Quickly Calculate How Much Life Insurance You Need With The 20-20 Plan

Quickly Calculate How Much Life Insurance You Need With The 20-20 Plan

Life insurance is an easy thing to brush off. It seems like something you do later in life, and it also seems complicated. To get the ball rolling and make sure your loved ones are protected, financial planner Carl Richards suggests what he calls “the 20-20 plan”. Photo by Stephen DePolo.

There are lots of ways to calculate and consider just how much life insurance you need, but Richards argues that searching for a perfect life insurance plan often keeps people from coming up with one that’s good enough. He explains the first step in his plan, which is figuring out how much you need:

Take your salary and multiply it by 20. First, you have to decide how much life insurance to buy. This is where most people get stuck. You’re not going to get stuck. Just take your income and multiple it by 20. For example, let’s say your income is $50,000. Take $50,000 times 20 and you get $1 million. This is the amount of life insurance coverage you’ll buy. This goes a long way toward replacing the economic loss that will result if you’re no longer around.

From there, he suggests simply taking out a 20-year term policy for that plan. Richards says term life insurance is the cheapest, simplest policy you can buy, and as long as you pay your premiums, you’ll be insured for the full 20-year term and your premiums won’t increase.

It’s not a perfect plan, but it’s a good enough one to get started. And getting started is better than not having a plan at all. Check out his full post at the link below.

Life Insurance Made Easy [The New York Times]


  • This is an incredibly simplistic approach from someone who probably want’s to oversell you life insurance and earn a huge commission (or works for the insurance industry). This may have been reasonable in the 1950-60’s when hubby worked and wifey didn’t and would never be able to get a job.

    For starters you need to take into account your age and any liabilities.

    Don;t forget that most Australians have a minimum level of life insurance as part of their superannuation. If you did need to increase it, it is almost always more cost effective to increase your cover via your super.

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!