Here's Why You Need Life Insurance Now

You should have life insurance even when you're young.

Man and woman kiss after wedding reception with sparklers.
If you’ve borrowed money, the last thing you want to do is leave your new spouse with all the bills.
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Every life insurance policy is specific to a given family’s needs, but one rule of thumb fits all purchases: It’s never too soon. No matter what stage of life you’re in, a policy provides peace of mind. Here are some key times to consider talking to an insurance agent.

When You're Just Starting Out

In your early 20s—right after college or when you’re beginning your first job—you’re at a time when good health may qualify you for an inexpensive policy that might not be accessible later. If you have tuition debts or car payments, a low-cost term policy is one option to protect your parents or cosigners from having to absorb your financial burden.

When You're Newly Married

If you’ve incurred consumer debt—say, buying household goods on credit, borrowing to buy a new car, or taking out a mortgage to purchase your first home—the last thing you want to do is leave your spouse with all the bills. The loss of an income stream is hard enough to overcome.

A dad holds his newborn in the nursery.

Get peace of mind before bringing the newest member of your family home.

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When You Start a Family

Life insurance helps maintain your family’s standard of living in case one parent dies, even if that person wasn’t the primary wage earner. It’s easy to underestimate the cost of hiring others to handle daily household tasks such as child care, laundry, and driving kids to school.

When You're Getting Close to Retirement

This might be time to consider permanent life insurance, a type of policy that increases in value as you pay your annual premiums. You can use it as collateral for children’s or grandchildren’s tuition and other expenses without incurring the penalties that dipping into your retirement funds might involve.

When You Retire

At this stage, life insurance serves its traditional purpose. The proceeds of the policy provide income for survivors after your death, cover the costs of estate taxes, and allow you to leave an inheritance to family members, dear friends, or a charity that’s close to your heart.


This article was first published in September 2014 and last updated in September 2021.