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When Should You Get Life Insurance?

Published September 27, 2019

3 minute read

Joshua Williams

By Joshua Williams

When buying a life insurance policy, you need to consider several factors to help you decide which one is best for you.

When you really think about how your age and life circumstances influence the types of life insurance policies that you need, you will quickly see that there is not an option that is best for everyone. That is why you must choose an option that fits your specific situation.

Comparing Life Insurance Policies Based on Your Age

This might come as a surprise, but many young adults need life insurance more than older adults. You expect that people under 40 still have decades of life ahead of them, so you might wonder why they even need to worry about life insurance.

When you compare life insurance policies, it’s less important to think about the chances that you will use it and more important to think about how your dependents will benefit if they need to use it. Most young adults have young children, mortgages, car payments, credit card debts, and countless other obligations that require money. At the same time, their spouses probably cannot afford to make all of these payments without some help.

Life insurance for young people should, therefore, cover those expenses if you were no longer around to contribute to your family’s finances.

Comparing Life Insurance Policies Based on Dependents

Your life insurance policy needs to change dramatically when you have kids. Suddenly you have a lot more to worry about.

Before having children, most couples only need to worry about paying their monthly bills and saving for retirement. After the kids are born, though, they have to start thinking about short term expenses such as clothes, furniture, school supplies, and daycare. They also have to start thinking about long term expenses.

You should choose a life insurance policy that can help your children pay for a college education, purchase their first cars, and prepare for a sound financial future.

Comparing Life Insurance Policies as You Age

As you get older you will probably find that two things happen: life insurance policies become more expensive and your family needs them less.

Older adults usually have more home equity. They might even own their homes outright. They also have fewer dependents because their children have grown and started their own careers. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t need any life insurance, but you certainly don’t need a policy with a huge payoff.

As your financial obligations decrease, so should your life insurance needs.

Life Insurance Policies that Fit Your Lifestyle

All of this advice is based on averages, so they might not apply to you. For instance, some young adults already own their own homes. Others have already saved a lot of money for the future. This makes life insurance policies less important for them because they already have money and equity for their families to fall back on.

Some seniors, on the other hand, have young children or decide to purchase a new property that will become a financial burden for the family without the help of a life insurance policy.

This makes it important for each person to weight his or her own circumstances to choose an option that fits their lifestyles and financial obligations.

Joshua Williams


Joshua is a freelance writer with years of experience blogging about business and finance, and a whole host of other things too. When he's not writing, he enjoys camping with his dog, a golden retriever named Oakley.

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