How Much Do I Need?

QUESTION: Shirley on Facebook wants to know if a single person with no dependents needs life insurance. Dave says you don’t need much.

ANSWER: You might need enough to bury you and pay your debts. Basically, you don’t want to leave somebody behind that you’re a burden to. Obviously, your funeral would be. Seven or eight thousand dollars would cover that in most cases. If you have some debts, it would be nice for those to be cleaned up.

Generally, if you have a health insurance policy, there’s a small life insurance policy built into that. If you work somewhere and buy your insurance through them, ask HR if there’s a small policy built into that. That may be enough to take care of you. You just don’t want Mom and Dad to have to write a check on the worst day of their lives.

No dependents is the key here. What we’re saying financially speaking is that no one is counting on you. If someone’s counting on you, that changes the whole equation.