Single parents: Do you have the life insurance you need?

As a single parent, you are probably used to getting things done by yourself and provide for your family as best as you can. But are you properly covered with life insurance? It’s important for you to make sure you are adequately covered as there are many long term benefits.

According to a recent column by MSNBC business columnist Laura T. Coffey, life insurance is especially important for single parents, particularly if there is no back-up breadwinner for your children to rely on. The good news, she says, is that life insurance has been falling in cost recently, making now a good time to scout out life insurance quotes on term life insurance, permanent life insurance or a mix of both, if you haven’t already.

The amount of insurance you buy should generally equal six to 10 times your annual salary, according to a recent article in MSN Money. Experts quoted in the article estimate that a healthy 45-year-old man or woman can purchase a $500,000 term life insurance policy for $450 to $600 a year.

As you consider purchasing life insurance to protect your children’s future, it’s also important to look at other potential sources of income that can be passed on to your children. This could include retirement plans, other savings and Social Security.

If you pass away before your kids are 19, they are typically eligible to receive your Social Security benefit. Disabled children and elderly parents who depend on you for at least half their income can also receive “survivor benefits.” Questions on how much you can expect to receive on your Social Security benefit can be answered by visiting the Social Security Administration’s website.

As financial planning can be a difficult exercise for most people to wrap their minds around, it might be a good idea to visit with a financial planner if you aren’t confident about what type of savings plan you should have in place for your children. But as you have been able to provide for your children on your own in the past, protecting their future is just one more thing you can do as a strong single parent.