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How to choose the right life insurance policy for you by age

Affordable and high-quality life insurance coverage is available across a variety of age ranges. Here’s how to find the policy that fits your needs.

When it comes to buying life insurance, your age and health are two of the most important factors an insurer will consider when determining eligibility and pricing.

As you can imagine, the younger and healthier you are, the more affordable a policy will be. Typically, you get the best rates in your 20s or 30s. That’s because an insurer is taking on less risk when insuring a young person in good health.

That said, affordable and high-quality coverage is available across a variety of age ranges. But when you need life insurance coverage, such as when you have children or other financial dependents, it’s important not to put off buying a policy to help ensure it remains affordable. Read on to learn about life insurance rates by age.

In this article:

Buying life insurance in your 20s

Your 20s are the best time to buy affordable term life insurance coverage (even though you may not “need it”). Generally, when you’re younger and healthier, you pose less risk to an insurer, which is why you’re offered the most affordable rates.

Let’s dive into some specific examples of term life insurance rates by age. For example, a 25-year-old man in excellent health could purchase a 20-year, $500,000 Haven Term policy for as little as $22.48 a month. If you were to purchase a 20-year term life insurance policy at age 25 with a 1-year-old child, you would have coverage in place to protect those you love in the event of your death – through age 21 for your child – offering protection during the years you may need it the most. Life Insurance policies for people in their 20s typically have similarly low premiums, so you are looking at a low monthly rate.

Additionally, for many, your 20s are a time when your health history is probably the best it will ever be. You may not have experienced any illnesses or health concerns that could later make you uninsurable. So the younger you are, the longer your life expectancy, the lower the average life insurance cost may be.

If you’re in need of coverage or even recently married with a mortgage and children in the near future, it may be worth seriously considering buying term life insurance for young couples now to lock in a low rate for the future.

If you’re in your 20s and single with no financial dependents, life insurance may not be something you need to allocate funds toward yet. You have time to decide on a life insurance company and your preferred insurance product.

Life insurance proceeds in your 20s could help your beneficiaries pay:

Remember that life insurance is not a one-time purchase. You should revisit your coverage needs when you have more kids, take on more debt and numerous other life stages which have a financial impact. If you only need a small policy now, you may want to consider purchasing more coverage as your lifestyle changes, such as when you have children or after your income has increased considerably.

Buying life insurance in your 30s

Continuing our guide on life insurance rates by age, we enter our 30s. By the time your 30s hit, life insurance becomes more important than ever. Statistically speaking, you’re more likely to be married, own a house, have a few kids, drive a couple cars, and plenty of bills to pay.

With so many financial responsibilities, and good health likely still on your side, your 30s are one of the best times to assess your life insurance needs to get a good life insurance rate. Even if you purchased a small policy in your 20s or get life insurance coverage through your employer, it’s likely time to determine if you need more.

First, don’t rely on employer-provided policies alone. Typically, this coverage only offers a payout of one to two times your annual salary, which is far too little coverage if you have financial dependents.

Many experts suggest buying a policy that’s at least five to 10 times your annual income. The recommendation can go as high as 15 times your income if you have a partner and children and few liquid assets.

Fortunately, ample term life insurance coverage is still affordable in your 30s. For example, a 35-year-old woman in excellent health can purchase a 20-year, $500,000 Haven Term policy for as little as $20.32 per month.

Life insurance proceeds in your 30s could help your beneficiaries pay:

Even if you already have life insurance, your 30s are a good time to reassess your needs. Maybe it is time to decide whether you need to modify your current term life policy.  If you’re earning more money now or have a larger family, you might require more coverage.

An online life insurance calculator can help you determine how much coverage is needed at this point in your life and what your life insurance rate might look like.

Buying life insurance in your 40s

If you’re uninsured or underinsured, your 40s are the time to adjust your life insurance needs before rates get high. Age matters to insurers, and you want to make sure you find an insurance provider with affordable life insurance options that align with your individual needs.

Perhaps you have coverage through work, but worry it’s not enough. Assuming you plan to stay at your job for some time, an individual policy can help supplement what you’re already getting through your employer.

Or, maybe you purchased a term life insurance policy in your 20s with a 20-year term length that’s soon to expire and are realizing you’d like a little more time added on to provide further financial protection. This can happen if a mortgage took longer to pay off, you had your first child, or if you’d like to provide a little more of a financial cushion for your spouse or children.

Americans are living longer, and your 40s are still a time when you might be in excellent or very good physical health, therefore, coverage can still be very affordable. A 20-year, $500,000 Haven Term policy could cost as little as $43.15 per month for a healthy 45-year-old woman.

Or, if you’re looking to add on another life insurance policy since the policy term from your 20s is about to end, a 15-year, $500,000 Haven Term policy would cost a 45-year-old man in excellent health about $42.29 per month.

Not bad for much-needed financial protection.

Special considerations for life insurance in your 40s

If life insurance seems too expensive, try tweaking your policy details. Choosing a policy with a shorter term or a lower level of coverage can help you save money without preventing you from buying the coverage you need.

Life insurance proceeds in your 40s could help your beneficiaries pay:

Choosing a policy with a shorter term or a lower level of coverage can make a significant impact on saving money while still getting ample coverage.

Life insurance needs aren't one-size-fits-all.

Calculate your needs

Buying life insurance in your 50s

There’s no other way to put it: Buying life insurance in your 50s will cost more. That said, if you have few assets and financial dependents who rely on your income, you shouldn’t bypass coverage.

Research shows that most Americans significantly overestimate how much life insurance will cost, and we’re pretty sure coverage in your 50s would be one of those scenarios. A 20-year, $250,000 Haven Term policy would cost a 55-year-old woman in excellent health about $44.45 per month. The price of coverage comes in higher for a man of the same age and health at $68.25 per month.

While not inexpensive, if it’s providing peace of mind and necessary coverage, it’s probably worth it.

Life insurance proceeds in your 50s could help your beneficiaries pay:

To ensure you get the best rate in your 50s, utilize online life insurance quote comparisons like the one we have to confirm you’re selecting a competitive price. It’s also worthwhile to start the application process and see what amount you are approved for and how much it will cost.

You’ll just need to be more selective on how much coverage you get and what the term length should be. A shorter term length, such as 10 or 15 years, is going to cost you a lot less. In your 20s and 30s, it’s often prudent to consider a “better safe than sorry” approach and purchase more coverage. If you’re in your 50s, it’s a good idea to consider what may be the right amount of coverage for your financial situation to make sure you’re not over-insured, and, thus, overpaying.

Buying life insurance in your 60s

It’s not too late to buy life insurance once you’re in your 60s. Haven Life sells affordable term policies to individuals ages 18 to 65. The main difference between life insurance in your 60s and everything before then is that you likely won’t be able to buy a policy that has a term length over 20 years.

To keep costs down, and assuming you’re not putting loved ones at financial risk with this choice, it’s a good idea to stick with term lengths of 10 or 15 years.

For example, a 10-year, $250,000 Haven Term policy for a healthy 60-year-old woman will start at $56.90 per month. If you’re considering, for that same woman, a 20-year policy for the maximum coverage duration, you’re looking at about $103.91 per month. You can also compare prices to other insurers to see what the rates might be.

While not inexpensive, that coverage can provide a substantial financial cushion to your spouse or children.

Life insurance proceeds in your 60s could help your beneficiaries pay:

Before choosing a policy, make sure to experiment with a few different scenarios before you settle on one to meet your needs. Slightly changing the term length or coverage amount could result in a significant drop in pricing, which may not be detrimental to your beneficiaries if you’re looking to provide a small financial cushion.

Additionally, seriously consider your financial situation before you buy life insurance in your 60s. You may no longer need income replacement if your debts are paid, your partner is coasting into retirement, and you have no financially dependent children. The monthly premium might be better put toward building up additional liquid savings.

Buying life insurance when you need it

Putting age aside, if you have people who rely on your income, there’s a good chance your family could benefit from the protection of a life insurance policy. As you saw above, life insurance gets more expensive the older you become, so it’s important not to put off purchasing coverage when you need it if you want to be proactive and lock in an affordable rate.

By answering a few simple questions through an online calculator, you can easily determine what the right amount of life insurance coverage is for you and get a quote for how much that coverage may cost. Now that buying life insurance is easier than ever before, you could be only a few minutes away from peace of mind.

Life insurance is more affordable than you think

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About Louis Wilson

Louis Wilson is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in a wide array of publications, both online and in print. He often writes about travel, sports, popular culture, men’s fashion and grooming, and more. He lives in Austin, Texas, where he has developed an unbridled passion for breakfast tacos, with his wife and two children.

Read more by Louis Wilson

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.

Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not endorse the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less hard if they are a fit for your situation.

Haven Life is not authorized to give tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to seed advice from their own tax or legal counsel.

Our disclosures

Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in certain states, including NC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in certain states, including NC) issued by the C.M. Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our Agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.

MassMutual is rated by A.M. Best Company as A++ (Superior; Top category of 15). The rating is as of Aril 1, 2020 and is subject to change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other rating agencies.

Haven Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name for the Plus rider, which is included as part of the Haven Term policy and offers access to additional services and benefits at no cost or at a discount. The rider is not available in every state and is subject to change at any time. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual are responsible for the provision of the benefits and services made accessible under the Plus Rider, which are provided by third party vendors (partners). For more information about Haven Life Plus, please visit: https://havenlife.com/plus.html

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