The Couple’s Guide to Life Insurance

counting my money

If you’re married or engaged, learning to share your personal finances is part of the experience of sharing your lives.

Being in a serious relationship usually means you not only depend on each other for emotional support, but financial support as well. If you’re sharing a mortgage or a rent payment, if you have a joint checking account, or if the two of you are planning for the future together and aligning your saving goals and spending priorities, then you also need to think about buying life insurance as part of your financial goals.

No one likes to think about death and dying, and most of us don’t feel as though we’ll die at a young age, but you really never know when it can happen. Any happy couple can be separated by an untimely accident or illness. What if one of you was to pass away? With your loved one’s passing comes not only the grief of their death, but the danger of your current lifestyle vanishing. Without that other person’s income to help pay the bills, you might find yourself slipping into financial peril.

This is why life insurance is so important, for couples of all ages. Buying life insurance gives you the ability to plan for the most catastrophic loss of all – the untimely death of your life partner. If you own a life insurance policy, your surviving loved ones will receive a significant amount of money that can help them pay the bills and move forward with life in financial comfort.

Many people are reluctant to research life insurance, or don’t know where to go for help. Life insurance can often sound like a rather bland, boring, and downright confusing topic if you’re not an expert in the field. So here are a few quick basic questions and answers that any couple should know about life insurance:

What kind of life insurance is best, term life insurance or whole life insurance?

In general, we recommend that people buy term life insurance. Term life insurance is offered for a specific “term” of years – for example, 10 years, 20 years or 30 years. That means if you buy a 30 year term life insurance policy at age 30, you will be covered until you are 60 years old – if you die at any time during the term, your family will receive the benefits of the policy. Whole life insurance can be useful for some specific situations, but most people will get a higher amount of coverage at a cheaper price if they buy term life insurance.

How much does life insurance cost?

It depends on the term, the amount of coverage, and the health of the person being covered. For example, if you’re 25 years old, in good health, a non-smoker, and you want $250,000 of coverage for a 20-year-term, you might only have to pay $30 a month (or less). If you want more coverage, for example, a $500,000 payout, or a longer 30-year term, the cost of the insurance will increase accordingly.

How much life insurance coverage do I need?

This is a hard question to answer because every person’s financial situation is different. In general, a rule of thumb is that you should have term life insurance coverage that is at least 5 times your annual salary. For example, if you earn $50,000 a year, you should buy a $250,000 term life insurance policy. However, if you need to provide for a large family, you might want to buy more. If you have young children, you might want to buy more life insurance with a long enough term to cover your family until your kids are fully grown. It all depends on your present-day income and long-range goals.

Should I get life insurance for my stay-at-home spouse?

If you are in a one-income household where only one spouse works outside the home, you should still buy life insurance for both spouses. The reason is, even if your non-income earning spouse were to die, there would still be expenses involved with replacing the unpaid labor that he/she provides for the household. If you have a stay-at-home mom raising the kids, or a stay-at-home dad doing chores around the house, you would need to hire someone else to provide child care or do the other work that is being done by the stay-at-home spouse.

Buying life insurance is not always “fun” but it’s a necessary part of strengthening your financial relationship with your partner. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever before to find affordable term life insurance that can fit the needs of any couple, at any stage of life.

About is one of the top 10 life insurance brokerages in America. We help people find the right life insurance policy at the right price – often saving up to 75% on the cost of life insurance premiums.

We work with several major life insurance companies, but we are independent in making recommendations – we always work on the customer’s behalf to make sure that our customers get the best deal. Talk to the expert advisers at for a free quote on term life insurance.


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