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Should you change your life insurance for a second marriage?

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There are tons of life changes that accompany a second marriage. You may be moving homes, adopting or otherwise bonding with step-children, and combining your financial lives. But do those changes also apply to your life insurance policy?


If you’re about to walk down the aisle for round two, here’s what you need to know about whether or not you should change your life insurance.


Life Insurance in a Second Marriage

If you have an existing permanent or term life insurance policy, certain information may become outdated or incorrect following your second marriage. Specifically, you’ll need to consider changing:



Depending on the circumstances of your divorce, you may or may not leave your ex-spouse as a beneficiary on your life insurance policy. But in most situations, you’ll be looking to add your new spouse to ensure they’ll receive a benefit if you pass on.


Death Benefit Amount

If your second marriage comes with a new spouse plus step-children, or if you’re adding new beneficiaries to your now ex-spouse and current children, you may find that the amount paid out per person just doesn’t stretch as far. In the situation of an expanding beneficiary list, you may want to consider  purchasing more life insurance.


You should also consider increasing the life insurance policy amount if you’ve received a raise since you initially bought it. The general recommendation is that your policy should be 10X your salary. That means if you make $50,000 per year, your life insurance policy should have a death benefit of at least $500,000.


Number of Policies

If your existing life insurance policy is tied up in your divorce decree, you can take out a new policy to support your new spouse and any current or future children. Plus, it may cost less to take out another policy versus increasing your existing policy coverage.


If You Don’t Currently Have Life Insurance

For those who don’t currently have life insurance, getting married is the perfect time to look into getting a policy. But you’ll want to shop around to get the best coverage for the price, as well as comparing term and permanent life insurance policies. As you review options, be sure to have answers to important questions, like:


  • What financial burden would I leave to my family upon my death? (ex: mortgage, medical bills, car loan, etc.)
  • How much income am I bringing in, and could my surviving spouse live off their income if I passed away?
  • Will my existing children or future children have support for education expenses if I pass away?
  • How many years do I have until retirement, and will my surviving spouse have sufficient support during retirement years without a term life policy?


Answering these questions can help guide you in finding a policy that will cover the needs of your second spouse and children.


The Bottom Line

Changing your life insurance for a second marriage means giving your new spouse the gift of financial security. Small changes like updating beneficiary information, increasing the amount of coverage, or purchasing a new policy can help to ensure that your family will have financial protection whether you’re physically present or not.

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