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Can't figure out how much life insurance to get

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  • Can't figure out how much life insurance to get


    I'm new to the site/ the WCI world and I need help.

    I'm in a dual physician couple with no kids. We are just starting our careers and I'm looking to get term life insurance pre-pregnancy while I'm at my "maximum health".
    I have no idea how much to get.

    No one depends on my income as of now. Should I get as much I think I may need down the line, assuming 1-2 kids? Should I get 1/2 of that and my spouse be insured for the other 1/2? Should I get a small amount now with plan to add more later so I can keep costs down and pay as much student debt as possible? Is it like disability insurance where I can use a future purchase option and sort of freeze my insurability?

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    What's your typical spending like and do you live in a HCOL area? Personally, I came around to about how much to get by taking our house value, potential rough education costs of future children, and something in the neighborhood of 5-10 years of spending. That let me know that my wife would easily have a paid off house, education costs covered, as well as a significant cash cushion in addition to our investments. That ended up being an amount that I felt was appropriate for us. This may be different for you. The good news is that term life insurance is typically fairly cheap so even getting a bit more than you need won't delay you paying of your student loans.


    • #3
      Or 1MM.



      • #4
        I think it is reasonable to lock in a cheap long term term insurance policy. Additional policies can be stacked on a needs change. Or you can let police lapse as the family savings goes down.

        but don’t let the fear of insurability lead you to purchase a huge expensive policy now.


        • #5
          Who knows? With all due respect, if you want this level of specificity, you need to work on a financial plan.
          Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087


          • #6
            Agree with above. I don't think you need a large and expensive policy. However even a small one can ease difficult life transitions, allow your spouse not to work for a few years and figure things out. My wife and I both have 1MM, 20 year term policies for around $30/mo just for this reason. Could try for a larger 2-3MM policy once you have kids but I think for high earners 20 year policies seem good enough and no need for the much more expensive 30 year term.


            • #7
              You can’t calculate a future unknown. Dual physician complicates this, because the loss of income is not near as drastic with no current children.
              How much do each of you need currently?
              $0-$3m , I tell my spouse lean to the zero since it’s cheaper and I don’t have a bounty hanging over me! Many paths but no right answers. I might consider paying off joint liabilities for a clean slate as a starting point. Best info available.


              • #8
                I think the Dual physician couple gives you more leverage than say only one working spouse. (i.e. kids aren't going to go hungry if one of you dies).


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jack_Sparrow View Post
                  I think the Dual physician couple gives you more leverage than say only one working spouse. (i.e. kids aren't going to go hungry if one of you dies).
                  Except the fall in income is more dramatic, especially if the other spouse needs to take off to take care of or spend time with the dying spouse. More reason to live within one's means and not keep up with the joneses.