Do I need life insurance? What to consider at different life stages

Posted in Life

A man carries a young girl on his shoulders outside. They hold hands and smile at each other.

Your situation determines if you need life insurance and the type of coverage that is best for you. The right life policy can help you with end-of-life costs and allow your beneficiaries to continue your goals, such as supporting your family or keeping your business running. 

For many of us, life insurance is something you get when someone is depending on you financially. This typically is your immediate family like your spouse and children. It’s important to keep in mind life insurance is all about risk transfer. So, the greater risk of a negative impact, the more important the protection. 

If your family would struggle to maintain their current quality of life without your income or contributions to your household, life insurance could be a great protection for you. What’s more, some life insurance policies offer “living benefits” to help with medical costs and other needs. These can come in handy even if you’re a young adult, single or you don’t have any dependents. 

If you have ever considered the question, “Do I need life insurance?” the following ideas could help you determine if life insurance is right for you. 

Perks for spouses and parents with life insurance

Life insurance coverage can help your spouse or family avoid financial trouble after you pass on. Help keep them afloat financially with a policy that provides money to help with costs for the funeral, burial, any incurred medical expenses, other end-of-life related expenses and more. 

If you’re still skeptical about the benefits of life insurance, you might be interested to know that life insurance payouts go directly to your beneficiaries, not your debt. According to Nolo, a legal encyclopedia, “If you receive life insurance proceeds that are payable directly to you, you don't have to use them to pay the debts of your parent or another relative.”1 Life insurance proceeds are also generally tax-free to beneficiaries. 

Of all people who need life insurance, parents and spouses can benefit from setting up their beneficiaries for success. Talk to an independent agent to learn more about your life insurance options. 

Life insurance for singles or young adults (no dependents) 

Even single adults with no dependents can benefit from life insurance. You may wonder what the perks of life insurance are if you have no one else who depends on you financially. Coverage can still help cover your funeral and burial services, which everyone has. 

Many policies also offer “living benefits” that can come in handy during your lifetime. If the living benefits are not already in the base policy, you may be able to add them as life insurance riders. Living benefits can give you access to some or even all the death benefit early should you find yourself facing a defined circumstance like: 

  • Terminal illness — where your life expectancy is within the parameters your insurer sets for a terminal illness diagnosis (typically six months to two years). 
  • Chronic illness — if your illness or cognitive impairment prevents you from being able to perform two of certain activities of daily living (ADLs) independently, including bathing, dressing, getting in and out of bed or a chair, walking, using the toilet and eating. 
  • Long term care — if your illness, cognitive impairment or chronic condition prevents you from completing at least two of the ADLs mentioned above or requires supervision for your safety.

There are more benefits that life insurance can offer you as a single adult, like building cash value you can let grow and use for emergencies, retirement and more. Keep in mind that cash value accumulation and living benefits are not available with every life insurance policy. Talk to your independent agent to learn more. 

Provide financial perks for your child with a life policy  

You can set your child up for financial success with a term or permanent life insurance policy. Your little one won’t be little forever, so it’s never too soon to start thinking about coverage that can positively impact their life. 

Here are just a few ways your child could benefit from a life insurance policy when you start it early in their life: 

  • Build cash value now for use later in life — a cash value life policy for your child can build funds over the course of their life. As an adult, they can use this money to pay for higher education, purchase a home, supplement retirement income, retire early and more. 
  • Avoid potential qualification hurdles in the future — there are certain circumstances that can impact a child’s insurability as they get older, such as a poor driving record or developing a chronic health condition. Starting a policy early on can protect the child’s insurability into adulthood. If you opt for a term life policy, consider one with a good conversion privilege to allow it to be exchanged with ease for a permanent policy later. 

No matter if you choose a term or permanent policy for your child, starting life insurance coverage now can help them in their adult years. 

Life insurance can supplement your retirement 

You may be able to use life insurance to boost your plan for retirement. You can use any cash value in your policy to help with income in retirement or cover emergency expenses — or, if your policy has living benefits, it may be able to provide assistance with medical costs, assisted living or other care later in life to help you live more comfortably. 

Talk to an independent agent to learn more about how life insurance can help you in retirement.


Coverages described herein may not be available in all states. Please contact one of our local independent agents for complete details on coverages and discounts. If the policy coverage descriptions herein conflict with the language in the policy, the language in the policy applies. The material provided above is for informational, educational and/or suggestion purposes only, and does not imply coverage. WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE TO QUOTE ANY INDIVIDUAL PREMIUM RATE FOR THE INSURANCE HEREIN ADVERTISED. Applicable policies may be underwritten by Grange Insurance Company, Trustgard Insurance Company, Grange Indemnity Insurance Company, Grange Insurance Company of Michigan* and Grange Property & Casualty Insurance Company*, Integrity Insurance Company*, Integrity Property & Casualty Insurance Company*, Integrity Select Insurance Company*. *Not licensed in Pennsylvania

Life policies are offered by  Kansas City Life Insurance Company, Kansas City, MO, and are subject to underwriting approval. For specific coverage details, always refer to your policy. If the policy coverage descriptions in this article conflict with the language in the policy, the language in the policy applies.

References
Nolo
Nerdwallet
Forbes
CMS.gov
Smartasset


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