Life insurance is a fundamental part of a sound financial plan. But as we age, the type of coverage we need changes dramatically, say experts. Kids, houses, retirement—they are important variables in the equation. We spoke with Bob Bland, CEO of LifeQuotes.com, for an inside look at what policies you should get and when.
Scenario 1: You’re a recent college grad with no kids
If you don’t have any dependents or student loans—you don’t need life insurance. In fact, Bland says, be leery of anyone who tells you otherwise.
Scenario 2: You’re in your late 20s, recently married and working full time
If the worst were to happen, you wouldn’t want your spouse left swimming in debt. So, if you have a mortgage or a car loan, consider a term life policy. A 20-year, $500,000 plan could cost as little as $15 to $45 per month, says Bland.
Scenario 3: You’re in your 30s, married and a first-time parent
This is when life insurance starts to become crucial. Financial experts recommend you get a plan that will pay out at least 10 times your annual income to the beneficiary. But if you want to cover things like college tuition, Bland recommends term life policies in the neighborhood of $750,000 to $1 million for each breadwinner. A married couple could pay as little as $52 a month for that kind of coverage.
Scenario 4: You’re in your 40s and considering jumping into the world of consulting
If you’re going to leave the security of a salaried job, Bland recommends getting an insurance check-up. “The first order of business is to ask your current HR department if your company life insurance is transportable in the event you leave,” he says. Most aren’t, which means you’ll have to find your own insurer. But fear not; policies are still very affordable. A 45-year-old man in good health could pay as little as $112 a month for $2.5 million in coverage, says Bland.
Scenario 5: You’re in your mid 40s, married without children and have a good job
An established couple at the top of their earning power needs surprisingly little life insurance, says Bland, “The reason being: each is economically independent.” He recommends a scaled-back policy that would cover funeral expenses and family debts, like mortgages.
Scenario 6: You’re in your 60s, married and have just retired
If you’re lucky enough to have a good pension, little or no debt and no children left to rear, Bland says you don’t need much life insurance. Otherwise, he recommends carefully examining your financial situation. If the death of one spouse would leave the beneficiary spouse in a tight spot, consider a basic policy.
Want to learn more about life insurance? Visit geico.com for a list of FAQs and tips on what to look for when selecting a policy.
By Andrew Raven