Why every stage of life needs life insurance

As you grow older, your responsibilities will grow too. But will you have a plan in place to protect the people you are responsible for throughout it all?

Article highlights

  • Starting a family
  • Retirement ready
  • The later years

Each new stage of life comes with a whole new set of responsibilities you shouldn’t have to shoulder alone.

The right life insurance policy should provide for and protect you and those you care about most, while empowering you to revisit and reimagine your plan as your life changes.


Getting married

Saying “I do” forever ties you to another, in sickness, in health and in everything else. But with the forever addition of a new person to your future comes a new layer of financial responsibility. If you and your new spouse are both working, you can rely on two salaries to keep your life going as planned. But now is also the time to discuss and consider the possibility of one of you becoming the sole provider, and to determine the steps needed to maintain that lifestyle, no matter what comes your way. 

Getting life insurance at this stage, even if you don’t have children, can also help you lock in lower rates. Premium rates are based on your age and health status, so the earlier you buy, the lower the potential cost.

Term life insurance can often be the most affordable option. It provides coverage for a set number of years, usually 10, 15, 20 or 30. After identifying all financial obligations (mortgage, student loans, automobile loans and so on), a policy can be purchased that is big enough to cover them. Find out how much life insurance you may need with our calculator .

Starting a family

There’s nothing more precious than adding a child to your family. But adding a new family member also means adding new responsibilities, and another person for whom you are responsible.

When you consider expenses such as diapers, child care, dance lessons, braces and education, raising a child to adulthood in the United States can cost nearly $230,000 for a middle-income family.1

So if you’re the primary provider, you’ll not only take on the responsibility of caring for your child and your spouse for the rest of your life, you’ll want to do your best to care for them for the rest of their lives as well. Additionally, you and your spouse should revisit your life insurance plans after the birth of each of your children, to make sure you have enough coverage.

Preparing for college

As your children and/or grandchildren grow older, you may want to lend a hand in covering the cost of their tuition. At this stage, you may have a strong retirement account built up and could consider using your life insurance for more than just a simple death benefit. With a properly structured policy, you may be able to access to some of the cash value in your life insurance to cover their tuition without fear of incurring additional costs or large expenses that could come from taking out a traditional loan. With some policies, the money you borrow from your policy’s indexed accounts value continues to work for you. So, all of your money—borrowed and unborrowed—continues to have indexed growth potential, as if it were never taken out.

Retirement ready

The kids have moved out, the house is paid off and retirement is approaching. You may be questioning whether your life insurance policy is still necessary. For those who don’t have financial dependents, it could be the right time to reevaluate the terms of your existing policy.

You may also have good reasons to keep carrying the same level of life insurance coverage. For example, how big of a financial hardship would it be to your spouse if they were to lose your pension or Social Security benefits? Life insurance can help offset some of those losses and help your beneficiaries pay taxes on your estate. Or, if your policy has built up cash value, you may be in a position to leverage it as a source of supplemental retirement income.

The later years

It’s important to plan in advance for the potential cost associated with long-term health issues. You may want to consider redirecting any savings resulting from lowering your life insurance coverage to covering these expenses. 

Regardless of how life turns out, it’s important to plan to protect the legacy you leave for your loved ones. And the right life insurance can help ease the burden and provide continued financial support to those for whom you are responsible for. 

Explore what Lincoln has to offer, or ask a financial advisor how life insurance from Lincoln can fit into your financial plan.

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1Lino, M., Kuczynski, K., Rodriguez, N., and Schap, T. (2017). Expenditures on Children by Families, 2015. Miscellaneous Publication No. 1528-2015. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion