No one wants to think about death, especially when theyï¿½re young. But there are plenty of reasons they may want to start thinking about it and how to take that first step toward financial protection.
ï¿½A life insurance policy can provide a safety net,ï¿½ said Daniel Bortz of U.S. News & World Reportï¿½and not just one for your future. Here are three reasons why you should look into getting life insurance at a younger age:
1. Itï¿½s less expensive now ï¿½ A 2016 study from LIMRA and the nonprofit insurance education group Life Happens found that 64 percent of consumers donï¿½t have life insurance because they think they canï¿½t afford it. However, a separate study from the same two groups showed that a staggering 80 percent of consumers have the wrong idea about how much it actually costs.
ï¿½Millennials, for example, believe life insurance policies are more than three times more expensive than they actually are,ï¿½ wrote Michael Estrin, personal finance reporter for Bankrate.com. ï¿½In fact, premiums for life insurance are typically lower than for other forms of insurance and are often less expensive than monthly bills for cable or cellphones.ï¿½
The cost of life insurance varies based on gender, age and health, which is why the longer you put off purchasing it, the more you will spend. As age rises, so does the likelihood youï¿½ll have issues with your health.
2. You canï¿½t predict the future ï¿½ Getting life insurance is similar to getting auto insurance: nobody ever wants to have to use it, but it provides a great safety net when they need it. That said, a young person may think they donï¿½t need life insurance because they are single or live alone without family. However, those circumstances can always change.
ï¿½Think of how much [their] lives have changed in the last five years,ï¿½ Al Schor, field director with financial planning firm Northwestern Mutual, advised his clients. ï¿½Theyï¿½ve graduated college or started a career. They canï¿½t presume to know exactly whatï¿½s going to, or not going to, happen in the next five years,ï¿½ he said in a Forbes article.
Life insurance would not only help protect your home and family in the future, but could also help your family now, especially if you have outstanding student loan debt. Federal loans are dischargeableï¿½not automatically dischargedï¿½when you die and private lenders often assign the loan responsibilities to a surviving spouse, parent or co-signer. Thatï¿½s just one more reason not to wait to buy life insurance.
3. It helps build a solid financial plan ï¿½ According to Estrin, getting life insurance is just something that, as an adult, you ultimately need to do.
ï¿½Youï¿½re not a kid anymore. Your parents arenï¿½t going to take care of this for you. You need to accept the responsibility as an adult and take care of your loved ones because no one else in the world will,ï¿½ Joel Steele, co-owner of New Jerseyï¿½s Steele Financial Solutions, told Estrin.
It may help, Schor said, to think about life insuranceï¿½s purposes from another angle.
ï¿½What they need to realize is that itï¿½s not just about a death benefit or protecting loved ones,ï¿½ he said of young adults. ï¿½Itï¿½s an integral part of a successful and balanced strategic financial plan.ï¿½
So whether you do it for yourself, your loved ones or the loved ones you may have in the future, life insurance should be seen as a necessity, not an optionï¿½and itï¿½s best not to procrastinate.