Life Insurance - How Much Do You Need?


Life Insurance - How Much Do You Need?

Few things in life are as personal as your life insurance needs.  Having the right amount of life insurance depends on a variety of factors, including the size of your family, how much you owe, how long you’ve been working, and your goals in life.

When you are young, your needs may be small, but as you mature and take on the responsibilities of family and a career, the importance of life insurance grows significantly.

Life Insurance Questions that Matter

In the event of your death…

Including funeral expenses, bills, and debts, what financial expenses would your family be responsible for?

How long would your family need financial support?

How does your salary contribute to your family’s expenses and future needs?

What would you like to leave behind for your children’s education, an inheritance, or donations to charity?

Do you have other assets, including other insurance policies?


Types of Life Insurance Policy

When it comes to life insurance, there are two basic types: Term Life and Permanent Life.    

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance only provides protection for a specific number of years.  Your beneficiary receives the benefit if you die while the policy is in effect.  If you live to see the policy reach its end date, the policy either terminates or renews for a new period (depending on the specifics of your policy).

A term policy might be written for a period of 1 to 30 years.  It might renew until age 95.  Guaranteed Level Term Insurance is a popular type of term coverage and provides for level premiums and coverage during the policy period.

Permanent Life Insurance

Permanent insurance, also known as Cash Value Life, provides a lifetime of protection.  As long as you pay the premium, your protection remains in force, regardless of your health. 

A key difference of permanent life insurance is that as premiums are paid, a part of each payment is placed in a cash-value account.  At the start of the policy, the cash-value portion is a large portion of each payment.  Later, as you age, the amount devoted to insurance coverage increases and the amount put toward increasing the cash value decreases. 

As long as the policy is in force, the cash value not only continues to grow, it is tax deferred*.  You can even borrow against the cash value; however, unpaid policy loans will affect available benefits in the event of your death. If you cancel the policy during your lifetime, you will be entitled to the cash value, less any loans and minus surrender charges.

Fill out the form below or call 845.336.4444 at ext. 3166 or 3126 to schedule a no cost/no obligation appointment with one of our representatives.






Cash-Value Life Insurance Policies Include:

Whole Life Insurance.  With whole life, equal premium payments are generally made for life.  Death benefits are pre-determined and cash value guaranteed, based on the issuing insurance company’s ability to pay claims.  You simply pay the fixed premium on a set schedule.

Universal Life Insurance.  Subject to certain limits, premiums for universal life may be paid in any amount and at any time (as long as policy expenses and the cost of coverage are met).  The cash value grows at a declared (but variable) interest rate, and the amount of insurance coverage can be changed as needed.

Indexed Universal Life.  Under indexed universal life, excess interest is credited to cash values.  Interest credited in this way is tied to the performance of an equity index - the S&P 500 for example.

Variable Life Insurance.  Similar to whole life, a level premium is paid for life.  In this case, however, both death benefits and cash value can change depending upon the value of investments in “subaccounts.”  A subaccount represents professionally managed investor funds with an investment objective.  These subaccounts in which cash value will be invested are selected by you.

Variable Universal Life.  This policy is a combination of variable life and universal insurance.  Subject to certain limits, you may pay your premiums at any time and in any amount (as long as policy expenses and the cost of coverage are met).  The cash value varies according to the performance of investments in the subaccounts, and the level of insurance coverage can be changed over time.



Your Beneficiary - What You Need to Know

Whenever you get life insurance, you name a primary beneficiary who will receive the benefits of the policy in the event of your death.  A life insurance beneficiary may be a person, a corporation, or some other legal entity.

You may also have multiple beneficiaries and decide what percentage of the death benefit goes to each. 

Even a minor child can be named as a beneficiary, in which case you should designate an adult in your will as the child’s guardian.

Review your Insurance Coverage

Whatever life insurance policy you choose today, keep in mind that your insurance needs will change over the years.  It is a good idea to review your coverage over time to make sure that your financial needs and those of your family are well protected.

Need help deciding which form of insurance is best for you and your family?

At the MHV Investment & Retirement Center, our insurance professionals are ready to help you choose the right insurance at the right price. Call us at 845-336-4444, ext 3166 or 3126, or email us at



*Consult a tax advisor for additional information.

Securities sold, advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), member FINRA/SIPC, a registered broker/dealer and investment advisor. CBSI is under contract with the financial institution to make securities available to members.

Not NCUA/NCUSIF/FDIC insured, May Lose Value, No Financial Institution Guarantee. Not a deposit of any financial institution.