How Much Life Insurance do I Need?
We calculated your life insurance needs as the additional amount you would need today to pay off your debts and cover your expenses for the number of years that you entered. We assume that you will immediately set aside any amounts needed to pay off your mortgage or for college or special needs and that those amounts will not be available to cover other expenses, nor will they generate investment returns.
We included social security income that you entered, and we increased that amount annually for inflation. We calculated annual inflation adjustments for your spouse's income and any other monthly income.
If you have a pension that covers your spouse, we asked if the pension amount would be increased each year to reflect inflation. Depending on your answer, we automatically included your estimated annual pension amount as part of your family's income.
We then calculated, year by year, the balance in your investment and cash accounts based on your expected rate of return, family income, and expenses (after adjusting for inflation). After the last year you wish to provide for, the balance of your cash and investments should be approximately zero. A large positive balance indicates that there is no need for insurance.