FEDweek

Using Insurance to Provide for Parents

When you calculate your life insurance needs, you may have to consider your aging parents as well as your spouse and other dependents. Assuming you were to die tomorrow, who would support your parents? Who would pay their nursing home bills, if that becomes necessary?

Suppose your widowed mother lives in a continuing care community, paying $2,000 per month, and you are a co-signer of that obligation. Your life insurance needs would have to include the possibility that your mother will outlive you and need the money for ongoing payments.

What life expectancy should you assume for this sort of calculation? In general, your projections should assume that your parents will live to age 90 or to five years older than any ancestor, whichever is longer.