insurance

Smart Life Insurance Strategies for Young Buyers

Buy the right life insurance plan now to avoid scrambling to find coverage later.

The decisions you make when you buy life insurance in your twenties or thirties can help you avoid scrambling to find coverage before your term policy expires.

You could buy a permanent life insurance policy and never worry about the coverage expiring. But the premiums are much higher than the premiums for term insurance, and young families who start out with permanent insurance frequently buy too little coverage because that’s all they can afford.

“What we really need to focus on with younger families is the death benefit amount,” says Tim Maurer, director of adviser development for the BAM Alliance, a network of independent financial advisers. A 30-year term policy is also an option, but those premiums can be pricey, too.

A more cost-effective way to extend the coverage is to layer policies, says Maurer. Buy a 20-year term policy for the bulk of your coverage. That allows you to get a death benefit large enough to protect your family while your kids are at home and you’re making mortgage payments. “You want to have all of those years covered, but you might not need that much coverage for the whole time,” Mauer says. If you’d like coverage that lasts longer, you could also get a 30-year term with a smaller death benefit.

For example, a 35-year-old man could buy a $500,000, 20-year term policy for $250 per year and layer $250,000 of 30-year coverage for an additional $260 per year, which would cover him until age 65, says Udell. If you want some permanent coverage, too, you could add $100,000 of guaranteed universal life (GUL), which you can keep for your lifetime, for about $620 per year (whole life would cost about double that). A 35-year-old woman would pay about $215 per year for a $500,000, 20-year term policy and could get a $250,000, 30-year term policy for an additional $226 per year. She could add a $100,000 GUL policy for about $515 per year.

Most Popular

The 15 Best Stocks for the Rest of 2022
stocks to buy

The 15 Best Stocks for the Rest of 2022

The lesson of the past two years: Be ready for anything. Our 15 best stocks to buy for the rest of 2022 reflect several possible outcomes for the seco…
June 21, 2022
Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021
The Best Bank for You, 2022
Making Your Money Last

The Best Bank for You, 2022

Check out our list of the best candidates for your next financial institution based on interest rates, fees and other features.
June 23, 2022

Recommended

How to Find a Job After Graduation, with Beth Handler-Grunt
Starting Out: New Grads and Young Professionals

How to Find a Job After Graduation, with Beth Handler-Grunt

Today’s successful job applicants need to know how to ace the virtual interview and be prepared to do good old-fashioned research and networking. Also…
June 21, 2022
Beneficiary Designations: 5 Critical Mistakes to Avoid
retirement

Beneficiary Designations: 5 Critical Mistakes to Avoid

You may be surprised at how easy it is to make an expensive mistake with your beneficiary designations. Here's how to help avoid the five most common …
June 6, 2022
30 Best Kirkland Products You Should Buy at Costco
Costco

30 Best Kirkland Products You Should Buy at Costco

Many of warehouse club Costco's store-branded Kirkland Signature items get high marks for quality and value. Check out our picks.
June 3, 2022
25 Best College Majors for a Lucrative Career
college

25 Best College Majors for a Lucrative Career

One way to increase your chances of earning a good living is to pick a college major that prepares you to work in a field that pays well. Here are som…
May 31, 2022