When are you going to get buy a life insurance policy?  When is the right time?  How much life insurance?  Do you need it?  

This is probably one of the most awkward questions you could ask someone. If the person is close by, you might get a look that says: What the heck! Do I look like someone who’s going to drop dead anytime soon?

Ask anyone who has attempted to market life insurance and they’ll tell you that such experiences are very common. Thanks to online marketing, we can talk about the subject without getting those strange daredevil looks that can freeze a man dead in his boots! But then, as you’ll see in the course of this article, planning to die soon is not the point of getting life insurance.

Nonetheless, the question is a valid one insofar as it relates to when, over the course of one’s life, to get life insurance. What age is ideal to get a Life Insurance? Is it when I am 57, close to retirement? Or is it at the ripe mid-life age of 45? Should I even consider it at 30?

To start with, there are a number of factors that could prompt someone to get life insurance. Some people have confessed that having near-death experiences forced them to eventually get one. For others, seeing a close friend or relative pass away was the wake-up call.  Some when they buy a home, get married, have children, etc.  

Whichever factor or event prompts a person to purchase life insurance is however not really important as the benefits of having life insurance are one that every individual can relate to and in this article we shall discuss some of them.

Why get life insurance in the first place?

You most likely won’t be interested in something if you have little or no idea how it works. But with life insurance, having the right perspective is equally as important as knowing its benefits. For many people, life insurance is more or less the same concept as having a will – a sad reminder that no one is going to be around forever. This is not the best mindset you should have when you think of life insurance.  Life insurance does much more than remind you of all of our impending deaths.

It’s hard to predict what the future can turn out to be. As humans we recognize this fact, although we don’t like it and subconsciously avoid thinking about it. That is the main reason we take certain measures to protect ourselves financially or otherwise, half anticipating that somewhere along with the line things could get ugly. It is this same mindset that prompts us to save a percentage of our salary in case we suddenly lose our jobs or something happens that makes it impossible to work for a time. Not also forgetting the fact that we may not be able to continue working after some years.

Life insurance is like having a savings account. One dedicated not to you but to people you love and care about. The main difference is that with a savings account you can easily decide one day to empty the balance on a brand new car or gadget. But with life insurance, you, of course, dedicate a part of your earnings in the form of premiums and get tucked safely away for the benefit of your loved ones. Depending on the type, you could withdraw a part of the cash value of the policy but unless the money is paid back, that sum will be deducted from the death benefit your beneficiaries will receive after your demise.

Some Benefits of Life Insurance:

  • Provision of financial support for family members. At the death of a life insurance policyholder, the named beneficiary is given access to the money’s worth of the policy. This money could be used to solve pressing financial needs like tuition, debt servicing, daily upkeep, and other usual expenses. It becomes all the more important when the beneficiary is still in adolescence, in the early teens or in college. Losing a parent is really bad. But being in financial distress shortly after is far worse and the money from the life insurance policy would go a long way in wading through the situation.
  • Payment towards charities. In life insurance policies, you can make a charity organization or even your personal foundation a named beneficiary. This would help you attain your philanthropic goals in your absence.
  • Paying final expenses. The funds from a life insurance policy can be directed towards the settling of unpaid medical bills, cremation or funeral costs. Again, this helps to offset the burden on one’s loved ones and avoiding undue financial problems in addition to seeing a loved one pass.
  • Tax waivers. Funds from life insurance policies are not given the same tax treatment as income from usual sources. When the payout is made in a lump sum, no income taxes will be paid. In some instances, the tax may be levied on death benefits but it generally doesn’t happen, and that’s why it’s important to clarify exactly what one’s policies entail in light of the governing laws.

When is the right time to get life insurance?

Some experts will tell you between 30 to 35 years. This normally should be the time when people get married and start having kids. Yet in recent times we have seen a gradual dip in the number of people who are getting married. So alternatively, the best time to get life insurance would be immediately after having a first child. But of course, this does not mean that the beneficiary of a life insurance policy must be the child of the policyholder.

When thinking of getting a policy, it is never a good idea to follow the trend. Statistics show that of the total number of life insurance policyholders in America, over 50% is no less than 45 years. Generally, millennials in the working population tend to earn lower wages. At that point, they are more focused on what brings more money into their pockets and not what takes the money out. Therefore, paying premiums on a regular basis wouldn’t exactly sound like a great idea. But the flip side is that those people don’t get the benefits of life insurance, and nor do their loved ones. Hence, the key thing is to remember that earlier is better and safer for you and your family.

In addition, it’s important to note one thing. It is far cheaper for young people to purchase a policy than it is for older people. On average, the annual premium a 30-year-old male would pay for a level term policy having a $100,000 value is around $156. In comparison, a 40-year old male would pay close to $216 for the same policy.

Conclusion

Choosing to purchase a life insurance plan is one of the most thoughtful decisions you will ever make. No doubt, life insurance can be a touchy topic. But it gives you the opportunity of helping your family and loved ones in case the unexpected occurs.