Buying life insurance is a big decision to make, which means a lot of questions will inevitably arise. One important question to ask is what the right age for applying for life insurance. While the answer may depend on an individual’s unique circumstances, including affordability and necessity, there is generally a consensus on what age is best if the need and means are there: the sooner, the better. Read on to learn what life insurance is, what factors can impact when someone purchases life insurance, and how purchasing life insurance works at different ages.
What is Life Insurance?
To better understand when the right age to buy life insurance is, it’s important to learn more about what it is first. Life insurance is a type of insurance plan in which the policyholder pays premiums for the use of the policy in a worst-case scenario. If the policyholder passes away, the funds from the life insurance policy would be paid to pre-determined beneficiaries upon the event of a death. Beneficiaries can use this death benefit to help replace the policyholder’s income and cover any necessary expenses.
Factors That May Impact When Someone Purchases Life Insurance
Two common factors that impact when a person is able to purchase a life insurance policy are typically the cost and coverage amount:
Term and whole life insurance are two primary types of life policies. Choosing between these two can impact when a person is able to apply for life insurance, especially if affordability is the primary barrier to having any form of insurance. Generally, a term life policy, which is based on a certain amount of time, such as 10, 20, or 30 years, will be cheaper than a whole life policy, which covers the span of a person’s life.
Additionally, whole life insurance is invested and matures over time as it sits with a company. The earlier the purchase, the more time the funds have to grow, potentially outpacing inflation and having an end result that is greater than the initial amount a policyholder contributes. The downside here is that the plan is more expensive than a term life plan because it offers lifetime coverage.
The coverage amount a prospective policyholder wants can also affect when they can purchase a life insurance plan, especially if they’re already insured. The total amount of a life insurance policy can range from a few thousand dollars to several million dollars, and will be limited by the company the policyholder is purchasing from to ensure they aren’t over-insuring themselves.
If one previously purchased a smaller life insurance amount but has grown to have more dependents and assets, they may want to purchase supplemental insurance to cover all costs. But many life insurance companies share databases and can verify whether a person is insuring themselves for more than they are worth. This means that a policyholder may have to wait until their current life insurance plan ends, or switch to a different policy to get more coverage.
Applying for Life Insurance at Different Ages
Here’s how getting life insurance works for policyholders of different ages:
In regard to which age is best for applying for life insurance, there is no one-size-fits-all. The youngest eligible age group for life insurance is usually when a parent opts to take out a policy on their child. These policies tend to have low payout amounts and are limited in costs and benefits, but the rate of the premium is locked in for the span of the child’s life.
Beyond the age of 18, a person may want to get life insurance for beneficiaries like their partner, children, or parents. Purchasing a life insurance plan is a good idea for younger adults that have accumulated debt that will need to be paid off in the event of their death. Those with a spouse or children should also consider getting a life insurance plan to provide extra protection for those who financially depend on them.
Older adults can also apply for a life insurance plan to give their loved ones an added financial cushion in case the unexpected happens. But keep in mind that the longer one waits to purchase a life insurance plan, the more expensive the policy may be and the more likely they’ll be denied, especially with complicated health issues. Waiting to purchase also means less time for growth with a whole life plan and limitations with a term life plan that covers only a set amount of pre-determined time.
The Bottom Line
Whether a younger or older adult, it can be wise to get life insurance as soon as possible to qualify for better premiums and provide beneficiaries with extra financial security. This way, it can help give peace of mind knowing their loved ones are protected in case the unthinkable happens. Prospective policyholders should do some research and compare policy types and quotes to find the coverage they need at a rate they can afford.
This is a brief product overview only. Coverage may not be available in all states, including but not limited to ID, NJ, NM, NY, or VA. Benefits/premium rates may vary based on plan selected. Optional riders may be available at an additional cost. Policies and riders have limitations and exclusions that may affect benefits payable. For costs and complete details of the coverage, please contact your local Aflac agent. Whole & Term Life: In Arkansas, Idaho, Oklahoma and Virginia, Policies: ICC1368100, ICC1368200, ICC1368300, ICC1368400 and Riders: ICC1368050, ICC1368051, ICC1368052, ICC1368053, ICC1368054, ICC1368055.
Aflac insurance coverage is underwritten by Aflac.
The content herein is provided for general informational purposes and is not provided as tax, legal, health or financial advice for any person or for any specific situation. Employers, employees and other individuals should contact their own advisers about their situations. For complete details, including availability and costs of Aflac insurance, please contact your local Aflac agent.
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