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- Many young people think they don’t need life insurance because they’re healthy or don’t have kids.
- But if you have debt — like private student loans — life insurance is necessary.
- It’s also important for stay-at-home parents and couples who share their finances.
After my husband and I got married last year, our financial to-do list started to grow rapidly. All of a sudden, we found ourselves struggling to make decisions about how to combine our money, what joint investments we should make, and what kind of future planning we should do now, even though we’re only 34 and don’t have any kids.
That’s when the topic of life insurance entered the conversation. We found ourselves going back and forth over whether or not we needed it now and if paying for it monthly would be a good use of our funds.
While we’re still in the decision-making phase, I started to learn more about life insurance policies and all the differing opinions out there.
Which is why I decided to ask financial planners to break down the biggest myths about life insurance that stop people from getting coverage they need.
Myth: You don’t need life insurance if you’re young and healthy
One reason my husband and I have put off getting life insurance immediately is that we’re both young and healthy. But financial planner Andrew Rosen says that having that kind of mindset holds you back from planning appropriately.
Which is why Rosen stresses that people should remember nobody knows what their future looks like, since your health can change in an instant, and life insurance is also a way to start building your wealth now.
“There’s a misconception that life insurance is only for death benefits, and many people don’t understand the cash value that is associated with some forms of life insurance,” says Rosen.
Even if you’re young and healthy now, Rosen still says it can be beneficial to sit down with a financial planner and discuss your options, as he believes life insurance can help you reach your financial goals.
Myth: Stay-at-home parents don’t need life insurance
While both my partner and I work full-time now, it’s undecided how that could change once kids hopefully enter the picture in the future. Which made us wonder if we both need to get policies now, in case one of us stops working later on.
Financial advisor Jason Siperstein says that, regardless of your job status or whether or not you’re the one earning income, life insurance is still important.
“Even if a stay-at-home parent passes away, the cost of replacing childcare or other household duties could be costly or even financially disastrous if not planned accordingly,” says Siperstein.
Myth: I’m single, I don’t need life insurance
When my husband and I chat with our friends, some of them oppose getting life insurance simply because they are currently single.
But financial planner Kevin Draeger says that even if you’re single, it’s important to think about life insurance because if something happens, you could leave behind debt such as private student loans or car loans, a mortgage, or credit card debt that someone might be responsible for, like parents or other family members.
“A life insurance policy can help cover your final expenses and take care of outstanding debts,” says Draeger.
Myth: My employer’s life insurance policy is enough
As a self-employed individual, I don’t have access to a company life insurance policy, though some people do.
Draeger says that while life insurance policies issued by employers are generally a great benefit, they might not always be enough to protect your family should you die.
“Many companies will offer one to three times an employee’s base salary, but that may not be enough to pay for final expenses, outstanding debts, your mortgage, and the loss of future income for your family,” says Draeger.
There are more logistics that come with an employer policy that Draeger says to look into. For example, employer policies are not necessarily guaranteed. If a company goes through hard financial times, the life insurance benefit could be taken away.
Draeger also says that if you leave the company, you typically can’t take that benefit with you to your next job.
Myth: Life insurance is too expensive
After getting married, my husband and I wanted to limit our expenses to meet other financial goals. We wrote off getting life insurance as just another major expense.
But Draeger advises to keep in mind that life insurance will never be as affordable as it is today.
“Rates are generally lower when you are younger and in better health, so don’t wait to find a policy,” says Draeger. “Certain types of life insurance provide living benefits in addition to a death benefit. These policies may provide cash value that can be borrowed from, and the money in a life insurance policy will generally grow tax-deferred.”