Life insurance isn’t for those who have died—it’s for those who are left behind. When shopping for life insurance, consider needs such as replacing income so your family can maintain its standard of living, as well as paying for your funeral and estate costs. As a rule of thumb, you should seek coverage between five and seven times your gross annual income. As far as the various types of policies go, they can generally be placed into one of two categories: Term and Permanent.

Term insurance generally provides coverage for a specified period of time and pays out a specified amount of coverage to your beneficiary only if you die within that time period. You pay the same amount of premium from the first day of the policy until the term ends. Permanent insurance, on the other hand, does not need to be renewed. A permanent insurance policy will stay permanently in effect for the rest of your life so long as premiums continue to be paid.

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