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There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to the question: What age should I get life insurance? But your 20s are the perfect age to learn about life insurance. There are advantages to buying it at a young age, one of them being cost. You certainly don’t have to buy it if you’re not ready, but it never hurts to arm yourself with more options.
You might be surprised by how inexpensive life insurance can be. If you’re in good health, it’s possible to get a 20-year term life policy with a $250,000 death benefit for around $15 a month.
Average monthly premiums of a $250,000 20-year term life policy for individuals in excellent health
Here are five reasons why you might want to purchase a policy while you’re young:
The younger and healthier you are, the cheaper your rates will be — which is why it’s best to apply for life insurance as soon as you identify a need for it. As you age, your life expectancy is shorter and you’re more likely to develop health conditions, so insurers hike up your rates. But if you apply for coverage in your 20s, you can lock in a low premium for years – or even the rest of your life if you opt for a whole life policy.
Many people tie the knot in their 20s. If you’re married —or planning to get married — you might want to take out a life insurance policy to replace your income and protect your spouse financially. If you die prematurely, your policy would kick in to pay for things like the mortgage or rent, credit card bills or car loans. It may also help your spouse maintain the lifestyle they’re accustomed to.
If you’re a parent, it’s a good idea to buy coverage that can help take care of your children if you were to die prematurely. Most young parents buy a policy that carries their kids through college, when they enter the workforce and start earning their own money. You can either name an adult beneficiary to manage the money according to your wishes, or work with an attorney to set up a life insurance trust. The trust outlines when and how the funds should be distributed to your kids.
Let’s say you have student loans, like many twenty-somethings do. If you die before paying off a private loan, your beneficiaries will be responsible for those repayments. To prevent that from happening, consider buying a life insurance policy. If you die, your beneficiaries can use the proceeds to settle any outstanding debts. They can also use the money to cover your funeral costs and final expenses.
If you buy permanent life insurance at an early age, your premiums could grow into a sizeable cash asset as the years go by. Once you’ve built up enough cash value — which usually takes 10 to 15 years — you can start taking out loans against your policy. Or, you can surrender the cash value and funnel that money into other investments. However, life insurance isn’t as effective for investing as other tools like a 401k or IRA.
There are a few types of policies to choose from:
In general, if you have people depending on your income — for example, parents, children or a spouse—— a life insurance policy can protect them financially if you die unexpectedly. While the odds of passing away in your 20s aren’t high, it’s still a possibility. And while the odds are relatively low, the rates you’ll score now will be a lot lower than if you applied for coverage in your 30s or 40s.
|Age||Within the next year||Within the next 5 years||Within the next 10 years||Within the next 20 years||Within the next 30 years|
*Based on the combined male and female percentages of our odds of dying data.
If you’re a 20-something, it’s not too early to think about life insurance. In fact, it’s a perfect time to start your research.
You may be able to lock in a great premium at your age. If you do, you can pay the same rate for decades, or even for life. You’ll be covered by a death benefit well into your working years and perhaps after you’ve retired.
Want to learn more? Check out our comprehensive guide to life insurance, where you can research your options and compare providers.
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