Helpful Hints
10. Funeral Expenses. The average cost of a funeral is $7,045 (National Funeral Directors Association, 2012), which includes a casket and funeral proceedings. It does not include a cemetery plot, which ranges from $400 to $ 10,000 or more, depending on location.
11. Emergency Fund. A general guideline for an emergency fund is three to six months of your annual income (Item 6).
12. Final Expenses. Examples include: (a) costs of settling an estate (typically 1-2% of the estate); (b) uninsured medical fees; and (c) terminal illness expenses.
13. Mortgage Balance. This can be handled in one of two ways: (a) If your survivors would pay off the mortgage immediately, enter your outstanding mortgage balance. If you choose this approach, then return to Item 6 and reduce your family’s Desired Annual Survivor Income by the amount of your annual mortgage payment, as this expense would no longer be part of their ongoing budget. (b) If your survivors would keep the existing mortgage and continue to pay it from the current budget, leave this Item 13 blank. This means that your family’s Desired Annual Survivor Income (Item 6) includes funds sufficient to make ongoing mortgage payments.
14. Other Debt. Examples include: (a) credit card balances; (b) car loans; (c) home equity loans; (d) student loans; and (e) loans from family and friends (such as apartment security deposit, broker fee, and moving expenses).CALC assumes that you will pay off all “other debt” immediately and keep your mortgage (if you have one), unless you entered its balance in Item 13 to indicate that your survivors would pay it off immediately. If you choose to “pay off” all or some of your “other debt” return to Item 6 and reduce your family’s Desired Annual Survivor Income by the amount of your annual debt payments, as this expense should no longer be included in the ongoing budget.

College Funding. This is the total amount your family would need to invest today to cover your children’s future college educations.The College Board is a non-profit scholastic service association of high schools and colleges. It reports that the 2013-2014 average annual costs for four-year public and private colleges are $31,701 and $40,917, respectively.

Thus, if your child wishes to attend a private, four-year college, the total estimated cost in today’s dollars is $163,668. The cost includes tuition, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and other expenses.

Average costs for public and private colleges, in various geographic regions, are provided. Enter your children’s ages and school preferences individually.

This covers undergraduate studies only. To cover graduate studies as well, simply override the pre-populated
amount by adding the cost of graduate school in the corresponding child’s College Cost field.
Deduct current funds in a child’s name. Also, adjust for any automatic savings for college that are
already part of your current budget and, therefore, already accounted for in Desired Annual Survivor
Income (Item 6).
No financial aid or scholarships are considered. Make adjustments accordingly.
College costs have historically increased at a rate greater than the Consumer Price Index.
Therefore, future college costs are assumed here to increase at the investment yield (Item 25)
rather than the inflation rate (Item 24).
16. Value of Daily Activities (VDA). To help determine the value of the daily activities you
personally perform, click the VDA button. Most people have jobs at home for which they are not paid, whether
mowing the lawn or helping with homework. The VDA captures expenses for services that would have to be paid
for in your absence. Such activities are not currently (a) performed by your survivors and (b) performed
by people you pay (and not therefore already covered in your family budget).We have provided you with a range of hourly costs. Several factors influence hourly cost, including where you live, the type of service provider, etc.
17. Additional Childcare Costs. This Item captures additional childcare expenses your survivors would
incur in your absence due to, for example, a work status change, where a surviving spouse begins to work full-time
rather than part-time and therefore needs daycare that wasn’t previously required. (Do not confuse this with the
childcare you currently provide, as that was captured in the VDA. And, do not confuse this with childcare your
family currently funds from your Current Family Income.)Enter the expected additional monthly cost for childcare. Include what your survivors would need to pay others for
additional daycare, after-school care, baby sitting, etc. The NPV (Net Present Value) of the Total Cost is calculated
and displayed. The Total Cost is defined as the monthly cost times 12 times the number of years until your youngest
child is 12. Override this pre-populated entry if you have information that will produce a more personalized analysis.
18. Eldercare Expenses. Enter the annual cost times the number of years your parent/relative
will need this care. (Do not confuse this with the care you currently provide, as that was captured in the
VDA. These are services you pay for, not care currently provided by family and friends.) If your parent/relative owns Long Term Care insurance, adjust for
expenses that policy would cover.
19. Total Needs. This is the NPV (Net Present Value) of Items 10 through 18.