Maybe you’re thinking you don’t need life insurance. You haven’t exactly grown up talking about it. And it’s just another expense you don’t want to worry about, right? Wrong, not worrying about it now ensures your family will have to worry about it later. Of course, if you don’t love your family, feel free to leave them hanging—no, don’t do that. If you were the breadwinner, your passing will only be that much harder on them financially. If you care, get life insurance. If you don’t know why you should care, here are the top 6 reasons to get life insurance.

Top 6 Reasons to get Life Insurance

Life insurance is one of those things a lot of people don’t think about until it’s too late. You always hear those stories about the wealthy dying after taking out a life insurance policy, only because their spouse killed them for the benefits. Maybe that has you running away from ever considering life insurance. Fortunately, this isn’t something that happens all of the time, and when it’s done it’s typically after taking out a million dollar policy. Of course, you could do that too—the policy amount, not the killing, we advise against this.

Cover Burial Expenses

Whether you come to your untimely death as a result of a greedy spouse or natural causes, funerals cost a lot, and the life insurance policy you take out can cover it. You might not have to worry about it when you pass, heck you could be thrown in the lake for all you care. Unfortunately, that’s not how things work. And unless you definitely want your spouse accused of murder, finding you washed up on a bank somewhere might not be the best idea.

Instead, get some life insurance, just to pay for that, unless you have money saved up and a will stating what the money should be used for. If you don’t need life insurance for anything else, paying for your funeral at a minimum might be worth it.

If you don’t have any outstanding debt and everyone is retired with no extra expenses, you might think you don’t need life insurance. If you have money saved up to cover funeral expenses and anything else, you might not need life insurance either. However, if you don’t have the money saved up, getting life insurance for the cost of your funeral might be a good idea.

Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo/st Lt. Daniel I Johnson

Pay off Debt

Debt happens. You will acquire debt for a number of reasons; because you just bought a new car, a house, student loans, credit cards, personal loans, you name it. If you pass, these things still need to be paid for. Unfortunately, your family might have a hard time getting out of the debt you created together, especially if you were the one making the most money or your family was getting by only because there were two incomes.

Estate Taxes

You’ve paid off your house, you don’t have a car payment, all your kids have grown and moved away, and student loans are a thing of the past. You’ve retired and have social security coming in every month for both you and your spouse. However, you pass away and one social security check isn’t going to pay for your property taxes. Fortunately, something called life insurance can help cover those costs. Only another reason life insurance might be a good idea.

We do however understand that not everyone has to worry about this. Maybe you have a hearty retirement check coming in every month or your spouse has 100% VA disability and everything can be paid for with that. Or maybe your family saved up enough that no one will ever have to worry. If this is you, then life insurance might not be right for you. But, if your passing will make it hard for something like property taxes to be paid, you might want to think twice about not having life insurance.

Replace Lost Income 

Unfortunately, you’ll never know when it’s your time. Sometimes it will be when you’ve lived a fulfilling life and made it to old age. Other times, it might be when you’re young. If you pass when you’re young this could leave a larger burden on your family. Especially if you were the only one making income or you were living on a dual income. Suddenly your spouse and kids go from living an easily affordable life, to budgeting how much gas you can use each week.

By electing to have life insurance while you’re young, you’ll most likely be in better health and your rates will be cheaper. And in the case that something does happen to you, life insurance can replace the income you were bringing into the household before your untimely death.

Build Cash Value

Building cash value is something you can do if you elect to have whole life insurance, also known as permanent life insurance. Unlike term life, which you will keep renewing, whole life could last anywhere up to 120 years of age, in many cases. There are some benefits to whole life over term, but in most cases, it’s advised you to stick with term life.

Typically, if you do choose whole over term life insurance, you might find yourself paying penalty fees if you needed to access that money. Also, you’ll be paying more for your insurance so you won’t be saving all that much.  You’ll pay an interest rate on anything you take out until you pay it back, if you become ill and need accelerated benefits, you’ll probably have to pay more fees then too.

To Cover Children’s Expenses

Children are expensive. And if you pass while your kids are still in the home, it could leave the spouse you left behind in a hard spot. But, if you have life insurance, the money can go toward school, clothes, food, medical care, etc., which will lift the financial stress off their shoulders.

Interested in life insurance? Check out our blog, What is VGLI: Life Insurance after the Military

Why get life insurance now?

Getting life insurance is optional. No one will force you to get it, though it may feel like it with the military’s SGLI—you can deny it, but we would never advise this. But, if you never served or you’re out of the military now, you might be thinking why is life insurance important—we covered that above. But, have you thought about why you should get it right now? Probably not, which is okay, because we’ve got your six. Below are only a few reasons why you should get life insurance right now. Again, life insurance is a personal choice. Only you know if you need it or not. Part of it will depend on bills you’ll leave behind and the people you were supporting before you pass.

You do some stupid stuff

Yes, you read that right. People are stupid. One day you decide it’s a bright idea to try and be Evil Knievel—you aren’t, but you try anyway—and you end up falling to your death. Now, we aren’t trying to scare you. But, life happens, people take chances, and sometimes those stupid chances catch up to you. So if you’re living life on the edge, always testing your limits, or maybe you’re not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to safety, then you should consider taking out a life insurance policy. Don’t wait until it’s too late, because there’s literally no coming back from it.

Your loved ones still need to be provided for

Just because there’s one less mouth to feed—yours—doesn’t mean your family will be better off financially. You’ve left behind a family who relied on your share of finances to help pay for food, medical bills, clothes, schools, cars, mortgages, etc. If you pass away, your family will still be left paying those bills, and they might still need to be provided for. With life insurance, you can make sure that continues to happen even after you’re gone.

Need more information? Check out our blog: Top Life Insurance Companies for Veterans

You never know when your time is up

Unfortunately, the adage, “life is too short” is all too accurate. You never know when the worst might happen. And the worst typically happens when you least expect it. You might be sitting there reading this and thinking, “I’m only 24, why would I need life insurance? I’m not going anywhere.” But you don’t know that. Car accidents ending in death happen all of the time. People get diseases or sicknesses out of nowhere and the next thing you know, your best friend from high school actually died from the flu, she was only 32. You might not think these things could happen to you, or maybe you think you’re too young to die from something like the flu or pneumonia, but it’s not impossible.

Life insurance is cheaper when you’re young

The younger you are, the cheaper your life insurance is going to be. This is generally the case because younger people are healthier. If you wait until you’re 50 to get life insurance, chances are your health isn’t at its peak. And even if it is, the insurance company will hike up your rate because of your age.

Term life insurance is super cheap

Term life insurance isn’t very costly, especially if you’re young and in good health. If you don’t smoke, that’s even more money you can save. Term life insurance is also cheaper than whole life or permanent life insurance. So if you’re looking for life insurance, get it while you’re young so you can take advantage of the lower rates.