Term Life Insurance Basics

life-insurance-thumbnail-newA  look at this popular low cost life insurance product –

We’ve all seen the TV commercials—term life insurance for just a few dollars a month. While these
advertisements may be based on very favorable situations, the general premise is true. Term life insurance is the simplest and most inexpensive form of life insurance. And it can provide the peace of mind that comes from protecting your family at a very low cost. Even with its plain vanilla image it’s important to understand some of the basics before purchasing.

Term life insurance provides the largest immediate death benefit for the minimum premium dollar. When compared to traditional whole life policies, term life insurance is substantially cheaper. Its reasonable rates allow for the purchase of much larger coverage than can be afforded from permanent life insurance. Term insurance covers you for a specified period of time, usually  10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 year periods. As the name implies, term insurance is temporary, for a set period of time. Unlike universal or whole life insurance it does not accumulate cash value.

When planning for your family’s financial future it’s important to keep in mind that term life expires and it is possible to outlive your policy. If you’re looking for permanent insurance that builds cash value whole life insurance may be the answer for you. Term life insurance on the other hand is often referred to as pure insurance protection because it builds no cash value. Its primary purpose is to provide for the financial responsibilities of the insured in an affordable manner.

Determining How Much You Need

There are several methods used to calculate an individual’s need for life insurance. They include but are not limited to, rule of thumb, human life approach, and needs based approach.

Rule of Thumb

The most agreed upon rule of thumb is that an individual should be insured for about 10 times his or her annual salary. If the insured makes $50,000 a year, a policy in the amount of $500,000 would be appropriate. This is the simplest of all the methods for obvious reasons.

Human Life Approach

This method determines what your economic contribution to your family would be over your expected lifetime.

Needs Approach

The most comprehensive method. All upcoming expenditures are reviewed to determine the amount of insurance needed. Total assets are subtracted from the total financial obligations to determine the amount of life insurance needed. These obligations commonly include mortgage payments, future educational expenses, future income for family, funeral expenses, and more.


Without a doubt straight term offers the best bang for the buck of all the life insurance types. Combine that with the fact we’re living longer healthier lives and you’ve got a pretty attractive arrangement. The number of deaths in individuals age 25 to 44 has decreased significantly over the past ten years, resulting in individual life insurance premium price drops of 5 percent on average since 2000, according to the Insurance Information Institute, making term life insurance more affordable than ever.

Term life insurance may be one of the best deals in town, but it pays to shop around when looking for a term insurance quote. You’ll want to find a qualified agent that isn’t tied to just one single insurance company. This provides you with the ability to choose the most competitive rate from a number of high rated carriers. It is highly recommended that you choose an “A” rated company or higher. After all you’ll want your insurer to be around when you’re 20 years into your policy.

All information herein has been prepared solely for informational purposes. AMAC, Inc.,  does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only.



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Ted in NJ
4 years ago

I would have to agree with CL. Where in the article is the RELEVANCE?
As AMAC subscribers, we are typically an older demographic… Age 60ish…
If we were still 40ish, this would make some sense to read about.
It’s also kind of cute, how the lone advertiser at the bottom of the page is selling WHOLE life insurance, rather than Term life. ????

4 years ago

Please present information on the wisest insurance for an older, health person. The above refers to people from age 25-44. Is t AMAC an organization for the older, retired population. How about some relevance?! What typ of affordable life insurance is actually available for the 65 plus population.

Ivan Berry
4 years ago

While we were young and with small children, we “termed” and did not limit it to ten years. We were covered until the kids reached adult hood. No life insurance is needed at this point for anything. Assets will pay for our burials. The kids don’t have to dip into theirs. They even get richer when we are gone. It really helps to plan ahead.

4 years ago

I strongly agree with the previous comment. More relevant if you would give premium rates (or the link to where they may be found) for the over 70 crowd, of which I’m sure there are many in this organization.

Brian Williams
4 years ago

Looking for 5 or 10 year term life insurance or a group policy for 1-500,000 dollars.(life ins) e-mail is [email protected]

James Friddle
6 years ago

I am. With AARP. And was toll. To. Change to some one body or another company I am 62 years of age. My phone is 850-590-7721. Or. Mail me some papers. On it address is 312 woodville fl. 32362. If you can please let me here from you. Thank. You……

8 years ago

Remember that all Term is not the same, will they pay if you die on foreign soil, or from the result of a terrorist? Is there a policy fee charged to each person on the policy? With most whole life policies, you do NOT get BOTH insurance face amount AND cash value (that’s why it’s a cash SURRENDER policy). You can only borrow against any cash accumulation which won’t show for several years and gets you horrible interest rate. Better to save in the global economy and eventually become SELF INSURED.

8 years ago

Whole life insurance and all its variations are a big scam and benefit only
the insurance company and the agent who collects his share of each of your payments.

8 years ago

Whole life insurance is basically giving your money to the insurance company. You can borrow from your whole term (your money) but you have to pay interest and pay it back!

8 years ago

Universal and whole life insurance have lousy rates of return and when you die, the insurance company keeps the cash value part. Term insurance is temporary because it covers a person until they are financially secure and can self-insure. If you take the difference between term and universal or whole and invest it, you will be much better off than using whole or universal.

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