Nobody wants to think about their own mortality, but life insurance is a necessary part of everyone's future financial planning. Choosing the best life insurance policy can prove difficult as it’s hard to anticipate how our financial needs, requirements, and obligations will change. The best life insurance policy for young adults would be very different to that of an empty nester, or a retiree.
For instance, after getting married, your financial responsibilities usually increase and continue to do so as you have children and your family expands.
How many life stages are there?
Everyone, regardless of their age, ought to have some form of life insurance. A young professional just starting out in life will have very different needs to those of a wealthy individual with several dependants. Both of their needs would differ from that of someone providing life cover for their parents. As you age, your circumstances and insurance needs change, so you should review your life insurance portfolios on a regular basis. Notably, having children is one of the events that alters your sense of responsibility. It compels you to consider what needs to be done to ensure your -and your loved ones'- financial security.
Here is a list of life stages and their significance throughout your life.
Single young adults of all ages frequently overlook life insurance. You are self-sufficient and do not rely on your partner or children for financial support. However, when it comes to life insurance, even if you've just started your first job, there are still good reasons to consider investing in cover.
- You can get funeral and life insurance to avoid burdening your loved ones with end-of-life expenses like executor fees.
- If you financially support your elderly parents or other family members you need to add life insurance to your portfolio.
The good news is life insurance is relatively cheap if you are young and healthy!
At this point in your life, another important policy is disability insurance. You must protect yourself and your income in the event that you become disabled and are unable to work. A medical aid or health plan is also a priority as the cost of healthcare can be extremely high.
Life insurance may be necessary at this point. The first step is to determine how much cover you need to replace future lost income and cover any large debts that would place a burden on your partner. Speak to a financial adviser or provider about your findings and next steps if you want to obtain life cover for spouses.
The following are critical financial considerations when starting out in life as a newly married couple:
- A funeral plan—this is necessary at every stage in life.
- Car / household (short term) insurance is necessary. Your car/s are likely your most expensive asset.
- A life insurance policy will cover any debts, such as a home loan or vehicles, help your partner to maintain his or her standard of living as well as take care of other obligations, such as the support of a parent, or relative.
- Disability insurance to protect your income should you become disabled and are unable to work.
As a new parent, you might be concerned about your child's future. By including life insurance in your plans, you can budget future expenses, such as tertiary education and insurance for a stay-at-home parent (if this applies).
Life insurance provides income replacement in the event that you can’t provide for your loved ones and help you build generational wealth for your children and their children.
In addition to leaving an inheritance for your family, an important aspect to consider at this stage of life is retirement. Investment in some retirement plans can help you enjoy an independent and stress-free retirement.
Don’t forget to update your cover when you have more children, or if you’re supporting your ageing parents or other relatives.
Because your children are no longer living at home, you may not need as much life insurance as you once did, but it is still important to have protection if you are married and also want to be able to support children or family members in need when you pass. Furthermore, remember that your life insurance pay-out is your legacy to your children and creates generational wealth for your family, wealth that can help them pay off the family home, fund tertiary education or launch a new business.
It is also best to consult with your financial advisor about estate planning at this point to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
What a wonderful feeling it is to reach retirement. But financial planning does not stop there. A life insurance policy provides the generational wealth you want to create for your family and a professionally drafted and regularly reviewed will is essential. You should also review your life insurance policies regularly as your circumstances change, and consider looking into the best life insurance for seniors.
Pensions and retirement annuities are the primary sources of income during retirement and need to be carefully managed by your adviser, who will also advise on capital gains and other taxes incurred.
Medical costs can be exorbitant at this stage of life and you should secure the most comprehensive cover you can.
Whatever stage of life you are in, planning is key to living a stress-free, happy life. So plan ahead of time and you will always be protected with cover for life.
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of 1Life Insurance or its employees.