I read the “chance to do a work of mercy” from yesterday about the family that is now destitute due to the loss of a loved one and his income and I thought that I could probably help prevent that tragedy again.
I think I’ve told you before that I am in the life insurance/financial services/taking care of widows and orphans business so here is a PSA about buying life insurance.
Please, please, please make sure you have sufficient life insurance in place (particularly bread-winners but even spouses without income ought to have life insurance).  Get it from a mutual company (one owned by it’s policy owners not shareholders) so that the company’s long term interests are aligned with yours.
The best 4 companies from which to buy insurance (listed by financial strength and size not by price – it’s worth spending a few extra dollars per month to get a higher quality plan and company):
New York Life: www.newyorklife.com (the company I represent in CT, MA and NY)
Northwestern Mutual: www.northwesternmutual.com
Mass Mutual: www.massmutual.com
Guardian: www.guardianlife.com
The amount of death benefit will depend on what you need to protect but a simple formula is to take your current salary and multiply it by the number of years until your kids will be out of the house.  With a new baby my (personal) calculation looks like this:
I earn $xx,000/year x 22 years = approx. $1,500,000 – $2,000,000 of need
For the spouse that is staying home and not earning an income (although frequently working harder) the number should be at minimum 50% of the first number.
If budget is a challenge I recommend working with a professional who can help you layer products to provide enough protection while keeping the price within your budget.
If any reader is in CT, MA or NY I would be happy to help them out. 

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