You may already know that the cost of life insurance is primarily dependent on your age and your health. That, naturally, leads to the question: What is a good age to get life insurance?
The short answer is that the younger you are, the cheaper your premiums are likely to be. That said, ultimately there is no good or bad age to purchase life insurance. Rather, there are times in your life when it will make the most sense to purchase or increase life insurance coverage because you need more financial protection.
Here are few times in your life when it makes sense to get life insurance, or to increase the amount of life insurance coverage you have.
WHEN YOU GET MARRIED
When you make the decision to get married, your financial picture changes significantly. You no longer need to worry only about your own personal wellbeing, but also the wellbeing of your significant other. That’s why many newly married (or soon-to-be-married) couples often decide to add life insurance to their financial plan: To ensure that their spouse will be taken care of should something happen to them.
WHEN YOU BUY A HOUSE
If you and your significant other decide to buy a house together, the size of your mortgage was likely influenced by both of your incomes. In the event that one of you passes away, it could become difficult to maintain those same mortgage payments on a single salary. That’s why purchasing or increasing your coverage when you get a mortgage can be a very smart decision.
WHEN YOU HAVE KIDS
Having children is, without a doubt, one of the most common reasons that people decide to get life insurance. It’s for good reason: Knowing that your children would be taken care of financially should something happen to you and your spouse can provide great peace of mind.
There are several questions you may want to ask during the process, for instance: Do you want to help your child pay for college, a wedding, a first home, or any other major life event? If so, the amount of life insurance you get should reflect these desires.
Here’s something else to think about: There are many good reasons that parents choose to purchase life insurance policies on their children. One of the most important of those boils down to a concept known as insurability, or someone’s ability to get coverage. Your insurability is based on your age and health, so by purchasing life insurance for your child when they are young and healthy, you are “locking in” their insurability. The cost of their policy will never change based on future changes in their health. And they may be able to buy additional coverage at certain times in the future based on their health at the time the policy was first put in place.
RELATED CONTENT: Our Life Insurance Guide can help you learn more about life insurance and how it can benefit your financial plan.
WHEN YOU HAVE A COSIGNER ON A LOAN — OR YOU COSIGN A LOAN
If you have had anyone else cosign a loan for you — for example, a student loan or car loan — you may want to purchase life insurance. That’s because if you pass away, your cosigner could be liable for the outstanding balance of the loan.
Likewise, if you’re a cosigner on a loan and you pass away, some lenders may require that the loan balance becomes due in full — even if the borrower has been making on-time payments. It really depends on the terms of the contract, but if you’ve cosigned on a loan for a child or grandchild, you likely wouldn’t want them to be stuck with a very significant bill in the case of your death.
IF YOU ARE A BUSINESS OWNER
You may not immediately think about life insurance being part of owning a business, but it can play an important role in protecting your business, especially as the business grows.
For example, if you intend to pass your business along to your heirs, the life insurance death benefit could provide a certain level of working capital that can help keep the business afloat if you were to pass away prematurely, or it could help pay off any business debt.
If you own your business with a partner, your partner may decide to open a life insurance policy on you (or vice versa) so that, in the event of your death, they can buy out your share of the business from your family. In these ways, life insurance becomes an important piece of your business succession planning.
If you are considering life insurance but don’t know how much you need or the type you need, a trusted financial advisor can help you weigh your options and understand the best path forward for protecting you and your family.
The primary purpose of permanent life insurance is to provide a death benefit. Using permanent life insurance accumulated value to supplement retirement income will reduce the death benefit and may affect other aspects of the policy.