Take two minutes to fill out this life insurance checklist.

An easy way to review your life insurance needs.

Much in the same way that you get a medical checkup every year, New York Life recommends that you review your life insurance annually too, in order to help maintain your family's financial security. The reason: needs change over time, sometimes more rapidly than people realize.

Thankfully, this review process doesn’t need to be that complicated. To get a rough idea of how well your present coverage meets your needs, take about two minutes now to complete the following self-review life insurance checklist.

Two-Minute Review Checklist

Check all that apply:

 My current life insurance coverage is less than seven times my annual income.

A simple way to estimate your life insurance needs is to ensure that you have coverage between five and ten times your annual salary, depending on your financial situation. Based on this rule of thumb, some may split the difference and multiply their income by seven, which means if you bring in $50,000 a year, you'd need about $350,000 of life insurance. However, this method is fairly simplistic and doesn't take into account specific insurance needs you might have—for example the cost of a child's college education or the continuing care of a special-needs dependent.

 My annual income has increased by 10 percent or more since I last updated my coverage.

A key purpose of life insurance is to replace lost income. If your current coverage is not in line with your needs, you could be exposing your family to risk.

 I've had a change in family status.

The birth of a child, death of a family member, marriage, divorce, or a child leaving home often indicate the need to adjust your life insurance coverage.

 My spouse or I recently resumed or stopped work.

Such changes create shifts in income and the need to review your plans.

 In the event of my death, my family would have an immediate cash flow problem.

One of the purposes of life insurance is to provide cash to help your family at the exact moment when it's needed most.

 In the event of my death, my family would have difficulty maintaining its current standard of living.

Another purpose of life insurance is to provide sufficient funds to enable your family to stay in the family home and continue its present lifestyle.

 In the event of my death, my children's educational goals would be put in jeopardy.

According to the College Board, for the 2017-18academic year, average annual prices for undergraduate tuition and fees were estimated to be $9,970 at public institutions and $34,740 at private institutions. Room and board were $10,800 at public institutions and $12,210 at private institutions.1

 We haven't taken serious steps to explore other sources of retirement income to supplement Social Security and our employer-sponsored pensions.

If you're already in your 40s or your 50s, you need to start planning—and soon.

 We've been too busy to develop a plan mapping out how our estate should be distributed.

Estate planning goes beyond updating wills. With professional planning, you can make sure your heirs inherit the estate you worked hard to build.

If you’ve checked off any of the boxes above, it may be time to see a New York Life agent to discuss your current life insurance coverage. Or, you can talk it through with a professional. We’ll have one in your area contact you. Get started.

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