When you buy life insurance, you want coverage that fits your needs. You should decide how much you need, for how long, and what you can afford to pay. Keep in mind the major reason you buy life insurance is to cover the financial effects of unexpected or untimely death. Life insurance also can be one of many ways you plan for the future.
To decide how much life insurance you need, figure out what your dependents would have if you were to die now, and what they would actually need. Your policy should come as close to making up the difference as you can afford.
In figuring this out, think of the income your dependents will need for family living expenses, educational costs, and any other future expenses. Think also of cash needs-for the expenses of a final illness, for paying taxes, mortgages, or other debts.
There are two basic kinds of life insurance: term insurance and cash value insurance. Term insurance generally has lower premiums in the early years, but does not buildup cash values that you can use in the future. You may combine cash value life insurance with term insurance for the period of your greatest need for life insurance to replace income.