Buying life insurance as a 35-year-old

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

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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.

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

We recommend: Term life insurance

Term life insurance is the ideal policy for someone in their mid-30’s because of its practicality and affordability. At this stage in your life you’ve likely married, had children, and/or taken out a mortgage. A term policy can guarantee financial protection for your family and assets in the event that something happens to you. And because the chances of you outliving your policy are high, life insurance carriers will typically offer a healthy 35 year old very low premiums that you can lock in for years to come.

A great pick: Ladder

Ladder life insurance is a great option for someone in their mid 30’s looking to take on a policy. The sign up process is quick and easy, and likely won’t require a medical exam. What’s more, Ladder offers high coverage amounts at a low rate. This is perfect for someone with years left on their more mortgage and future college funds to worry about.

Get a quote from LadderLife™
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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

Provider Male Female
AIG $21.54 $18.94
Banner Life (LGA) $21.84 $18.49
John Hancock USA $25.07 $24.72
Lincoln Financial Group $32.38 $25.81
Pacific Life $21.59 $19.04

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.

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.

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.

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.

Odds of dying for a 35-year-old

Within the next… Male Female
Year 0.17% 0.09%
5 years 0.93% 0.54%
10 years 2.13% 1.32%
20 years 6.83% 4.35%
30 years 16.69% 10.54%

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.

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.

Compare life insurance providers

Name Product Issue Ages Coverage Range Medical Exam Required State Availability
18 - 85 years old
$10,000 to $10,000,000+
Depends on provider and policy
All 50 states
Compare affordable quotes from 12+ A-rated life insurance companies side-by-side.
21 - 54 years old
$50,000 to $1,000,000
Not available in Alaska or New York
Affordable 2-, 10- and 20-year term life insurance policies. Instant quotes and no medical exams.
20 to 60 years old
$100,000 to $8,000,000
Not available in New York
Term life insurance with no policy fees and the freedom to cancel anytime. Simple application process that can get you approved for coverage instantly.
18 - 64 years old
$100,000 to $3,000,000
All 50 states
Customized term life insurance policies up to $3 million, no medical exam for certain applicants.
25 - 60 years old
$100,000 to $5,000,000
Available in all states except for Montana
Offers term life insurance with accelerated underwriting. No-exam coverage up to $1,000,000 for those who qualify.

Compare up to 4 providers

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