Q: Your family members depend on you for not just want you earn, but also who you are. This is a question I wish more people were asking — I meet people all the time who simply don’t have enough coverage. Imagine your family without you, what would they need? And who would provide it?


Depending on your needs and situation, both you and your spouse or partner should have coverage to help pay for final bills and daily living expenses should something happen.


In this coming year alone you may accept a new job or promotion, welcome a child into your family, buy a home, take on debt or develop a passion for a cause that you want to support. As you experience those changes, it’s important to determine if your life insurance needs have changed too.


When deciding your insurance needs, your coverage should be based on:


  • Your funeral and burial costs
  • Your outstanding mortgage and other outstanding debts
  • The amount of income your family needs to pay the bills
  • The number of people who depend on you for support
  • Your children’s college tuition
  • Your children’s wedding cost – future gifts you want to give
  • How much a house cleaning service, baby sitter (maybe Nanny depending on the age of your children), hair dresser/barber, accountant, grocery shopper, chef, laundry service, hired driver to take your children to all of their after school and Saturday activities would cost – you get the point
  • Also consider that if you are the wage earner, your children/spouse may be eligible for some Social Security benefits in case of your premature death
  • Pet care
  • The legacy you desire to leave – money to your loved ones, charities, institutions


Having enough life insurance protection can help you keep the promises you make to your loved ones, even in the event of your loss. As you experience major changes in your life, it’s important to make sure your life insurance to keeps pace.


To get started, use our Life Insurance Calculator to help you see how much coverage you may need.


What does your life insurance plan look like?


Exclusions, restrictions, limitations, and reductions in benefits will, in certain situations, apply to your policy. Please note that TIAA-CREF Life has the right to contest the policy for misrepresentation by the applicant.

Life insurance issued by TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company ("TC Life")., New York, NY. TC Life is solely responsible for its own financial condition and contractual obligations.

TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company is domiciled in New York, NY with its principal place of business in New York, NY. Its California Certificate of Authority number is 6992.