Art and science are part of answering this question for yourself. One method is to ask yourself “What do I WANT to happen if I die right now?”

Things that could come to mind include:

  • Pay off the mortgage
  • Provide “X” years of my income to my spouse
  • Pay for college
  • Provide childcare for “X” years
  • Leave funds to my favorite charity

Once a person determines what they actually WANT to happen if they die, it becomes very easy to apply math to the questions and come up with your number.


  • Good health buys life insurance
  • It gets more expensive every day
  • Life insurance is a very effective way to provide money to your beneficiaries