Every adult needs life insurance, but the type of life insurance you choose depends on your current life situation and career path. Take a look at these sample profiles and see which one most closely fits your life. Remember that if your life situation changes, your life insurance probably needs to change as well.
Example 1: 26-year-old grad school student with part-time retail job
This advice will technically apply to all young people who do not yet have a family. If you do not have life insurance through your employer, you need to purchase life insurance on your own.
Why? Because of your parents. At this point in your life, your parents will be responsible for the costs of your accidental death, and those costs are not insignificant. The average American funeral costs more than $10,000. That’s money that your parents need to be saving for their own retirement. Paying a few dollars a month for life insurance means that: should something happen to you, you will not create a financial burden for the people who raised you.
Example 2: 30-year-old office employee, married and planning a family
Many office jobs either offer life insurance as part of their benefit package, or offer employees the opportunity to get discounted life insurance along with their health insurance plan.
As soon as you get married, life insurance becomes essential. If something were to happen to you, your spouse would not only absorb the funeral costs, but also will need funds to handle the adjustment in income. Simply put: if the two of you are paying expenses in a two-income household, it is difficult to immediately adjust to a one-income household.
This goes double once you have children. Yes, a surviving spouse is likely to make it on one income, but it is much harder for a surviving family.
Example 3: 45-year-old freelance writer, single and in good health
By the time you reach middle age, you may have enough money in your bank account to cover the costs of a funeral. If you have no dependents, life insurance probably isn’t high on your list, especially if you’re not already getting it through your employer.
However, it’s still important. As the team at SILI notes, if you’re in good health you have the opportunity to get no-exam life insurance. Having life insurance, even as a single person, reduces the burden placed on parents or siblings after your death, and no-exam life insurance is a quick, easy, and inexpensive solution to the life insurance problem.
Example 4: 65-year-old retiree, married, with adult children
When you buy life insurance, you often keep your policy for years. However, if you make it to your retirement years without life insurance, you shouldn’t assume that you’ve missed your chance. Purchasing a life insurance policy late in life protects your spouse, as well as your children, should something happen to you. Combining life insurance with long-term care insurance also protects your family in case you develop an illness that requires long-term nursing.
No matter where you are in your life, life insurance is important. When in doubt, remember this quote from Jon Fritz, in his guide to life insurance:
“If you have anyone depending on your income (your spouse, children, siblings, aging parents, etc.) and you’re not independently wealthy, you will need life insurance at some point.”
If that sounds like you, it’s time to look at some policies.