There are a lot of questions to ask yourself when you are considering buying life insurance: where to get it, how much to get, and what kind is needed. One question not to be overlooked is when a good time to get insurance coverage is, and when coverage might not be in your best interest.
For Younger People: Consider Your Debt
Many younger people do not think about life insurance because the likelihood of needing it is very small. However, there are important reasons for younger people to be considering life insurance.
The question of debt is an important one. Younger people often have a lot of it: mortgages, car payments, credit card debt, and so forth. If these things are not paid off, other people may be footing the bill.
This is particularly important if you have a spouse or children. You and your spouse may easily be making payment on debt now, but will that be possible for your spouse if you suddenly pass? Life insurance money can be used to pay down these debts so your survivors can use their now diminished income for other costs such as day-to-day expenses.
Potential future expenses should also be considered. The most common consideration is college tuition for children, but other large expenses might also be important considerations.
There’s also the concern for your parents. If you are expecting to care for them in some form as they grow older, you should consider financial alternatives such as life insurance just in case you’re not around to provide for them personally.
For the Older Generation
Plenty of people do not get insurance until much later in life. Part of it is the balance between the cost of premiums and the odds of having to actually cash out a life insurance policy. But as we get older and the risk of death increases, more people start thinking about life insurance.
The amount of insurance needed might be far lower for an older person, which helps balance out the reality that insurance gets more expensive as we age. Older people are more likely to have paid off their mortgages and not have dependents. If they’re living off social security, the surviving spouse continues to earn a portion of the deceased’s income, which may still provide enough support.
But even people without dependents should still consider at least two kinds of future expenses. The first is funeral arrangements. Even simple ceremonies and cremations cost thousands of dollars, and that’s not a cost you want to pass on to your beneficiaries.
The second is potential medical expenses. Even if you are healthy now, our health sometimes takes a turn for the worse very quickly. Many people spend their last days in a hospital, where the rooms alone cost thousands of dollars per day. If surgery is involved, the costs easily end up in the tens of thousands of dollars. A life insurance policy helps insure those bills will be paid rather than having them cut into an inheritance you’re hoping to leave for beneficiaries.
Still, life insurance is not a necessity for everyone. People with considerable savings and comprehensive health insurance may rightly decide coverage is not worth the premiums it would incur. Each person should carefully weigh all of their options before investing in a life insurance policy.