Whether you don’t have any coverage at all or have an existing policy that’s about to expire, Ethos can help you. Let’s dive into some scenarios to help you figure out when you’re ready to buy life insurance.
When to buy life insurance during the year
When you’re looking at the calendar, there’s no “best time to get life insurance.” But several points throughout the year can serve as triggers for either buying a policy or reviewing your current coverage to make sure it’s enough for your needs.
Major life event
Whenever a significant life event occurs, it’s time to evaluate your life insurance needs, even if you already have a policy in place. Here are some of the most common life events that may occur throughout the year (and when they serve as a sign you need coverage):
- Marriage: Getting married means that you and your spouse share financial responsibility. It also often means increasing expenses, such as two sets of auto loans, student loans, and a bigger mortgage. When you both contribute to the household, whether by earning income and/or by managing the home, you both need life insurance.
- Birth or adoption: Adding a child to your family also increases your financial obligations. Here’s an opportunity to ensure you have enough life insurance to cover lost income, childcare expenses, and each child’s future education costs.
- Divorce: Going through a divorce could also change your life insurance needs. You may want to change your beneficiary for an existing policy. It’s also an excellent time to purchase a policy to cover your new set of financial responsibilities, whether they’re lower or higher, after the divorce is settled.
- Major purchases: Another good time to buy life insurance is when you make a major purchase, like a house. Many people opt for a policy covering the entire debt so their family doesn’t have to sell the house (or another asset) should they pass away.
End-of-year financial planning
The beginning of a new year often invites reflection and financial planning. It’s one of the best times to get life insurance because you’re already reviewing your finances, including the wealth you’ve accumulated through savings and investments and debts that you already have and are considering in the future.
Another best practice for buying life insurance is to purchase a policy when you do your taxes. Like your year-end financial planning, it’s a moment in the year when you have an accurate, real-time sense of your actual financial situation. That makes it easy to quickly calculate how much coverage you need to protect your family.
What age should I buy life insurance?
If you’re wondering the best time to get life insurance, remember there’s no universal answer for everyone. Each person has different personal and financial responsibilities that impact the best time to buy life insurance and the ideal death benefit amount.
But here are some time-related factors to consider:
The younger, the better
A simple rule to remember is this: The best time to apply for life insurance is now. That’s because you’re the youngest you’ll ever be. When you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s, or 50s, you may need a term life insurance policy until your kids leave for college.
Once you reach retirement age in your 60s, it may be best to get a whole life insurance policy. You can use it to help your spouse financially in the event you pass away first, or you could use the benefit to leave as an inheritance. Either way, the younger and healthier you are, the lower your premiums will be — meaning there’s no time to buy life insurance like the present.
Before your term life policy expires
If you already have a term life policy, you don’t want a gap in coverage as that term comes to an end. By instituting a new policy before the old one expires, you remove the risk of your loved ones missing out on a death benefit should you pass away during a coverage gap.
In some cases, you may be able to convert your term life into a whole life policy. But this often comes with huge jumps in your premium payments, especially if you want to keep the same level of coverage. Another alternative is to purchase whole life insurance. Ethos offers permanent policies that range anywhere from $1,000 to $30,000.
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