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Life Insurance Calculator: How Much Do You Need?

Whether you’re just starting out or nearing retirement, figuring out how much life insurance you need may be difficult. Determining the right amount for your situation depends on a number of factors, including your marital status, number of dependents, income and financial obligations (like a child’s college education or mortgage).

Use our life insurance calculator to get a personalized estimation. Once you’ve determined your life insurance needs, you can buy life insurance online or speak to one of our licensed representatives to learn more.


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How to use our life insurance calculator


  1. Step 1: Enter your age

    Your life insurance needs change as you get older.  Sharing your age to helps us determine the number of years for which your income may need to be replaced. For our calculation, we take the lesser of 20 years or the difference between your current age and the average life expectancy for your gender.

    So, for a 45-year-old male, we would subtract 45 from 76 (the average male life expectancy) to arrive at 31 years — meaning we would recommend 20 years worth of income replacement. For a 58-year-old male, we would recommend 18 years worth of income replacement (as the difference between his current age and life expectancy is less than 20 years).


  2. Step 2: Select your gender

    As life expectancy varies by gender, this information helps us determine the average age at time of death — which, along with your current age and annual salary, is a key component of our calculation for income replacement.


  3. Step 3: Provide your relationship status

    If you’re married or in a domestic partnership, it’s likely that your financial responsibilities are shared. Should you die, the burden of these obligations would fall solely on your partner. 

    Your relationship status factors into our calculations for both income replacement and expenses. If you have a spouse or domestic partner, we assume 25% of your annual income needs to be replaced (15% if you are single), and — assuming that some of the family expenses would be covered by your spouse/partner — we reduce your expenses by 35%.


  4. Step 4: Enter number of children

    The arrival of children brings great joy – and greater financial responsibility.  For a middle-income, married-couple, the average cost of raising a child through age 17 is $284,570, and this is before factoring in college education expenses, which can add an additional $25,875* per year to this figure. 

    Factoring in the number and age(s) of your dependent(s) helps us to ensure we recommend enough coverage to protect your family should something happen to you.

    *Source: The Cost of Raising a Child, US Department of Agriculture, Feb 18, 2020. Figure is for a child born in 2015. Projected inflation costs are factored into this figure.

    * Source: The average college costs figure was obtained from the College Board and can be found on their website: http://www.collegeboard.com


  5. Step 5:  Enter your annual salary

    Depending upon your personal circumstances, income replacement can be one of the biggest most important components of your estimated life insurance needs. If any portion of your current salary supports a spouse/partner and/or dependents, you’ll need to make sure that your death benefit would be able to cover your lost income.

    To help us calculate the total amount of income that would need to be replaced in your absence, we multiple multiply your annual income by the number of years your income would need to be replaced and adjust this figure based on your marital status.


While the process may seem overwhelming, the truth is, buying life insurance doesn’t have to be complicated. The peace of mind that comes with knowing you have the right amount of coverage for your situation your loved ones will be protected is within reach.

To learn more about the various types of policies and what they typically offer, visit our guide to the different types of life insurance.

Have questions? Our licensed Financial Professionals are here to help guide you every step of the way.


Related life insurance pages

Life Insurance 101

We’ll walk you through the ins and outs of life insurance, including how it works and the different types of policies available to you.

Find a life insurance policy

Still not sure what type of life insurance is right for you? We’ll help you find a policy that meets your needs and your budget.

Why life insurance?

From protecting your family to supplementing your retirement income, learn about the many ways life insurance can help you meet your financial goals.


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Answer a few questions to find out how much you’ll need to retire and what you steps you can take now to reach your long-term goals.

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Small changes to your spending habits can have a big impact on your future savings. See how with our convenient calculator.  

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Still figuring out your financial action plan? Our interactive tools can help put you on the right track. 

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If you secure tomorrow, you can enjoy today.

Help make sure your loved ones are protected if something happens to you, with Prudential Life Insurance.

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