It’s easy to put off making plans for the end of your life, especially when you’re young. After all, thinking about your own mortality probably isn’t your idea of a good time! In fact, many young Americans don’t have or even think about life insurance unless it’s offered by their employer – but these policies are often inadequate. And what many people don’t realize is that life insurance is definitely something you want to get sooner rather than later, since when you get it will affect your rates and benefit amount. Not sure if it’s the right time for you? There are some simple signs that it is time to buy life insurance!
What Is Life Insurance?
Life insurance is essentially a contract between you and an insurance company. In exchange for premium payments, they promise to pay a lump sum to a beneficiary of your choosing at the time of your passing. This lump sum is called a death benefit. It is most often used for funeral costs or paying off a mortgage or other debts. It can also help to replace the loss of your income.
Policies are cheaper when you’re young and healthy, so getting one sooner rather than later is smart. Beyond getting cheaper premiums, if any of the situations below apply to you, it’s time to start shopping for a policy.
1. Your Income Helps Support Someone
If you earn an income that helps to support someone, you need life insurance, simple as that! And the more money you make, the more life insurance you need. As we mentioned, your job might offer you a life insurance policy, but that policy is a base level of coverage and likely won’t be enough. So how much do you really need? You should look for a policy with a death benefit of at least 6 – 10 times your annual salary. That means if your salary is $50,000, your policy should have a death benefit of around $500,000.
Think of it this way: if you’re part of a couple, you’re most likely planning your life around two incomes. You plan on paying for your mortgage, retirement, and even day-to-day expenses with each other’s incomes in mind. Imagine suddenly losing your loved one and then having to move or completely rebuild your life because you can no longer afford the life you have. That means protecting your partner with life insurance is a must.
2. You Have Kids
If you’re a parent you should already have life insurance. Ideally by the time a life insurance payout comes, your kids will be grown and leading their own lives, but it’s better safe than sorry. It generally takes two incomes to provide for kids. So a sudden loss of income can be devastating, and not just in terms of day-to-day expenses. If the worst does happen, life insurance benefits can be put into a college fund or a savings account to help pay for bigger life expenses that you’d planned to be there for.
3. You Have Debt
When you’re young, you can start racking up some hefty debts that are meant to be paid over a long period of time. You acquire these debts hoping to live a long life and to pay them off long before you’re gone, but you don’t know what the future holds. No matter when you pass away those debts still need to be paid, and they will fall to any family you’ve left behind.
Your debt balance should play a factor when you decide how much life insurance you need. Theoretically you want to leave enough of a death benefit so that your family can pay off your house and other loans, and not have to double their own debts. Getting a robust policy will keep your loved ones from having financial worries on top of handling your loss.
Life insurance is about protecting your loved ones. It’s hard enough to grieve a loss, and you don’t want to add even more stress to the situation. The best way to find a life insurance policy that protects them is by speaking to an agent. Below we have a list of the top life insurance companies in the nation. All of which offer hassle-free assistance and competitive rates. Shopping around is your best bet, so always check multiple sites to make sure you get the best rate possible. Help protect and provide for your family by checking rates today.
Co-written by Brianna Hartnett