Why Life Insurance Is Worth Your While at Any Age
By Dr. Enoch Omololu | Originally published in the LifeHappens.org Blog on March 23, 2023.
You may have heard of life insurance and thought you don’t need it, especially if you’re still young and don’t have any dependents. And yes, it can be considered an extra monthly or yearly cost, but it’s worth your while not only when you’re young, but as the years pass and your financial investments and dependents multiply.
Continue reading below as we answer some common misconceptions about life insurance and tell you why it’s worth your while at any age.
What is Life Insurance?
First, let’s start with the basics. Life insurance is a contract or policy that provides your loved ones (beneficiaries) with financial support if the insured person passes away. Having life insurance can give peace of mind to your family members and help minimize the financial impact of your death.
If the policyholder dies during the policy term, the life insurance company pays your family a pre-decided sum of money, also known as the death benefit.
Misconceptions About Life Insurance
Many people think life insurance isn’t necessary or have other misconceptions about it. Here are some common myths about life insurance and the truth behind them.
You should only get life insurance when you’re older. You may not think you need it now, but getting life insurance while you’re young is beneficial. Getting coverage in your 20s or 30s when you’re young and healthy is usually less expensive than when you’re older. Lock in that rate now before any health conditions surprise you down the road.
Life insurance is too expensive. Paying the premium can feel like just another cost, but you never know the course that life will take. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. It’s important to remember that any amount of life insurance coverage is better than none at all, and it probably costs a lot less than you think. Recent research shows that 80% of people overestimate the cost of a life insurance policy.
Life insurance is only useful after you die. Life insurance gives you and your family peace of mind and financial stability if anything happens to you. It can cover funeral costs and any outstanding debt you may have. It can also cover everyday expenses beyond these final expenses, from a mortgage to putting your kids through school. The peace of mind of opting for a policy comes long before the end of life.
Benefits of Life Insurance by Decade
Now, let’s explore the benefits of having life insurance at every age. Each decade brings new milestones, but the advantages of life insurance remain.
Life Insurance in Your 20s
Your 20s are a huge transition period, marked by significant events like finishing school and beginning your career.
Purchasing life insurance in your 20s is important because it allows you to lock in a lower premium rate, making it very affordable while you are young and healthy. As you age, your risk of death increases, and so do the premiums for life insurance.
As you start building your career, life insurance can be used as an investment option to save for future financial goals, helping you in the present and future. Plus, having life insurance can provide financial protection for your loved ones if you were to die unexpectedly during this time.
Life Insurance in Your 30s
Your 30s also come with lots of change, with many getting married, purchasing their first home and starting a family during these years. You are building the foundation of the life you’re dreaming of!
Your 30s are often a time when several people come to rely on you. And if someone depends on you financially, you are most likely someone who needs life insurance. With so many milestones during this time, opting into life insurance becomes crucial in the case of an unexpected event.
Another added benefit is that when you secure life insurance in your 30s, you’re still relatively young and healthy, meaning you will receive lower premium rates than if you wait until you get older.
Life Insurance in Your 40s
In your midlife, you have now built the walls and roof around your foundation. And that means purchasing a policy and not delaying is essential. If your life includes a partner, children, aging parents or relatives, a mortgage (or multiple), or a business, then life insurance is a must to ensure that no one is financially harmed if something happens to you.
You can still find an affordable policy depending on your health habits and medical conditions, so lock it in before any concerns arise. For example, someone in their 40s in excellent health may receive a better rate than a 30-year-old with health issues. However, inevitably as you age, your health concerns increase—getting a policy will feel like a weight off of your shoulders, especially with the additional financial obligations that can come with this decade.
Life Insurance in Your 50s
The first-half century is complete, and now it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor! Check off those bucket-list items, enjoy an empty nest, purchase that second home or car you’ve always dreamed of and do the final prep for retirement.
Your 50s are about ensuring you’re on the right track to achieving financial security in retirement. There’s no way around it: Purchasing life insurance in your 50s is probably going to be significantly more expensive than it would’ve been earlier in life. But so are your life-long obligations if there is no financial protection in place.
Whether you have dependent children or other big expenses such as a mortgage, a business, or a spouse who could end up outliving you, there are still many areas where life insurance could help. Think about life insurance in your 50s as a financial tool to help you achieve the lifestyle you want—it’s there to help your family in unfortunate circumstances but also to help you support your retirement and other expenses.
Life Insurance as a Senior
For those 60 and up, it may seem like your time for life insurance has passed. But don’t let your policy lapse just yet. Seniors are in direct need of life insurance, as they’re aging and thinking about arranging end-of-life plans for the sake of their families. Life insurance, as discussed, can help cover outstanding debts or mortgages and pay for final expenses like funeral costs. Additionally, senior business owners may need a life insurance policy as a key person benefit or to fund a buy-sell agreement in the event of their death.
Another reason to consider is that certain life insurance policies can help cover the cost of long-term care. As people age, they may require assistance with daily living activities, and long-term care insurance can help cover the cost of this care. Seniors also use life insurance policies to pass on wealth to their beneficiaries, providing a tax-efficient way to transfer assets to the next generation and leave a lasting financial legacy.
Summing it Up
Ultimately, getting life insurance is always a good idea, regardless of age. It’s almost always worth it for your family’s peace of mind and financial support. No matter the milestones you’re currently enjoying, life insurance is there to protect what’s important to you financially.