How much life insurance do you have on yourself?

The annual benefits enrollment thread had me curious on this. How much life insurance do you have on yourself?

  • $0
  • Free level at work (~2-3x salary)
  • Something beyond what’s free, but still < $1M
  • $1 - 1.9M
  • $2 - 2.9M
  • $3 - 4.9M
  • $5 - 9.9M
  • $10M+

0 voters

no dependents means not really a point in having life insurance.


My spiel on life insurance is that most people have either way too much or nowhere near enough.

If you’re a near-ASA/ACAS in your late twenties with a baby on the way you might need $2,000,000.

If you’re a FSA/FCAS in your late 50s and an empty-nester you might only need $10,000 for burial insurance.

Yet the first person likely has the 2x annual salary their employer provides and the second probably has the $2,000,000 individual policy on top of what their employer provides.

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Through work, we get 1×base salary “free”, with an option to buy up to 6×base. My wife is disabled, and we have no kids. Between that coverage, her SSDI, my 401(k), and our investments, she’ll be fine if something happened to me, although it might not be the level of luxury she’d prefer.

On top of that, I have a few small whole life policies that my parents took out on me as a child, which I still pay the premiums on. They’re enough to reimburse the costs of a funeral, estate costs, and probably have a little bit left over.

At least before a few heath issues emerged, I suspect it would have been cheaper to get term life outside my work benefits. But I’m lazy and it’s not that expensive, so I went with the path of least resistance.


One thing I learned when my parents passed is that funerals aren’t cheap, and there are plenty of expenses associated with the aftermath. (My father passed away 15 months ago, and I just had another 4-figure bill come in to renew a probate bond, since the IRS is being slow, preventing me from closing the estate.)

Having a little something prepared to clean up after your messes is something that would be appreciated by the executor/administrator of your estate.


True, but if you have money sitting in savings then you don’t necessarily need life insurance for that purpose.


$500k. If I die tomorrow my wife would have enough funds on hand (using the 4% rule) to pay off the house and live fairly comfortably without ever working again.

I don’t need anyone profiting off my death.

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How much does it cost to donate your body to science?

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Will not answer poll directly, but when I visited with my insurance agent (and talked with my BiL who is also familiar with the industry), I made sure that the total amounts of “guaranteed” benefits (see note below) would cover the following:

  • outstanding debts that are likely to be assumed by my spouse
  • outstanding balance of mortgage (so dependents aren’t “kicked out”)
  • approx. 3 years of income based on my current income level.

Let’s just say that this is somewhere above $500k.

By “guaranteed” benefits, we did not include AD&D benefits or others that have additional criteria beyond my death.

If you play it right, you might be able to sell your body for $6k to the army so they can blow it up.

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I have around $1M. That would pay off mortgage, funeral costs, plus leave a decent buffer. Wife would still need to work full time since we have kids but this would ease the income disparity between what she makes and what I make allowing for around the same standard of living, at least until the kids are out of the house.

I know several people who have done this.

A friend’s MIL donated her body to the University of Cincinnati medical school. So her body sat in a refrigerator (or freezer?) for almost a year until the next school year. Then the medical students did their thing for a year. Then just a few weeks ago the school had a memorial service for the families. She had no idea what to expect, having never attended anything like that before.

But she said it was really well done. There were some ecumenical prayers and a choir made up entirely of medical students sang (friend is very musical and her comment was that she could tell that they weren’t from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, but they were really quite good). Each family got cards from the students saying how much it meant to them to work on the relative. “Your mother was my first patient and I learned so much working on her. I’m so grateful for her generosity and I’ll remember her throughout my career.” Stuff like that. She said it was wonderful.

My grandmother donated her body to a medical school, but I don’t think they did anything like that. Or if they did I didn’t learn about it in time to attend.

750k, 15 year term about 14 years left.

4 teenage kids + mortgage on the house, no spouse to worry about providing income for, I think this is a fair amount. If I fail the Number 10 Bus test, after the mortgage payoff there will be about 500k for 4 kids, that gets them to about 20, basically.

Funny, I just noticed that my LI premiums decreased. Turns out that I had a 20-yr guarantee policy of $500K, that I set up 20 years ago, just expire. So now I have my 2x Salary work (Since I pay the > $50K premiums I am considering this a ‘yourself’ policy), $100,000 WL (which hasn’t kept up at all with what they’ve advertised to me when I purchased this AT ALL), and a $250K policy left.

I guess I can drop the $250K one as well, but it is like $400 a year and I have a mortgage for about half this amount.

My last girlfriend prior to meeting my wife was an MD/PhD student in genetics, who had teaching duties.

One Halloween, she asked “do you have a problem with dead bodies and organs?” She needed help bringing out cadavers in the anatomy lab for students to work with…

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Ugh… I hope my grandmother’s body was used as she wished: to train medical students.

~300k. We have about $170k debt on our house, no dependents, so it would pay the mortgage with a nice buffer if my spouse felt like taking a few months off work. Once there’s a kiddo, will supplement that.

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The answer to this question is part of Operation Nunya.

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I hear that’s a big business