When Should I Get Life Insurance?

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Understanding the Best Age to Buy Life Insurance

Key Factors Influencing the Decision to Purchase Life Insurance

  1. Financial Responsibilities: Consider if you have dependents, debts, or significant financial obligations.
  2. Age and Health: Younger, healthier individuals often receive lower premiums.
  3. Career Stage: Your stage in your career can impact your need for financial protection.
  4. Retirement Planning: Life insurance can be part of your retirement strategy.

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Ideal Ages for Different Life Insurance Needs

  • In Your 20s: This is often the most cost-effective time to buy. Ideal for single individuals with financial obligations or those starting a family.
  • In Your 30s: Essential for those with growing families or increasing financial responsibilities.
  • In Your 40s: Important for established families to cover educational expenses or debts.
  • In Your 50s and Beyond: Focus shifts to retirement planning, legacy, and covering potential estate taxes.

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Exceptions and Special Considerations

  • Health Conditions: Earlier purchase is advisable if there’s a history of medical issues.
  • Financial Strain: If premiums are a concern, it might be better to wait until financial stability is achieved.

Life Insurance Purchase Guide by Age

Age RangeReasons to BuyPolicy Type Recommended
20sLow premiums, financial obligations, family planningTerm Life, Whole Life
30sFamily protection, debt coverageTerm Life, Disability Insurance
40sEducation funding, income replacementPermanent Life, Term Life
50s+Retirement planning, legacy creationUniversal Life, Long-Term Care Insurance


Choosing the right age to buy life insurance depends on individual circumstances, including financial responsibilities, health, and long-term goals. Generally, purchasing life insurance at a younger age can be more cost-effective. However, it’s crucial to evaluate your unique situation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What age group buys the most life insurance?

Young adults aged 18 to 34 are the most likely to buy life insurance, followed by 35- to 44-year-olds. This may be because young adults are starting families and want to ensure their loved ones are cared for financially if they die prematurely. However, middle-aged adults are also more likely to purchase life insurance, as they may seek financial security for their families in retirement.

How many adults have no life insurance?

44% of American adults do not have life insurance, according to the 2019 Insurance Barometer Study by Life Happens and LIMRA. This is up from 39% in 2018. The study found that 22% of respondents thought life insurance was too expensive, and 19% said they didn’t think they needed it. In addition, 14% said they didn’t know enough about life insurance to decide, and 11% said they thought it was too complicated.

When should I get life insurance, and at what age should I get life insurance?

As we age, underlying health conditions become increasingly common, devastatingly impacting mortality rates and life insurance premiums. Some say if you purchase term life insurance at age 20, that is the best age for life insurance; the cost is likely cheaper than if you wait until 40, but waiting until 60 will bring an even more significant expense.

The average age of life insurance buyer

The average age to get life insurance is usually 30; most people consider investing in a life insurance policy. It could be because they are starting or already have a family with either one small child or several kids. This is understandable – after all, no parent wants to think about what would happen if anything ever happened to them and left their children without financial security.

Who buys life insurance policies?

Life insurance provides people peace of mind, especially when family breadwinners pass away and cannot provide for their dependents—such as spouses, children, or elderly parents. With life insurance, they can rest assured knowing that these future financial needs will be met.

Do people usually buy life insurance?

Limiting financial risk is a priority for many, and LIMRA’s 2022 Insurance Barometer Study reveals that 53% of the US population has life insurance coverage. Additionally, the study found an increase in early 2021 over 2020, showing more people are taking steps to protect their families from future hardship.

Who buys old insurance policies?

Life insurance policies can be sold directly to providers using a broker who will present your policy to multiple providers. Choosing the latter option may significantly increase the sale value of your policy. In addition, submitting individual applications for each provider is only required when selling directly – working with a broker eliminates this step.

What’s the best age to get life insurance?

The best age to get life insurance depends on individual circumstances. Getting it when you are young and healthy can lock in lower premiums while getting it later in life can still provide financial protection for your loved ones.

Is life insurance worth it in your 20s?

Yes, life insurance can be worth it in your 20s, especially if you have dependents or financial obligations. Getting life insurance at a younger age can lock in lower premiums and better coverage options, providing financial protection for your loved ones in case of your unexpected death.

What age does life insurance make sense?

Life insurance makes sense at any age when you have dependents or financial obligations that would leave them financially vulnerable in case of your unexpected death. The right age to get life insurance varies based on age, health status, family obligations, and financial situation. However, getting life insurance earlier can help you lock in lower premiums and better coverage options.

How do I know if I need life insurance?

You may need life insurance if you have dependents, outstanding debts, significant assets, or a partner struggling financially without your support.

What are the benefits of getting life insurance at a young age?

Getting life insurance at a young age can provide lower premiums, better coverage, financial protection, peace of mind, and future insurability.

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Shawn Plummer is a licensed financial professional, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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