Smart Money Podcast: Financial Fears, and Do You Need Life Insurance?

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Welcome to NerdWallet’s Smart Money podcast, where we answer your real-world money questions.

This week’s episode starts with a discussion about overcoming our financial fears.

Then we pivot to this week’s money question from Elizabeth, who wrote this email: “Hello Nerds. I'm currently in the process of finalizing my will, medical power of attorney and other legal documents. This got me wondering if I should get life insurance. I'm 34 years old, single and healthy. I don't plan on having children so I feel like I don't fit the typical life insurance mold. However, if I were to go sooner rather than later, I'd like to leave enough money to cover the remainder of my mortgage and any other outstanding debts. I also wouldn't mind leaving my siblings some money, or my nieces for their education. Is life insurance a good use of money in my situation? Thanks, Elizabeth.”

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Our take on financial fears

Many people feel fear, anxiety and shame when they think about their finances, but there are strategies and resources that make it possible to overcome these difficult emotions. First, identify the aspect or aspects of your financial life that make you feel afraid or anxious. Is it retirement? Your son’s college fund? A huge medical bill? Next, address those financial pain points head on. For example, you could begin researching retirement brokers or open up a savings account for health care costs. Schedule regular check-ins to assess your progress and maintain the habit of staying on top of your financial health.

If feelings of fear and shame have paralyzed you from taking action, seek professional help. Look for a financial therapist through the Financial Therapy Association, or connect with a credit counselor through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. If you choose a certified financial planner instead, make sure the CFP you work with is a fee-only, fiduciary planner.

Our take on life insurance

If you have financial dependents, life insurance may be necessary to safeguard their future in the event of your death. Beneficiaries can use the payout from a life insurance policy to pay for expenses large and small, from the mortgage to groceries. Group life insurance policies, which are typically offered through an employer, usually pay out one to two times your salary. Many people supplement a group life insurance policy with term or permanent life insurance.

The cost of life insurance depends on how much coverage you want. Permanent life insurance covers you for the rest of your life and, as such, it’s usually much more expensive than term life insurance. Term life insurance only covers you for the length of the policy that you purchased — for example, 15 years. When purchasing term life insurance, try to pick a policy that covers your specific financial obligations. For instance, if you have 17 years left until your house is paid off, consider a 20-year policy. A good rule of thumb: Calculate the expenses you pay for now — as well as how much you expect to pay in the future — and buy a policy that matches that number.

If you don’t have any financial dependents but plan to have them in the future, it still may make sense to get life insurance now. The cost of life insurance is partly based on the applicant’s age and health, so by buying a policy when you’re younger, you can lock in a better rate than what you might receive if you buy five or 10 years from now.

Our tips

  1. Be proactive: Buy life insurance if you have financial dependents. The younger you are when you get it, the less you’ll typically pay.

  2. Update as needed: Review your life insurance coverage with every major life change, such as getting married, buying a house or having a child.

  3. Shop around: Compare quotes from at least three insurers. Prices can vary, sometimes significantly. Shopping around can save you a lot of money over time.

More about managing your money on NerdWallet:

Have a money question? Text or call us at 901-730-6373. Or you can email us at [email protected]. To hear previous episodes, go to the podcast homepage.

Episode transcript

Sean Pyles: Happy Halloween, Nerdy listeners. What better time to talk about facing our financial fears? Mua-ha-ha-ha. Sorry, had to do it.

Liz Weston: Welcome to the NerdWallet Smart Money podcast, where you send us your money questions and we answer them with the help of our genius Nerds. I'm Liz Weston.

Sean Pyles: And I'm Sean Pyles. If you want the Nerds to answer your money question, call or text us on the Nerd hotline at 901-730-6373. That's 901-730-NERD. Or email us at [email protected]

Liz Weston: We want to hear as many of your questions as possible, so please send us a voicemail or a voice memo if you can. Also subscribe to get new episodes in your feed every Monday, and if you like what you hear, please leave us a review and tell your friends. In this episode, we'll turn to an insurance Nerd to answer a listener’s questions about whether they need life insurance. But before that, Sean, what's something that scares you when it comes to your money?

Sean Pyles: Oh, man. To be totally honest, it is instability. It's the thought that I could lose everything that I've worked so hard to build on my own and with my partner. Because when I graduated college, I really didn't have a lot. I have this memory of having a broken phone cord and I had 20 bucks in my checking account, and that's $5 less than a phone cord cost at the time and I was just not sure what to do. And I've come so far from that point a number of years ago, but I still have a fear that everything that I built up could just wash away and I'd be left with nothing.

There's something that you and I talked about when I first started at NerdWallet, and I think you told me that we are all three dramatic life events away from filing for bankruptcy.

Liz Weston: Oh, yeah.

Sean Pyles: Like you lose your job or your partner gets sick, or you get sick and something else happens, your car breaks down and your finances are wrecked. And so that hangs over me; it is definitely a specter, and I try to counter that by saving as much money as I can, but it's hard to shake.

Liz Weston: There are ways to increase your financial resiliency, but a lot of people wind up in bankruptcy exactly that way — that there are events that they can't control or they couldn't have anticipated, and their financial life spirals out of control. So that to me gives me both an understanding of other people's position and a need to have more compassion when people do face financial problems, because I have the same issue. It's like there's this deep-seated fear that everything's going to go away or there'll be some financial catastrophe and life will get hard again. Because I think if you've been through one of those periods, it does mark you, I think for life.

Sean Pyles: Yeah, absolutely. Well, that's my money fear. What is yours, Liz?

Liz Weston: Pretty much the same thing. I had a period in college where I basically had a dispute with my parents and they cut me off, and it was pretty tight there for a while. I remember living in Seattle and basically subsisting on egg noodles and blackberries because if you've ever been up there during the summer and fall, blackberries grow everywhere, so that was my cheap source of calories. And it was a temporary dispute; we worked things out, and I had the luxury and the privilege of having parents who could keep me going during college so it was a very brief period. I was broke, which is very different from being poor, so I acknowledge that privilege, but that experience has stayed with me ever since and I've got that fear that one day, everything can go away. That is something that's likely to affect me for the rest of my life, but I know that there are things I can do to deal with those fears.

Sean Pyles: Well, I wanted to talk about this today because I think it's really helpful to share some of your fears because if you have worries of your own, talking about them can make you feel like you're a little bit less alone, and your shame and anxiety are all really common emotions around money.

Liz Weston: Yes. And last year, I wrote a column about money shame. I was basing that on a 2020 study from the American Journal of Epidemiology, which found that financial strain is a significant risk factor for suicide attempts. So if you or someone you know is really struggling with their mental health, you can call the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988. So instead of 911, it's 988.

Sean Pyles: And financial fears can come in many different shapes and sizes, so let's talk about some ways that our listeners can manage their own money monsters, if you will.

Liz Weston: Oh, I like that. So where do you think people should start?

Sean Pyles: I think it can be really helpful at first to know what you're up against. For me, I like going through this exercise where I think about various parts of my finances. What's the balance of my savings account and my checking account? What was my spending like over the last month, and what's my retirement account looking like right now? That can be kind of scary at the moment for a lot of people. And as you go through these various aspects of your finances, does one of them make you feel a little bit more anxious than another? If that is the case, sit with it and really experience that strong emotion, because if you do that and you're able to label it and say, "Hey, I'm feeling anxious about my savings right now," that can help you get a little bit of distance from that emotion.

Research has actually shown that if you do label an emotion, it can give you some separation to be able to take control of how you want to respond to it.

Liz Weston: That's a good point.

Sean Pyles: And since it is spooky season, I think horror movies could be a good analogy here, so think about when you see a monster in a horror movie. It's often a lot less scary than the lead up to seeing that monster, right?

Liz Weston: Yes, being proactive can really help. That's actually what helps me is if I'm feeling anxious about money, making a budget, scheduling regular check-ins — because checking in on money regularly can help you mitigate those fears. And if your spending feels out of control, you don't want to hide from your bank or your credit card statements. You want to sit down maybe with a trusted partner or friend and review them and then make changes as you're able to do so, and doing this can give you back that feeling of power that can help with the fears. I like to schedule regular check-ins maybe once every three months, just to see where my finances stand, and when there is progress, celebrate it — really acknowledge that you're moving forward with your money and your life.

Sean Pyles: And if you find that it's hard to even get to that point, there's nothing wrong with simply getting help. Like if you're struggling to get a grip on your emotions around money, think about contacting a financial therapist. They might be able to help. You can find them through the Financial Therapy Association. You could also talk with a regular therapist about money. They might not have the same level of expertise and strategies to help you manage your finances, but therapy is meant to help all of us learn and manage our emotions, and money is a common topic that people discuss with their therapists.

Liz Weston: Yes. And if you need concrete advice about your financial situation, help with budgeting, paying off debt, saving for retirement, you can consider a certified financial planner. If you are looking for something that's maybe a little bit more cost-effective shall we say — because sometimes CFPs can be expensive — a nonprofit credit counselor with an agency that's affiliated with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling can be a low-cost or free option. Another thing to think about is accredited financial counselors and accredited financial coaches. They tend to deal with more middle-class folks and working-class folks that might have a stricter budget or might have less money to throw at getting some help. We'll put the links to all of this in the show notes so that you can find somebody to help you.

Sean Pyles: Sometimes also when you are facing a financial fear, it can be a good idea to simply tell your inner demons to take a hike. When you have these narratives in your head that you're not good with money, you're never going to be able to retire, that can drag you down, so notice the ways that you are talking to yourself about the way you manage money and the role that money has in your life. So if you're constantly labeling yourself wasteful or a bad saver, you find yourself thinking that you're not smart enough to be good with your money, realize that that is a story that you're telling yourself and you can actually make it come true by repeating it over and over. And when that voice arises — your inner saboteur as RuPaul would call it — take a moment to practice a little bit of mindfulness. Notice it, label it again, identify it as your inner critic, and then let it go. And you can actually feel a weight lift off of your shoulder sometimes when you do this. And the more you practice it, the easier it gets to do as well.

Liz Weston: Yeah, Sean, I can't tell you how many times I've been dragged off to the corner of a party somewhere and somebody who is educated and smart and got everything going on in the world for them will confess that they're, quote, bad with money. And I think this is something that women are more comfortable expressing — that I hear more often from women — and also I'm married to an artist, so I hear that from artists as well. Nobody is born knowing this stuff. We are all learning it, so labeling yourself as bad with money is just self-defeating. Don't do it.

Sean Pyles: Right. We're all learning continually. There's no one point that you hit where you're like, "All right, I'm a master of money." It's a continual practice of having a dialogue with yourself and your finances and where you want to be with all of it.

Liz Weston: Yes, exactly.

Sean Pyles: And that brings me to my final point, which is to focus on long-term growth because overcoming your financial fears can take a really long time, and sometimes, you really just can't shake them. I have a hard time thinking about the day when I won't be worried that everything will just wash away. But regular practice of making smart moves with your money and being mindful can help you put yourself in a position where your fears have less control over your life. So listeners, I would encourage you to think about what your financial fears are, what underlies them and how you can face them head on.

OK, well, I think that about covers it for financial fears. We have one last bit of housekeeping. We are running another book sweepstakes for our Nerdy Book Club series. In December, we are talking with Joe Saul-Sehy, co-author of “Stacked: Your Super-Serious Guide to Modern Money Management.”

Liz Weston: And it's hilarious, let me tell you. To enter for a chance to win our book giveaway, send an email to [email protected] with the subject, “book sweepstakes.” Entries must be received by 11:59 Pacific Standard Time on November 11th. Include the following information: your first and last name, email address, zip code and phone number. For more information, please visit our official sweepstakes rules page. If you have any suggestions for future authors to interview, please send us a note at [email protected] We look forward to reading with you.

Now that we've conquered our financial fears, let's move on to an even more morbid topic — life insurance. That's the subject of this episode's money question segment.

Sean Pyles: This episode's money question comes from Elizabeth, who wrote us an email. Here it is:

“Hello Nerds. I'm currently in the process of finalizing my will, medical power of attorney and other legal documents. This got me wondering if I should get life insurance. I'm 34 years old, single and healthy. I don't plan on having children so I feel like I don't fit the typical life insurance mold. However, if I were to go sooner rather than later, I'd like to leave enough money to cover the remainder of my mortgage and any other outstanding debts. I also wouldn't mind leaving my siblings some money, or my nieces for their education. Is life insurance a good use of money in my situation? Thanks, Elizabeth.”

Liz Weston: To help us answer Elizabeth's question, on this episode of the podcast, we are joined by insurance Nerd, Katia Iervasi. Welcome to the podcast, Katia.

Katia Iervasi: Thank you for having me.

Sean Pyles: Katia, can you quickly give us an explanation about what life insurance does and doesn't cover?

Katia Iervasi: Life insurance is primarily designed to replace your income and really alleviate the financial burden on your loved ones if you do pass away, whether unexpectedly or not. Your beneficiaries can use the payout, which is called the death benefit, however they wish. For example, some people like to use it to cover outstanding debt like private student loans or mortgage repayments. Others like to use it to cover everyday living expenses like groceries, bills, car insurance. You can also spend the money to cover your loved one's end-of-life expenses, such as funeral and burial costs or things like child care, aged care or school tuition.

Liz Weston: I just want to drop in here that federal student loans are typically discharged when you die so they're erased, and private student loans can be as well, so make sure that you check the actual wording on your loan agreement before you buy life insurance just to cover student loan debt because it might not be necessary.

Katia Iervasi: Great point.

Sean Pyles: How much does life insurance typically cost?

Katia Iervasi: The cost of life insurance is based on a long list of factors, including your age, gender, health, smoking status, lifestyle and the job you do every day. Generally, life insurance companies save their best rates for young, healthy nonsmokers. This is why we really hammer the point home to apply for coverage as soon as you identify a need for it. Term life insurance is the cheapest option, whereas permanent life insurance is typically more expensive. But to give you an example of one of the most popular policies — which is a 20-year, $500,000 policy — a 40 year old in excellent health can expect to pay around $26 a month, so it's actually a lot cheaper than people think.

Sean Pyles: Yeah, although will that rate go up every year as maybe they become less young and maybe less healthy?

Katia Iervasi: No. So actually, one of the best selling points about life insurance is your premium is locked in.

Sean Pyles: Oh, that's great.

Katia Iervasi: So once you purchase a policy, you'll pay the same amount, whether it's monthly, biannually or annually every year for the rest of your policy. There is one exception to this and that is if you purchase annual renewable term life insurance, which is a one-year policy that renews every year. In that case, if you've had changes to your health or if you've recently taken up smoking, for example, you can expect to pay more.

Sean Pyles: You mentioned the terms term life insurance and permanent life insurance. What's the difference between those?

Katia Iervasi: Term life insurance is the most common policy sold. It offers temporary coverage for a specific term. Let's say you buy a 10-year term life insurance policy. You'll have coverage for 10 years, and if you die within those 10 years, your loved ones will get a payout. On the other hand, if you outlive your policy, your loved ones won't get any money, and you'll have to either purchase a new policy or give up your coverage. Permanent life insurance is the exact opposite. It typically offers lifelong coverage and it also has a cash-value component. So every time you pay your premium, a portion is invested to give your policy a cash value. That cash value grows over time, either at a set or a variable interest rate depending on the policy, and once you've built up enough cash value, you can start to take out loans against your policy or even withdraw the money and surrender your policy for cash.

Liz Weston: Permanent life insurance, or whole life insurance, sounds really great. It’s got all these different factors to it, but it's much, much, much more expensive than term life insurance.

Katia Iervasi: Yes, it can be six to 10 times more expensive for the same amount of coverage.

Liz Weston: Yes, and I've seen too many people who have these puny little policies because they were whole life, permanent life insurance that they really didn't need. And the most important thing with life insurance is to have enough coverage. If you're going to buy this insurance, you want to make sure that your loved ones have enough to cover all the debts or all the purposes that you bought it for. And if you have a tiny little policy, that's not going to happen. That's why most people are better off with a term life insurance policy because they don't have a permanent need and they don't have the money to pay for enough coverage.

Sean Pyles: Yeah, it's kind of counterintuitive because permanent life insurance seems like it would provide you a lot more security and stability because it's going to be around as long as you are. However, permanent life insurance can actually be a little bit sketchy. There are so many of these different products that they can become a way for those who sell financial products to really line their pockets, right?

Katia Iervasi: Yes. And I'll just add one thing there, Sean. A lot of people get suckered into buying whole life insurance because it's sold as an investment product. The thing is, the returns are not great. So with whole life insurance, the rate of return is set at a fixed rate so you know how much you'll be getting back on your policy. However, the rates range from 1% to 3% in most cases, so if you are looking to invest in a financial product, a permanent life insurance policy is probably not your best option.

Sean Pyles: Yeah, and right now, you can get a better yield on a high-yield savings account at an online bank compared to what you just laid out. One thing that is kind of surprising to me is that less than half of Americans have purchased life insurance, and 3 out of 4 have hesitations about buying life insurance. And that's according to a February 2022 NerdWallet survey conducted by The Harris Poll. So why do you think so few people actually have life insurance?

Katia Iervasi: This study was really illuminating for us at NerdWallet because the two main reasons why people are hesitating to buy life insurance are cost and not knowing which policy to buy. That's why we really focus on teaching people the differences between the types of policy and also driving the point home that life insurance is a lot cheaper than you may think.

Sean Pyles: So let's talk about who actually needs life insurance. Who do you think would be a good candidate?

Katia Iervasi: People with financial dependents are the best candidates for life insurance. In Elizabeth's case, while they don't have people relying on their income, they could use life insurance to cover their own funeral and burial costs and ease that burden on their family, or use that money to leave an inheritance to their loved ones. Life insurance payouts are generally tax-free.

Liz Weston: OK, then who doesn't need life insurance?

Katia Iervasi: If you have no financial dependents, it might be worth saving or investing your money into other assets. That being said, the younger and healthier you are, the cheaper your policy will be. So if you think you might get married, buy a house, have or adopt children in the future, you can consider locking in a good premium now.

Liz Weston: Right, and just keep in mind that most people have multiple competing priorities for their money, so if you aren't saving enough for retirement, if you don't have an emergency fund, those might be priorities that have to be taken care of first. Again, this is all a balancing act of trying to make sure that you've got all your bases covered, but it's absolutely true that as you get older, you tend to have more health conditions, and just the fact of getting older will make life insurance more expensive.

Sean Pyles: So if you don't have kids, who can you or should you maybe make beneficiaries for a life insurance policy?

Katia Iervasi: You can name anyone as your beneficiary and divide up the payout as you wish. You can also change your beneficiaries at any time. It's common to name family members such as siblings, nieces and nephews. You can also choose a trust, your estate or a charity. Just keep in mind that insurance companies will ask about your relationship with beneficiaries when you fill out the form.

Sean Pyles: Say someone has a pretty big chosen family that's essentially, as far as the government's concerned, just friends and there's no legal tie or family tie between these people. You could make them your beneficiaries and then when they ask what your relationship is, the insurance company will just have to accept that they're a friend. Is that OK?

Katia Iervasi: Yes, absolutely.

Liz Weston: Although there is something called an insurable interest.

Katia Iervasi: Yes, that's right. You'll also need to prove an insurable interest if you're buying a policy on someone else's life, because you can't just buy a policy for anyone.

Sean Pyles: Yeah. I've seen this in a lot of true crime shows.

Liz Weston: Yes.

Katia Iervasi: Exactly.

Liz Weston: There's good reason for that. They're worried about you going off and bumping off random people, so that's the reason for that. And one thing about beneficiaries is if you have a major life change, let's say you get divorced, you want to go back and look at your beneficiaries for everything. For your retirement fund, for your life insurance. Life insurance passes outside of your will, so even if you say in your will, I want this money to go to X, if it's already promised to Y, that's where it's going to go. And I think I've talked about this before. I had a woman come to me who had three kids, her young husband died. The money went to the mother because that's who he named as beneficiary when he first bought the policy, and the mother did not give up the cash, so the man's family was out of luck because he didn't change beneficiaries. And if something happens in your life where you get divorced, you don't want that money going to your ex usually, so just take a look at it. Don't forget.

Katia Iervasi: I'll also add there, please tell your beneficiaries that they are beneficiaries.

Liz Weston: Oh, yes.

Katia Iervasi: There are billions of dollars of unclaimed life insurance floating around the U.S. because policyholders don't like to talk about death and they do not tell their loved ones to expect a payout. And life insurance companies have no onus to let you know that a policyholder has died and that you're owed a payout.

Sean Pyles: Interesting.

Katia Iervasi: So tell your loved ones.

Liz Weston: Yes. On the other hand, if they know, it's relatively easy to find it. I was amazed because my grandfather bought my father a policy in the 1930s when he was a little boy, and the insurance company had gone through all these changes. One company bought another, etc., etc. But we had the policy and we were able to track that down within minutes. One phone call and we were able to ascertain that not only was the policy with that company, but it was still in effect. And I think it was $5,000 so it wasn't a huge amount, but 5,000 bucks is 5,000 bucks. You want your loved ones to have that money.

Katia Iervasi: For sure. There are also online policy locator services. The NAIC has one, so if you don't know what insurance company your loved one had a policy through, you could hop online and find that information pretty easily.

Liz Weston: That's a great resource.

Sean Pyles: One thing I want to talk with you about, Katia, is that a lot of people nowadays can get life insurance as a benefit through their work, and they might think that that is enough for them. Is it, or do you think they should get more than what they're paying maybe a dollar a month for?

Katia Iervasi: Group life insurance is a great work perk, and I always suggest taking your employer up on that offer if they do provide life insurance, especially if they subsidize the premiums. However, it does have its downsides. Group life insurance is typically not portable. This means you'll lose your coverage if you switch jobs and you'll have to find another way to find life insurance. Also, the policies that are offered are usually only worth one to two times your salary. If you have a lot of financial obligations — if you have a mortgage, if you have kids, if you have a stay-at-home spouse, this could leave you really underinsured. In that case, some employers offer supplemental life insurance, which you can buy to top up the coverage they pay for, or you could look into buying an individual life insurance policy on your own.

Sean Pyles: I imagine it can be really confusing for those who are new to life insurance to figure out how to shop around for it. What do you think someone should do to try to navigate this confusing space?

Katia Iervasi: My number one tip is to compare quotes from multiple life insurance companies. So once you've decided what type of policy you want — in most cases, that will be term life insurance — then figure out how much life insurance you need. The easiest way to do this is to take your annual salary and multiply it by 10 or 15, and then buy a policy to match. Otherwise, you could think of everything you pay for now and everything you can expect to pay for in the future, find that number and then buy a policy to match that. Once you have that information, please, please, please shop around. Life insurance rates vary, sometimes significantly, and you could get a really great deal just by comparing quotes from three or four insurance companies.

Sean Pyles: So in that sense, it's similar to shopping around for pet insurance or car insurance?

Katia Iervasi: Yes, exactly.

Sean Pyles: OK, great. So our listener was wondering — their bottom line question was — is life insurance a good use of money in my situation? And Liz, you mentioned it's really important to have your emergency fund pinned down and maybe pay down high-interest debt, but it seems like because it's really not that expensive spending 20, 30 bucks a month, however much may be, it could be a good use of their money if they do want to set their family up for success when they go.

Liz Weston: Life is uncertain and CFPs will tell you, wait until you have the need typically to buy this insurance, and that's just because, again, you have so many different competing priorities for your money. If you are young and healthy and you're pretty sure that you're going to have a family down the road, I can see where 26 bucks a month, hey, that's no big deal. But if you have health conditions, if you're a little bit older, life insurance can start getting pretty expensive, so it's all something you have to juggle and consider.

Katia Iervasi: Yeah, it's a long-term commitment so you really want to make sure you can afford those premiums for 10, 20, 30 or even a lifetime.

Liz Weston: When we were talking about term insurance, you know that you can have it 10 years or 20 years. I would recommend if you're getting it because you have kids, opt for the longer period, like 30 years, because kids take a while to get on their feet. And that's the one regret I have. When we bought life insurance, we bought 20-year term policies. Now, I wish we had 30, and it doesn't cost that much more to have a little bit more term. It's locked in, it gives you peace of mind.

Katia Iervasi: Yes. That's a great point.

Sean Pyles: Well, Katia, do you have any final thoughts for our listener or anyone else who's thinking about getting life insurance?

Katia Iervasi: I'm just going to keep reiterating to please compare quotes. If you're in the market for life insurance, take the time to shop around and get the best possible policy for the lowest possible price.

Sean Pyles: Great. Well, thank you for talking with us today.

Katia Iervasi: Thank you.

Sean Pyles: And with that, let's get on to our takeaway tips. I'll start us off. First up, be proactive. Buy life insurance as soon as you see a need for it.

Liz Weston: Next, update as needed. Review your life insurance coverage with every major life change like getting married, buying a house or having a child.

Sean Pyles: And finally, shop around. Compare quotes from at least three insurers. Prices can vary, sometimes significantly. Shopping around can save you a lot of money over time.

Liz Weston: And that's all we have for this episode. Do you have a money question of your own? Turn to the Nerds and call or text us your questions at 901-730-6373. That's 901-730-NERD. You can also email us at [email protected] Also, visit nerdwallet.com/podcast for more information on this episode and remember to follow, rate and review us wherever you're getting this podcast.

Sean Pyles: This episode's money question segment was produced by Liz Weston and myself. Rosalie Murphy produced our This Week in Your Money segment and edited its audio. Kaely Monahan edited our money question segment audio, Jae Bratton wrote our show notes and thanks to all of the great folks on the NerdWallet copy desk for all of their help.

And here is our brief disclaimer, thoughtfully crafted by NerdWallet's legal team. Your questions are answered by knowledgeable and talented finance writers, but we are not financial or investment advisors. This Nerdy info is provided for general educational and entertainment purposes, and may not apply to your specific circumstances.

Liz Weston: And with that said, until next time, turn to the Nerds.