Life insurance for 35-year-olds: is it worth it? |

Buying life insurance as a 35-year-old

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The best time to buy life insurance is as soon as you need it — and at 35, chances are that’s now.

You may have people depending on you for financial support, a home, assets or existing debts. The good news is, life insurance is very affordable at this age and a good idea to protect your dependents should something happen to you. As a typical, healthy 35-year-old, you’re likely to be privy to low premiums and preferred rates. What’s more, higher coverage may be within your reach for as little as a few extra dollars a month.

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Life insurance companies for 35-year-olds

Name Product Issue Ages Coverage Range Medical Exam Required
20 to 60 years old
$100,000 to $8,000,000
Term life insurance with no policy fees and the freedom to cancel anytime. Simple application process that can get you approved for coverage instantly.
20 - 80 years old
$25,000 to $10,000,000
Quickly get a quote for coverage with this marketplace, which compares term & whole life insurance policies from 45+ carriers.
21 - 54 years old
$50,000 to $1,000,000
Affordable 2-, 10- and 20-year term life insurance policies. Instant quotes and no medical exams.
18 - 85 years old
$10,000 to $10,000,000+
Depends on provider and policy
Compare quotes from 16 life insurance companies side by side.
20 - 85 years old
$100,000 to $1,000,000
Depends on policy
Get a term or whole life insurance quote from Fidelity Life - starting as low as $15/day.
18 - 75 years old
$100,000 to $5,000,000
Depends on provider and policy
Apply for a simple instant-decision policy free of charge. Compare quotes from multiple A-rated carriers.
18 - 80 years old
$50,000 to $25,000,000
Depends on provider and policy
Get a quote within minutes from more than a dozen insurers.

Compare up to 4 providers

Which is the cheapest life insurance provider for 35-year-olds?

At 35, you might be looking at $250,000 of coverage. For a nonsmoking man, our research shows Pacific Life may be the cheapest provider at around $13.73 a month. As always, the rates for a smoker are higher. In this case, Banner Life and William Penn may be the most cost-effective options, tending to charge $47.73 a month.

According to our research, Banner Life, William Penn and Protective Life might cover a 35-year-old nonsmoking woman for just $12.02 a month. For smokers, Banner Life and William Penn take on the “cheapest providers” title at $39.94 a month.

Monthly costs of a 20-year, $500,000 term life policy for a 35-year-old in perfect health

AIG Life Ins (American General)$21.54$18.94
AXA Equitable$28.67$25.25
Banner Life (LGA)$21.84$18.49
John Hancock USA$25.07$24.72
Lincoln Financial Group$32.38$25.81
Minnesota Life$23.41$20.15
Pacific Life$21.59$19.04
Principal Life Insurance$21.88$19.51
Protective Life$21.07$18.49
United of Omaha$22.97$19.91
US Life (AIG in New York)$21.54$18.94
William Penn (LGA in New York)$21.84$18.49

What is my risk of dying in the next five years?

A healthy 35-year-old can expect to live a long life. Based on our life expectancy data, the risk of dying within the next five years is low at 0.93% for men and 0.54% for women.

Living in the US, the life expectancy rate is in your favor. A man who reaches his 65th birthday is likely to live until 84.3, while a woman can expect to hit age 86.6. What’s more, about a quarter of 65-year-olds will live past the big 9-0.

While life insurers take your age into account when underwriting policies, as a 35-year-old, there’s no need to stress. As long as you’re healthy and free from major medical conditions, you should be able to qualify not only for coverage, but for most providers’ preferred rates.

Odds of dying for a 35-year-old

Within the next…MaleFemale
5 years0.93%0.54%
10 years2.13%1.32%
20 years6.83%4.35%
30 years16.69%10.54%

What is the typical cost of life insurance for 35-year-olds?

The 30 to 39 age bracket is a popular time to apply for life insurance, and for good reason: You’re young enough to qualify for a low premium, and you probably have the funds to apply for a higher amount of coverage.

Say you’re a nonsmoking man in perfect health. The typical cost of a $500,000, 20-year term policy is $24.56 a month. Over the course of the policy, that price totals $5,894.40, with an expected value of $34,161.10. The average cost for the same amount of coverage is a bit lower for a nonsmoking woman, coming in at $21.24 a month. In 20 years, that totals $5,096.91, with an expected value of $21,773.20.

What is the best life insurance policy for 35-year-olds?

Since life insurance is personalized, the best policy for you could be very different from that of the next 35-year-old. That being said, there are some general guidelines to follow.

To protect your family and offer them a sense of financial security for the future, look at term insurance. It’s the most inexpensive option and popular among those in their 30s. Term insurance provides coverage for a set period of time, usually 10, 20 or 30 years, and people tend to choose a number that takes them up until the time they’ve paid off their debts and sent their children off to college. Think of term as putting a price on peace of mind: If you die during your policy, your beneficiary will receive the death benefit, which they can use to pay for things like outstanding loans, taxes and living expenses.

Term insurance is a safe option for both you and your provider. Life insurance carriers normally offer low premiums to 35-year-olds, mainly because the chances of you outliving your policy are high. If you do die, however, your term policy will kick in to take care of your loved ones. With term policies, the premium doesn’t change — so you can budget for it accordingly.

If you want to treat your life insurance policy as an investment, consider a permanent policy, such as whole life or universal life. While these policies are far more expensive, most healthy 35-year-olds can access low and even preferred rates. One of the most attractive features of a permanent policy is that it accumulates cash value. Once you build up enough cash value, you can take out loans against your own policy, which may come in handy if you need to pay for a wedding or put a down payment on a house. Permanent policies last a lifetime, so long as you make your monthly payments.

Life insurance agents tend to recommend permanent policies, particularly whole life, as they earn a bigger commission. To make an informed decision, check out our guide to life insurance.

How much life insurance do I need at age 35?

When you’re working out how much life insurance to buy, consider what you pay for now and what you predict you’ll be paying for in the future. At the same time, settle on a premium that’s affordable, because your policy will lapse if you don’t make your payments on time. Some expenses you should be considering when determining an amount are outstanding student loans, spouses age and health, children or other beneficiaries, and/or your business.

Life insurance is highly personal, so it’s smart to review your policy as your circumstances change, like if you buy a new home, have a child, start a business or get a promotion.

Case study

If you can relate to a handful of those points, you might be wondering if you should get higher coverage. At 35, the difference between a quarter- and a half-million dollars of coverage for a 20-year term life policy comes down to a few dollars.

Let’s use a 35-year-old nonsmoking man as an example. According to our research, for a $250,000 policy, Pacific Life — one of the most budget-friendly providers — might charge $13.73 a month. To double that coverage to $500,000, Pacific Life tends to charge $21.59 a month, a price difference of $7.86. And to boost it to $1 million, the price is $37.40 a month.

Remember, once you’ve been accepted for a life insurance policy, your premium is locked in. That’s the major benefit of signing up sooner rather than later: You can get high coverage at a very low cost.

Bottom line

At age 35, you’re probably in the market to protect a family or financial assets. You may also have some debt to your name, such as a mortgage or student loan, that you don’t want being transferred to someone else in case of a tragedy. Those are among the major motivators for a 35-year-old taking out a life insurance policy, and the low monthly premiums can often swing those sitting on the fence.

If you decide to purchase life insurance, it will be tailored to your situation and financial goals. Before signing the dotted line, compare providers with our extensive guide to life insurance.

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