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Military members and veterans have a unique set of needs when it comes to life insurance. While we have military benefits, such as SGLI and VGLI, oftentimes supplemental private insurance can provide an added layer of security and peace of mind.
Why SGLI & VGLI May Not Be Enough
SGLI typically expires 120 days after separation from service, and VGLI premiums increase over time. In addition, the maximum amount payable for SGLI and VGLI is $500,000 which may not be enough. That’s where private insurance can fill in the difference. Your insurance provider will help you come up with the best supplemental package to meet your military family’s needs.
Calculating Your Life Insurance Needs
Financial advisors suggest having seven to ten times your annual income. For example, if you’re an E-7 with a salary of around $58,000 you’ll want to make sure you have between $406,000 and $580,000 of coverage.
In addition, there are several other things to consider when choosing the right life insurance. Here are some factors that can directly affect how much life insurance you will need to prevent financial woes for your family:
Home ownership – How much do you still owe on your mortgage? If you don’t own a home, will your SGLI be enough to cover all your financial obligations as well as at least 12 months of rent for your family?
Number of dependents – Whether you have one child or several, your needs will change based on how many members of your family count on you for financial support.
Spouse – Do you have a spouse? Is he or she employed full-time, or do they work hard at home raising your family? Their financial situation will also be a factor when deciding what kind of policy you need.
Current finances – Car payments, credit card debt, existing installment loans, etc. should also be considered when deciding on the right life insurance policy.
Location – Living in Minneapolis, for example, is 62% less expensive than living in San Francisco. Factor in where your family lives and the cost of living in that area.