If you’re like me, you’ve probably stashed your life insurance policies in a drawer, filing cabinet, or safe deposit box where they’ve been gathering dust. But it’s a good rule of thumb to review these policies periodically to make sure they still meet your needs. If not, you might adjust your coverage. Use the following checklist of major “life events” that may have happened to you over the past year.
- Birth, death, or disability in the family
- Marriage, divorce, separation
- Purchase or sale of a principal residence, vacation home, or other real estate property
- Your child completed college or graduate school
- You acquired property as a joint tenant.
- Job change, retirement, or a new business
- Significant economic change affecting your business operation
- Potential beneficiary change of your life insurance policies due to a change in circumstances
- Financial responsibilities for an elderly or disabled relative
- Home paid off
Remember, it’s your current and future circumstances that are the critical factors—not how things were last year or several years before. And don’t forget to review all of your life insurance policies, including any group coverage that your employer (and your spouse’s employer) might be providing. As your financial those obligations grow, so does your need to acquire more coverage.
Best approach: Assess your life insurance needs at regular intervals. You may want to do so at the start of a new year or on some other “anniversary” date. In any event, don’t let too much time go by without a regular check-up.