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Ask Dave

Do Single Parents Need More?

We all need life insurance, but does a single parent need more than everyone else?

QUESTION: Dave answers an email about how much life insurance a single parent should keep on themselves.

ANSWER: About 52% of single parents live below the poverty level. You want your kids to live off a tenth of whatever you leave, so you should have 10 times your income in term life insurance. If you make $50,000 a year, you don’t want them to live off of $15,000. You want more than that. The cost difference between having a $250,000 policy and a $500,000 policy is almost nothing. You may want to beef it up. If you’re a single parent and making $100,000, then $1 million is plenty for the kids to live on. The answer is about your personal income. If you are underemployed or underearning, I’d say you want more than 10 times your income.