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At What Age Should You be Looking at Insurance?

By Heather Brown
August 05, 2015

As part of a healthy financial plan, insurance is a sound investment at every stage of life. But knowing what insurance to have at what stage is an important factor to consider.

It’s also important to remember that everyone’s life situation is different, as are their needs, and the kind of insurance protection that’s needed at each stage of life can be personal. That can change with every life event – such as having a baby, buying a house, or getting a new job, to name a few.

But here are some general guidelines for various stages of a person’s life. Just remember to educate yourself every step of the way to help you understand how different policies work.

Term Life: At this stage of your life, insurance is typically inexpensive and easy to obtain. Term life is the least expensive option, and you can purchase large amounts of protection at a good price. Doing so can help protect a young family and growing assets.

Health: In many cases, health insurance is provided by an employer. And under law, children can stay on their parents’ policies until age 26. But it’s essential to have; without it, most of us couldn’t afford healthcare.

At this stage, you are more likely to have a family and larger assets that need to be protected. So if you haven’t already, now’s the time to buy a life policy, or perhaps buy a bigger policy than what you purchased in your 20s. Many employers provide coverage, but often not enough to cover all needs.

A general rule is to purchase a life policy that is 10 times your annual income.

Long Term Care: This is a great time to purchase a long term care policy, which will cover care when you’re aging, or disabled and can’t perform all the tasks of daily living. The longer you wait, however, the more expensive it becomes.

By now, your needs have changed: Your children are grown and living on their own, and your house may be paid off. Policies are more expensive now, but a term life policy can be used to fund a trust and help provide your family with an inheritance.

At this stage, you may not need the amount of coverage as in the past. But insurance can help pay for burial expenses, and provide an inheritance for your loved ones.

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