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Life Insurance

Assessing Your Life Insurance Needs

VA's Life Insurance Needs Calculator can provide you with the estimated amount of life insurance you would need to support your survivors should you die today.


How Does the Life Insurance Needs Calculator Work?

calculator buttons The calculator asks for information to determine your current assets, the income your survivors will need, and your financial obligations. By subtracting your total assets from your total financial obligations and income needed, the calculator arrives at the amount of life insurance you need. In other words:

Financial Obligations + Net Income Needed to Support Survivors ˆ' Assets = Insurance Needs 

What Items are Considered Financial Obligations, Income and Assets?

Financial Obligations

bills and checkbook Financial obligations are monies that are currently owed to others on existing debts or income that your survivors will need for planned future expenses. These include:

  • Car Loans
  • Credit Card Debt
  • Funeral/Burial Expenses
  • Children's Educational Expenses
  • Mortgages
  • Other Personal Loans
  • Estate Taxes and Expenses
  • and more

Net Income Needed to Support Survivors

bills and checkbookThis is the annual income you believe will provide the standard of living you desire for your survivors less the annual income available to your survivors. This includes:

Annual Income AvailableIncome Needed
  • VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) or Death Pension Income
  • Social Security Survivor Benefit
  • Survivor Benefit Plan Income
  • Pension Plan Amount
  • Survivor's Earnings from Work
  • Income from Dividends and Interest
  • Future Income for Your Family


moneyAssets are the amount of property your survivors would need to pay off your debts should you die. These include:

  • Investments
  • Certificates of Deposit
  • Existing Life Insurance Plans
  • Real Estate
  • Social Security Benefits
  • Bank Accounts
  • Savings Bonds
  • Annuities with Survivor Rights
  • Retirement Funds
  • Employer Survivor Benefit Plans
  • and more

Calculate Your Life Insurance Needs

Now you're ready to calculate your life insurance needs. Follow this link to use VA's Life Insurance Needs Calculator.