How old should you be to get life insurance?

Life Insurance
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October 2012

There's really no pre-determined age when it suddenly becomes necessary to take out a life insurance policy. However, if there are people who depend on your income - especially children or a spouse - there's a major benefit to taking out a policy when you're young. When you take out a policy in your 20s or 30s, the provider takes into account that you're paying premiums for a number of years when, statistically, there's relatively little risk that they'll have to pay out. Unfortunately, that risk goes up a little with each passing year. It stands to reason that younger policyholders can lock in lower premiums than the aged.

However, it doesn't necessarily follow that every 25-year-old should run out and get insurance. From a financial standpoint, it really doesn't make sense unless you already have dependents. Even if the policy has an investment component - as is the case with whole life products - much of the premium is going toward insurance that you don't really need. You're probably better off putting that money directly into an investment account.

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