While you may scoff at the very idea of needing life insurance, that doesn’t mean you don’t need it. If you recently graduated, it wouldn’t be so long ago that you didn’t have a care in the world, and your only thoughts were on dissertations and strong coffee.
If you recently entered the workplace, you may not think you need life insurance because you’re just not that old. Or if you have a young family, or your budget is just too tight, then you may think life insurance is an expense that you shouldn’t need to worry about.
Whatever your reasoning, get ready to think again. Life insurance is not just a standard product, and it’s not one-size-fits-all. There are a whole load of different types of life insurance, and most of them can be tailored to suit you. Here are a few reasons why you might want to think again about life insurance.
Do you have debt?
Perhaps you have a student loan. Maybe you are paying off a car loan. You could have racked up some debt on your credit cards. You may even have taken the plunge and got a mortgage. So what happens to these debts if something happens to you? Well, it could be that your family has to pay them. Could they afford to do that?
Getting standard life insurance can offer a lump sum payout if you were to die or become terminally ill. This payout out could help to pay off your debts. Or, if you got income protection insurance, you could take advantage monthly payouts if you are injured or become too sick to work. This could allow you to concentrate on getting better, while not having to worry about all those building debts.
Get Responsible with your Responsibilities
If you have responsibilities, then it could be time to think about investing in some life insurance. As mentioned previously, if you have the responsibility of a mortgage, then you have the responsibility to make sure someone else isn’t lumbered with paying it, should something happen to you.
The same applies if you have a family. Having dependents means you have people depending on you. While they may depend on you for love and emotional support, they may also depend on you financially as well. Getting life insurance can mean protection for them, and their future.
Do you rely on your income to pay the bills?
While it may seem like an obvious question, if you do rely on your income to pay the bills, then have you thought about what would happen if your salary stopped coming in? If you become sick or injured, then you may not be able to work. But, if you have income protection insurance, you can protect your income, should this happen.
You can decide how much you want your monthly payments to be (usually up to 75% of your salary). You can decide when you want your payments to start (usually between a couple of weeks to a couple of years after becoming sick or injured). You can also decide how long you want the payments to last (usually a couple of years, all the way up to retirement).
What if you have an accident?
Accidental injury insurance basically covers the same ground as income protection insurance, in as much as it can offer financial assistance if you are the victim of an accident. This type of insurance provides a lump sum payout if you are involved in an accident, and can allow you get back on your feet with fewer financial worries.
Do you have your own business?
Business expenses insurance works in much the same way as income protection insurance, except it protects you, as a business owner. If you become injured or you are too sick to work, then business expenses insurance can provide monthly payments to help cover the day-to-day running of the business.
Again, you can decide how long you want the payments to last, and how soon you want them to start. However, the longer they last, and the sooner they start after injury or illness, the higher the premiums will usually be. But, it can provide invaluable financial assistance in times of hardship, and could mean the difference between your business surviving, and it going under.
I got life insurance as soon as we had our son. My wife is now at home, and I’m the sole provider, financially speaking. And we have a mortgage. So I definitely hit a few of your points above. I don’t want my family to ever have to carry such a burden if I were to lose my life.
Now, we don’t have a policy on my wife yet, but we’re thinking about it. God firbid something happened, our son would be in daycare and that would be VERY expensive. So we’ll see where we end up going with that decision.
Thanks for the great reminder about how important life insurance is.
You make a valid point, daycare is stupidly expensive.
These are all excellent things to consider. My wife and I have a ton of insurance. Neither of us really couldn’t stand the idea of leaving the other with a mortgage, kids to raise, put through college, marriage, etc. I think if most people got a 30 year term while they’re young and healthy, they’d get it for cheap and be set for a long time!
I have it included in my work plan, but I’m seriously considering getting a different policy
Life insurance is extremely important! If you’re carrying debt or have dependents then it’s absolutely something you should have. Further, if you don’t have money saved for a funeral then you probably should have some to cover that as well (unless your family could easily afford to cover $10-15k with a 5-day notice).
I didn’t really of funeral costs, but you make an excellent point.
I think Gen Y needs life insurance is they have dependents. As someone who is single I can’t justify the cost when I eek by on less than 2k per month.
I agree with the other commenters. If you have dependents and debt you definitely need some coverage. We have life insurance for now but it is a term plan as we are aiming to build up enough wealth and equity where we won’t need it anymore.
Thats what my parents are thinking of doing as well, provided that we all have our own policies.
The only reason to have life insurance is, not to put to fine a point on it, if someone will be impacted financially if you were no longer here. I would recommend parents have a CPA/CFP perform a life insurance needs analysis. I am working on my CFP and did an insurance analysis for my family and was shocked at the amount of insurance that would be necessary to replace our income and provide for our children’s education.
Was it higher or lower than you thought?
I agree with MMD that the best way to insure is to buy 20 or 30 year term insurance when you are healthy and young.
I’ve been told. Its rather cheap too.
This is great. We didn’t get life insurance until my hubs started med school and started taking out an ungodly amount of loans. I’m so glad I have it if the worst happens!
Its scary about the amount of debt we have leads to getting coverage.
I’m lucky that I have insurance through my work, but I definitely intend on getting some life insurance for me and my BF once we get married.
I did too, but its the basic plan.
I’m far more worried about disability coverage than life insurance for people just out of college. While many focus on life insurance, people usually ignore disability insurance because it’s uber-expensive…and the reason why? Actuaries think you’ll use it.
Great piece. Thanks for the info.
I didn’t even think about it that way.
Another important one for me is private student loans. If you have them, and your parents are cosigners, what happens if you die? Your parents are stuck with the debt. That is another circumstance where it may make sense to have life insurance if you’re young.
I’ll have you know that my parents refused to sign for my student loans… something about me not being responsible.