothing, to college in the future. What will your family need if you are no longer here to help support them? A simple way to determine the amount of life insurance needed is to multiply your current income by 10 to 15.

Is my current life insurance coverage enough?

Some people who have life insurance through work may assume that will be plenty for their family to live on – and that may be correct depending on your life stage. Other times the amount could fall short once you start to determine basic and future costs. Often, people will determine they need more than what an employer may provide.

What if I can’t afford more life insurance?

What if you’ve done an analysis of your needs, only to find out the premium isn’t something you’re able to afford right now? There are different life insurance options available, so it's a good idea to visit with a State Farm® agent to see what makes sense for you. Two options to consider are term and whole life. Then, as your income increases you can reassess the life insurance you have – especially if your liabilities have also changed.

Learn more about life insurance

Get a quote for term life insurance – if you are interested in additional life products, please contact a State Farm agent.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

State Farm Life Insurance Company (Not licensed in MA, NY or WI)
State Farm Life and Accident Assurance Company (Licensed in NY and WI)
Bloomington, IL



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