smart spending

Financial planning tips for single parents

Tip No. 7: Get life insurance
Tip No. 7: Get life insurance © Jorge Salcedo/Shutterstock.com

Morrill says that life insurance is the second-most important requirement for parents, right after health insurance. What you purchase depends on your family and finances, but Morrill recommends a policy that will at least see children through high school.

"A term policy is most economical," he says. "It's pure insurance. You're paying for a death benefit." He calculates that a healthy 33-year-old woman would pay about $240 a year for a 20-year term, $500,000 life insurance policy. "So if you're in your 30s, with a young child, this would get your child through college," he says.

To determine your life insurance needs, you have to calculate what you want the proceeds to do. You'll want it to cover living expenses, but what about paying off a mortgage, or paying for college? Morrill warns that if you choose a shorter-term plan, such as five years, you might not be able to renew it if your health changes.

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