What do Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman, and Clark Howard all have in common? They all recommend term life insurance.
You’ve heard these financial experts on the radio, seen them on television, or read one of their books touting their best practices for financial success. Their advice is tried and trusted, and they have millions of fans who have vouched for their teachings — including their thoughts on life insurance.
Whether you’re currently researching what kind of life insurance to buy, or you just want to learn more about term life insurance, here’s advice from some of your favorite personal finance experts. (And if you’re interested in learning even more about what term life insurance is, you can find that information here.)
Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes about term life insurance and in no way implies that Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman, or Clark Howard have endorsed Bestow. Content sources are linked throughout the article. Views presented in this article are the opinions of Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman, and Clark Howard and do not represent the views of Bestow or its partners.
Every week 13 million people tune in to listen to The Dave Ramsey Show where he shares his advice to help people become debt free, build up emergency savings, and put away separate funds towards investments.
Dave Ramsey‘s philosophy on life insurance is simple. He recommends term life insurance for its affordability. Make sure you have enough coverage — and a long enough term — that will see you through until your kids are in college and living on their own.
And that advice doesn’t just apply to income earners. He recommends stay-at-home moms buy life insurance, too. Why?
“Think about what you would pay in childcare and home upkeep costs if the stay-at-home parent was gone! No matter what, you both need term life insurance.”
Best-selling author, award-winning television host, columnist and contributor… what else can we say about Suze Orman? She’s one of America’s top financial experts and a household name.
When it comes to life insurance, her advice is clear.
“All you need is term life insurance. Term insurance is very inexpensive, because it will be in place for just a set term — such as 10 or 20 years — not forever.”
Suze Orman recommends term life insurance for pretty much everyone who needs to cover expenses for a set period of time: parents with young children who need support until they become independent adults, if you have spouse who depends on your income, or if you have a mortgage that needs to be paid.
Every week Clark Howard helps 3.5 million listeners “save more and spend less” on his nationally syndicated radio show The Clark Howard Show. He’s a best-selling author and television host known for his frugal way of living and helping listeners not get ripped off.
He presents a different way of thinking about life insurance.
“Level term insurance only provides a death benefit. It does not have a savings or investing component. It’s like car insurance for your life, but instead of buying it annually or in 6 month increments, you buy it for 20 or 30 years and the premium stays the same during the life of the policy.”
Term life insurance is easy to buy, easy to own, and cheap. This is why he recommends it for both working and stay-at-home parents, and why he prefers that you get your own policy and not depend on life insurance through work.
How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?
This is where our financial experts disagree…
“We recommend you purchase a term life insurance policy for 10–12 times your annual income. That way, your income will be replaced if something happens to you.”
“Buy a term life insurance policy with a death benefit that is equal to at least 20 times your dependents annual income needs. With such a large death benefit, your dependents will be able to invest the money very conservatively-say in high quality municipal bonds-and live off the income.”
“When it comes to the question of how much you should buy, people can get crazy with all kinds of complicated formulas. I say simply that you should buy six to ten times your annual income.”
The truth is, there’s no single right answer for everyone.
For some, covering one-time costs is enough because there are other funds (like retirement accounts and pensions) that could cover day-to-day expenses. If you have debt (like a mortgage or co-signed loans), consider coverage that would pay it off, in addition to any funeral expenses. And if you have children, think about how much support they may need and for how long.
Ready to buy term life insurance?
With Bestow, you can buy an affordable term life insurance policy in minutes, without a medical exam. Our policies are backed by A+ rated insurance companies, so you know you’re getting high quality coverage, too.
Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman: CNBC
Clark Howard: Clark.com