Life Insurance

Do You Need Life Insurance?

Do You Need Life Insurance?

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As a basic rule of thumb, you probably need life insurance if your death will financially impact anyone. If you don't fall into that category, you might want to consider investing your money elsewhere.

People who may need life insurance

Single parents

If you're a single parent with at least one child who is heavily dependent on your time and resources to care for them while they're young, you will want to buy life insurance. Why? Because if you were to die unexpectedly, this could put many people (your children and future caregivers) in a financially painful position.

Most people in this situation want to know that their children will still live a prosperous and full life even if they aren't around. Taking out a life insurance policy will ensure that this is possible.

Married couples (with or without children)

Married couples are typically dependent (in different ways) on one another. Whether you require the income or the homemaking services of your spouse, you probably rely on them in some financial or non-financial capacity. If they die, you will more than likely need to replace their time or money.

Anybody with dependents

We've already discussed making sure your children are taken care of if you pass away unexpectedly, but dependents aren't always kids. Ill-prepared parents can also be reliant on their adult children's money to assist in paying for their retirement years. Paying for elder care (nursing homes, assisted living facilities or in-home care) can exact an enormous financial toll. If you are suddenly not there to help pay for it, life insurance money can help continue their care.

People who may not need life insurance

Single people

The majority of single people have nobody depending on their future earning ability (at least not yet). Because of this, life insurance is unnecessary unless you're purchasing a policy in anticipation of an upcoming event in your life like the birth of a child or a marriage.

Anybody without dependents

Assuming you have no dependents (children, spouses or parents) who rely on you, you don't need life insurance. Your premature death more than likely won't cause any undue financial stress on others.

Wealthy individuals

If you've stocked away enough money to pay for loved ones who still need financial support, you may not need life insurance. Assuming your assets (ideally, liquid assets) are enough to cover everything from funeral costs to estate taxes to your loved ones' future cost of living, you can consider passing on the purchase of a life insurance policy.

Still not sure?

Because certain types of life insurance, such as term insurance, are very affordable, we always think you should apply the 'better safe than sorry' adage. Monthly premiums can vary widely, but as a benchmark, the average cost of life insurance for a $500,000, 20-year term policy is approximately $126 a month, or possibly even less. Shop around and get quotes from a handful of insurance providers , so you can compare prices across companies and make a well-informed decision.

Sterling Price

Sterling Price is a research analyst at ValuePenguin specializing in health and life insurance. He graduated from Syracuse University with a bachelors degree in Finance and Accounting and has previous experience as a licensed life insurance representative.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.