This is one of those questions that will elicit a wide range of answers. One expert will suggest that three months’ worth of expenses tucked away in an emergency fund will suffice. Another expert will scoff and say you need at least a year’s worth. So, really, how much should you have in your emergency fund?
I am an avid receipt-checker. People make mistakes all the time, and I would hate to fall victim to an overcharge. Taking the extra minute to scan your receipt can save you quite a bit of money.
I’ve read differing opinions about keeping a cushion in one’s bank account. Some people say they are very efficient budgeters and never need a buffer in their account. Others keep a month’s worth of expenses (or more!) in their checking account. I fall somewhere in the middle.
I believe everyone should keep a small buffer in their checking account. But why? And how much?
Mr. STS and I went through the life insurance-buying process a few months ago. Surprisingly, it was a much easier task than we thought it would be.
If you are not convinced that your family needs life insurance, be sure to read this post: 5 Reasons Why You Should Buy Life Insurance.
Okay, here we go! 5 Steps to Buying Life Insurance:
1. Visit Term4Sale.com
I have no financial relationship with Term4Sale. I am recommending it based on personal experience. The site is easy to navigate and gives you quotes to compare in minutes.
Type of insurance
How many years do you want this policy to cover? Or until what age? If you have other investments that you expect will one day cover all of your expenses, then you may want the insurance policy to lapse when that happens. Maybe you won’t need the policy after your house is paid off and children graduate college. Take a look at your personal situation and make an educated decision.
Amount of insurance
Do you want the policy to be able to pay off your house and send your kids to college? Do you need it to ensure your family can maintain the same type of lifestyle they have now? Do you still have student loans or other debts? Like choosing the length of your policy, the amount of insurance will vary from me to you.
Minimum company rating
We were comfortable with any company having an A- rating or better.
2. Choose a policy.
After you fill in the boxes and hit Compare Now, it takes you to a page filled with policy options from different companies. The premiums vary a bit depending on the company, but they all cover the same length and amount of your policy. You can choose the least expensive option and click More Info.
3. Choose an agent.
You can either call an agent listed on this page, or fill out the contact form and an agent will give you a call. The agent may send you a questionnaire to fill out. He may tell you about the experiences he has had with the insurance companies and give his recommendation. For example, Company A may not be as responsive as Company B, and Company C may be more strict with the health exam.
4. Health exam.
Once you have decided on a company, you will be set up with an appointment for a quick health exam. Our appointment took less than 15 minutes. A nurse will come out to your home and ask a few health-related questions and take blood and urine samples.
5. Insurance company decision
Over the next few weeks, the insurance company may require more information from you. They may want to communicate with your primary care physician. Once they cross their t’s and dot their i’s, they will either approve or deny your application for coverage. You may be approved for the exact type and amount of coverage, at the initial premium that you wanted. Or, based on your health information, the insurance company may approve you at a different rate.
Not too bad, huh? Life insurance premiums are very affordable. I think everyone family should have some sort of coverage in place. You may already have a policy through your employer. Make sure you understand its terms and decide whether it is enough for your family. If not, you can always purchase an additional policy at an inexpensive rate.
This isn’t a fun topic, but it is definitely a necessary one. The good news is that term life insurance (not WHOLE life!) isn’t as complicated as you might think.
Here are 5 reasons why you should buy life insurance:
This might seem like an odd question. You can never have too much in savings, right?