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  • Why Even Single People Need Life Insurance

    July 17, 2013 by Kimberly Palmer

    People without dependents can plan ahead to protect their future families

     

    If you’re married with children, then you probably know you should  have life insurance to protect your dependents in the event of your  death. But do single people without those same dependents also need to  insure themselves? According to a 2011 survey from USAA Life Insurance,  the number of single people buying life insurance increased 10 percent  compared to a year earlier. The biggest growth was among 20-somethings,  which experienced a 24 percent increase in life insurance purchases.

    The  increase appears to be driven in part by the economy. During economic  downturns, people across the board tend to buy less insurance, simply  because they can’t afford it. So part of the increase in life insurance  purchases, which is happening across multiple demographic groups, can be  attributed to the economic recovery following the most recent  recession.

    With singles, though, demographic  shifts are also at play, says Greg Blake, executive director at USAA’s  life insurance company. There are now more single households than  married households, and people stay single longer. Single people are  also more likely to experience major life events, which often lead to  the purchase of life insurance, including having children and buying a  home. There’s one more factor, too: Single people are often responsible  for parents or grandparents, and they want to make sure those dependents  will still be cared for.

    “Some  single people have parents who were hit really hard or have medical  needs and can’t afford bills on their own, or they’re helping to support  a special needs sibling. Having a life insurance policy will let that  continue if they pass away,” Blake says.

    Many  20-somethings, Blake says, have learned a hard lesson from the  recession. “A lot of millennials have seen their parents and  grandparents struggling in retirement, and they’re taking a lot of steps  to prepare for financial security and prevent those problems for  themselves,” he says.

    As  for whether or not single people need life insurance, the answer is  sometimes. For any single parent, the answer is probably yes, and anyone  supporting other family members might want to consider it, too. Blake  says some young people decide to take out insurance just to ensure no  one else has to deal with the funeral expenses or any debts, like a  mortgage.

    Blake adds that buying life insurance  as a single 25 year old who plans to have children one day can be more  affordable than waiting to purchase the insurance until that person is a  32-year-old father. That’s because rates tend to go up with age, and  life insurance is pretty cheap for healthy young adults in their 20s. It  can also become prohibitively expensive or even impossible to obtain if  a major health problem crops up later.

    Last  year, MetLife’s 10th Annual Employee Benefits Trends Study found that  getting married also moves people to take out life insurance. The survey  found that while half of single working men and women without dependent  children have life insurance, the percentage shoots up to 72 percent  among married workers, and is just a bit higher, at 75 percent, for  married couples with young children.

    As  for how much life insurance to get, it’s hard to apply a standard  formula to every situation. Financial planners tend to recommend one of  two strategies: Make a list of all of the expenses you would like  covered in the event of your death, from college tuition for children to  paying off a mortgage, and take out insurance worth that amount. The  other option is to take out enough insurance to replace your salary for a  certain number of years, such as five to 10. Online calculators and  qualified professionals can help finesse those numbers.

    Originally Posted at U.S. News on July 17, 2013 by Kimberly Palmer.

    Categories: Industry Articles
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