While some life insurance agents aim to guide you toward whole life insurance over term life insurance (whole means more commission for them), term makes more sense for most people. Term coverage is the appropriate coverage for most individuals, as their needs are for a certain term of years while their other assets accumulate, such as retirement savings.
There are a few select circumstances where you might be better off with whole life insurance. For example, if you have children who are handicapped and will be financially dependent on you their whole lives, you may want to consider the permanent coverage.
Americans struggling with their finances in today’s downtrodden economy may think they can save money by skimping on life insurance. Approximately 30 percent of U.S. households have no life insurance coverage, according to a 2010 study conducted by LIMRA, an insurance industry research outfit. And among households with children under 18, 11 million have no coverage.
But for parents who still have children living at home, not having a life insurance policy could put their kids at risk if something were to happen to them. In the event the parents die, a life insurance policy can provide a safety net for the children to live off of.
However, if you’re young, single, and don’t have any dependents, you hold off on purchasing life insurance. “You can’t predict the future. You don’t necessarily know how many kids you’re going to end up with, or even if you are going to get married,” he says. Nonetheless, some experts recommend buying life insurance as a young single person, due to low costs and the ability to get a 30-year term that you’d have in place for when you have kids.