How much life insurance do I need Dave Ramsey

Do you want to know what Dave Ramsey says about the question, how much life insurance do I need? Dave Ramsey recommends getting the coverage that is 10-12 times your yearly income. The reason for 10-12 times of annual income is that the life insurance substitutes your income if you face a demise and helps your loving ones to make their living in your absence.

Insurance agent

Why to have life insurance?

Before moving towards the coverage of a life insurance policy, first, you should know the importance of life insurance for you and your family. The biggest fear of a person who is having a family and dependents is to see them suffering because of financial issues in his absence.

So, if a person has an awareness that what is life insurance and how does life insurance work, he can certainly save his family from the sufferings of the financial crisis.

Because life insurance offers a handsome coverage for the beneficiaries of the policyholder if he meets an accidental demise. Life insurance can help the policyholder in the following ways:

  • Supports the parents if they are old and dependent on the insured

  • It helps the family of policyholder in certain ways

  • Helps in completing the studies of children

  • Makes the living possible if he has younger kids

  • Assists in paying the loans or taxes

  • Helps to maintain the living if there are handicap dependents

  • Helps the spouse of the policyholder if he/she was dependent on the policyholder

  • Supports the parents if they are old and dependent on the insured

Life insurance provides reasonable face value to the beneficiaries of the policyholder when he dies. That death benefit helps them to maintain their living in the absence of financial supporters.

See also
What is an insurance premium?
How does life insurance work?
What is spouse supplemental life insurance?

Is life insurance worth it?

  • All the above details can provide a sufficient answer to one who thinks that is life insurance worth it? Yes, it’s definitely worth it if you have loving ones that look at you for their needs.

  • If you leave a death benefit for them, it will help them in the above-mentioned ways and they won’t suffer from poor living conditions.

  • If you can’t afford relatively high premiums for a permanent life insurance policy, you can go for an easy way, which is a term life insurance policy.

What is term life insurance and how it works?

Now a lot of questions arise in the mind of a person who doesn’t know that what is term life insurance and how does it work? Term life insurance offers coverage for a specific duration, and the duration can range from 1 year to 30 years.

  • It includes the low premiums that can easily be afforded by a person with a tight income and can serve in the times of need.
  • However, premiums have to be paid regularly to keep the policy in force.

Life insurance, safe future

How much life insurance do I need?

It has been clear that how can life insurance serve and what are the benefits of an insurance policy. The next step is an estimation of the amount of a policy as everyone wonders how much life insurance do I need to be enough for supporting my family when I’m not with them?

Generally speaking, life insurance coverage should be reasonable enough to maintain the living of the family. Experts suggest that the coverage should be 10-15 times the annual expenses of the family of an insured.

It can also be calculated by the annual income of the policyholder, as the coverage must be 8-12 times the annual income of an insured. However, several miscellaneous factors also take part in determining the coverage amount. These factors include:

  • Expenses of family
  • Future goals e.g. marriage or study of children
  • A mortgage loan or personal debt
  • Volatile expenses e.g. automobile or house maintenance

See also
What is whole life insurance?
What is supplemental life insurance?
How does decreasing term insurance work?

Types of deaths covered by life insurance

The life insurance policy covers the deaths of several types especially that of natural causes. However, it doesn’t cover certain types of deaths that are previously mentioned in the policy. For example, one may wonder that does life insurance cover suicide? Either it covers a suicide or not, is mentioned below. Here are the types of death that are covered by the life insurance policy:

Type of death Coverage
Natural death :white_check_mark:
Death due to lethal disease :white_check_mark:
Accidental death :white_check_mark:
Death due to natural calamity :white_check_mark:

Suicidal death is covered by some companies while most of the insurance companies don’t provide coverage in case of suicidal death. So, it’s an in-between case, may be covered or maybe not. The same is the case with sexually transmitted diseases.

Now, there is a list of deaths that are not covered in a life insurance policy:

Type of death Coverage
Self-inflicted death :x:
Homicidal death :x:
Death due to criminal activities :x:
Death due to drug overdose :x:

Dave Ramsey regarding coverage of insurance

  • Dave Ramsey recommends the coverage that is 10-12 times the annual salary of a policyholder.
  • The reason for this amount is that the insurance coverage will not only cover one or two years of the family of the policyholder. It may be needed for years in the absence of a supporter.

  • If the policyholder is the only supporter of his family and has dependents who can’t survive without the financial aid, he should surely be concerned that how much life insurance do I need, to provide the family with the needs of life.

  • So, keeping in view all the details, 10-12 times the annual income is quite a reasonable amount, as it will substitute the income of the policyholder when he dies.

Cons of permanent life insurance:

Dave Ramsey recommends the term life insurance instead of permanent life insurance, because for the following reasons:

  • Permanent life insurance offers high premiums to invest in the cash-value account

  • Money is stuck in the investment account

  • The cash-value account may decline if the stock market is not going well, such as indexed universal life insurance

  • An increase or decrease in the amount o cash-value is uncertain in a universal life insurance policy, depending upon the mutual funds or bond market

Pros of term life insurance:

While in term life insurance, as per the recommendation of Dave Ramsey, 15-20 years term, the face-value is available when a policyholder needs it most. Moreover, term life insurance has certain other benefits over permanent insurance:

  • Premium rates are low, hence affordable for younger people who don’t earn much

  • The policy is flexible and convertible to the other type when a policyholder is able to afford it

  • If you have younger children, 15-20 years policy will help them when they need it most, such as for education or marriage

  • You can make a separate investment instead of investing in the policy

See also

How much term life insurance do I need?
Is whole life insurance worth it?
Is life insurance taxable?

Insurance company

What does a life insurance policy cover?

  • If a policyholder has a life insurance coverage of 10-15 times his annual income, he will provide 10-15 times more money than his annual provision to his family when he faces a demise.

  • This money will be enough to cover the household, utility bills, some minor loans, academic expenses, and so on in the absence of a financial supporter.

  • Here is an example for a better understanding:

Suppose you are a company worker and you buy a life insurance policy but confused about the coverage selection for the policy. Here is a plan for you to calculate the needed coverage:

1. Annual income

  • Suppose your annual income is $50,000 and you know that increments are available in the company, which may be up to $5000, include it in the annual salary.

  • Now, multiply the total amount by 10 or 15, which you feel more comfortable with.

  • By multiplying with factor 10, you will get $550,000, which will be the required death benefit.

Annual income

2. Dependent family

  • If you have younger children, that are completely dependent upon you, you have to secure their future to save them from suffering. For example, if the age of children lies between 4-7 years, they will remain dependent for the next 15 to 18 years.

  • If your children are dependent upon you, it doesn’t just mean that they need academic support or just household expense. They are relying on their parents for their medical bills and other miscellaneous needs.

  • This is the reason for the coverage of 10-12 times the annual income of the parent, so that it may provide financial help until they become independent and don’t need parenteral support anymore.

3. ■■■■■■■ and burial expenses

  • If you are not rich enough that your family can afford your burial and ■■■■■■■ expenses, it would be better to acquire burial insurance or life insurance with enough coverage to cover these expenses.

  • However, if you don’t want to buy an insurance policy for a ■■■■■■■, you can make a separate investment, for example, a mutual fund, so that your invested money can expand enough to provide you a decent ■■■■■■■ that costs about $ 10,000 on average.

4. At-home spouse or parents

Stay-at-home parents or spouses are wearing so many hats. They perform the job of cook, dry cleaner, maid, driver, and caretaker altogether. If something happens to them, you have to pay for each job separately. So, all these expenses should be kept in mind while deciding or calculating the coverage for life insurance.

Family at home

Coverage of life insurance is decided according to the dependents, future plans, burial, or ■■■■■■■ expenses. However, 10-15 times the annual income of policyholders is sufficient coverage.

Frequently asked questions

Life insurance is such a vast topic that there are unlimited questions related to it. In addition to the above-mentioned details, here are the answers to some questions frequently asked by people:

1. What is the cost of 10-year term life insurance?

The cost of insurance for a term life insurance policy varies depending upon the age of the policyholder, gender, policy term, and the insurance company. However, for a 10-year term, the cost of insurance according to gender is given below:

Age Cost per month for male Cost per month for female
30 $14.20 $12.05
35 $15.92 $14.18
40 $23.09 $21.65
45 $34.55 $28.51
50 $53.47 $43.15
55 $85.73 $66.52
60 $154.52 $113.22
65 $238.95 $194.23

2. What is the difference between universal life insurance and term life insurance?

Universal life insurance: Universal life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance that offers coverage for the lifetime of a policyholder without expiry. When the policyholder dies, the insurance company pays the death benefit to his beneficiary.

Term life insurance: As the name indicates, term life insurance covers a specific term of the policyholder’s life, ranging from 1 to 30 years. If the beneficiary dies during the term, the company pays the face value to his beneficiary.

3. How does group term life insurance work?

Group term life insurance is a type of term insurance policy that is provided to a group of individuals instead of separate individuals. Companies and organizations buy this policy to offer coverage to a bunch of employees.

The master contract of an insurance policy is kept by the owner of the company and the employees are given a certificate, as proof of insurance policy. Policy premiums for group term life insurance are completely or partially paid by the company.

4. How does disability insurance work?

Disability insurance is a form of insurance policy that offers coverage during the times when the worker is unable to work because of some kind of disability.

Different insurance companies offer different types of disability insurance. Every organization and the kind of disability insurance have various rules regarding the types of disability and the amount of coverage that will be provided.

5. Why permanent insurance is costly?

Premiums for permanent life insurance, such as variable life insurance, whole life insurance, or universal life insurance are much higher than that of term insurance.

Reasons for high premiums are the investment accounts that are associated with permanent insurance. A cash-value plan is a kind of investment account that grows because of accumulated interest.


  • How much term insurance do I need? This question is answered by Dave Ramsey, who is America’s voice of money, that the term insurance coverage should be 10-15 times the annual income of a policyholder.
  • That much coverage is enough to fulfill the financial needs of the dependents of the policyholder when he dies.
  1. What Is Life Insurance? - Ramsey.
  2. How much will life insurance cost me? - Ultimate Guide to Retirement
  4. Term Life Insurance: What It Is, Different Types, Pros and Cons
  5. How Much Does 10-Year Term Life Insurance Cost? - Quotacy

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