When Should You Consider Getting Life Insurance

Not all of us have life insurance, or even need it. But, there are some times in life when you should consider getting life insurance.Most of us don’t even want to think about life insurance. Because it can be a scary topic to consider your own demise. For many of us, we don’t need life insurance. But, there are a few times in life when the topic of getting life insurance should be seriously discussed and considered. When discussing life insurance, there are a couple of different options that should be pointed out as well.

Getting Married

The first time I ever considered getting life insurance was when I got married. This was only a consideration because I wanted my husband to be taken care of should anything happen to me. That is the reason why a lot of us start to consider getting life insurance.

The only reason to even consider it then is if your income is necessary to help make the regular bills. And if you passed away, your significant other would be put into severe financial hardship. Life insurance is a great way to help mitigate that risk in case something bad happens. Because it will kick in if you pass away and pay your spouse a chunk of money to help them pay off the bills, your funeral costs and living expenses.

While it’s nothing that any of us want to think about, it is an important thing to consider when you get married to protect your spouse financially.

RELATED: How to Align Financial Goals With Your Partner Before Marriage

Having a Family

The second time I considered getting life insurance was when I had my first child. And this was when I actually pulled the trigger and purchased a life insurance policy for myself. When you begin to have children, a lot of things come into greater perspective.

After all, if you accidentally meet an untimely demise, your children will definitely suffer in many ways. Financially is just one of the ways that your children could be affected in this situation. Therefore, if you can reduce or remove that portion of the equation, it will make their lives just a little bit easier in the long run.

When I purchased a life insurance policy, I made sure to have my children listed as beneficiaries, as well as my husband. That way they would have a nest egg to help them out in the future when they became adults and start their lives out on the right financial foot. Luckily nothing detrimental has happened to me, and the hope is that nothing will. But, until then, I have a life insurance policy as a back up. Plus, I have been working diligently to teach my children about finances in hopes that they would never need my life insurance policy should an event occur.

Types of Life Insurance

If you have gotten to the point where you are considering getting life insurance, then you have to figure out which kind of policy to get. You would think this would be simple, but it’s not necessarily as cut and dry as we would all hope. In fact, there are two main different types of policies to consider, as well as many different companies that sell both.

RELATED: How Much Life Insurance Do You Really Need

Term Life Insurance Plans

The type of life insurance policy I prefer is a term policy. Term life insurance means that you are taking out a policy for a certain portion of the time. The usual are 10, 20, or 30-year term policies. But, some carriers will offer different terms if you ask.

My current policy is a 30-year policy. I don’t plan to renew it once the term is up because my children will be long gone and probably have their own families by then. Term policies are the most common life insurance policies sold. Here are some of my favorite options for term policies.

Bestow

Bestow is a company that offers free life insurance quotes through different carriers. So, they are a good jumping off point to take a look at what a policy might cost you. Plus, they have some pretty nice benefits to boot.

  • instant quotes and instant coverage without a medical exam
  • 10 year terms up to age 55
  • 20 year terms up to age 45
  • offers policies up to $1 million

Nationwide

Nationwide is who I have used for many years now. And I love them because I have a great agent who has worked tirelessly to get me the best rates on all insurance products available. But, that being said, Nationwide can be a bit more pricey than some of the other companies. However, I have found that they actually ended up being cheaper for me than all of the other companies offering no medical exam policies. This is due to the fact that they did require a medical exam and I come in as a “Preferred Plus” customer, so I get the lowest rate available.

They do offer a few different term lengths and coverage amounts also.

  • 10, 15, 20 & 30 year terms
  • offers coverage amounts of $250k, $500k, $750k & $1 million
  • option to convert to permanent life insurance products at the end of the term

Whole Life Insurance Plans

Whole life insurance is a bit different than a term policy. And not all whole policies are the same either. But, basically a whole policy is best for people who want a policy for life that can potentially pay them dividends. Or, you can take money out of the policy prior to death to use it. However, whole life policies aren’t going to be right for everyone and they typically cost a pretty penny more than term policies. Therefore, for us, a term policy just made more financial sense.

But, if you are considering getting a whole life insurance policy, there are some great companies offering policies.

MassMutual

With MassMutual insurance, all policies require a medical exam. While this can be a much longer process to undergo, it can get you much better rates potentially also. They offer both term and whole policies. On average, their whole policies can cost up to 10 times more than a term policy. Which is why whole policies aren’t necessarily a good fit for most of us. But, some of their perks include:

  • death benefit
  • can receive dividend payments when the company does well
  • builds cash value over your lifetime to use however you choose

State Farm

State Farm whole life policies are very similar to MassMutual. Except that they have two different whole life policy options. Both of them have the option of the same death benefit and amount of cash you can take out of the policy. But one of them will have lower premiums because you will be paying them for a longer period of time than the other policy.

Either way, the benefits of these policies are the same and can be a great option if you want to use your life policy for things such as:

  • supplemental retirement income
  • paying for college for a child
  • starting a business
  • home renovations
  • travel
  • supporting a family upon your death
  • gifting to charity
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Getting Life Insurance Summary

Ultimately, if you are at a point where you are considering getting life insurance, then you have a few thing to think about. Getting a policy isn’t a very simple decision because there are a lot of factors that need to be discussed before purchasing a policy. Overall, the things you should think about before pulling the trigger are:

  • why you need/want a policy
  • your age
  • how much coverage you want/need
  • how long you want the policy for
  • term vs. whole

Once you have the answers to these questions, then you are ready to begin your search for life insurance.

Have you considered getting life insurance? If so, what prompted it and which product did you choose?