Life Insurance for Each of Life's Stages

Agents should review their client’s life insurance needs at least every five years, because in every stage of life, coverage is a necessity.

According to the 2022 LIMRA Insurance Barometer study, only 68 percent of those with life insurance and financial dependents feel secure. What about the other 32 percent? A checkup can go a long way. Since September is Life Insurance Awareness Month, let’s review the life insurance needs at each life stage.

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Single Adults

Single adults tend to neglect the need for life insurance since they have no one financially depending on them, but life insurance is important even at this stage of life.

In this stage: Life insurance can cover the cost of unpaid college loans, credit card debt, or a mortgage, in addition to a funeral. Plus, purchasing life insurance when you are younger and healthier means much lower rates than if you wait.

Products You Can Recommend for Clients:

  • Term insurance
  • Cash-value life insurance

Newly Married

When one life becomes two lives, life insurance becomes much more important, as someone is now sharing in both your income and debts.

In this stage: A death will leave the surviving spouse fully responsible for the remaining debt. A life insurance calculator can help determine the right amount of insurance that would be needed in case of a sudden loss of income. Also, investing in life insurance for both spouses can help if and when they’re in the position of caring for an aging parent.

Products You Can Recommend for Clients:

  • Term life insurance
  • Term/permanent life insurance combination product


As a parent, providing for your child as they grow, and in the future, becomes one of your highest priorities.

In this stage: Your life insurance needs to pay for the child’s care for 18 years or more, if you include the cost of college expenses. Not to mention covering the loss of one parent’s income, the remaining parent will need enough coverage to pay bills until the child is an adult. It’s also important that both parents have life insurance in the event of the unexpected, not just the primary breadwinner.

Products You Can Recommend for Clients:

  • Term life insurance
  • Riders covering a disability or critical illness


Parents should also consider purchasing life insurance for their children while they are still young.

In this stage: Many parents believe that their children will outlive them, and the cost of a funeral for a child is not something most parents have budgeted for. Cash-value permanent life insurance, when purchased as a juvenile, locks in extremely low rates, where the same product can be cost prohibitive as a young adult. Additionally, purchasing this product for children can allow a significant cash value to accrue into adulthood and provide tax-free assistance to fund college, a first home or car.

Products You Can Recommend for Clients:

  • Traditional whole life products
  • Index universal life products

Business Owners

You might not think so, but life insurance should be considered in addition to business insurance.

In this stage: Life insurance covers any debts the business has acquired in the event of the death of an owner. If the business is not incorporated and the owner passes away, the family of the owner could be responsible for any outstanding business debt, which could be financially devastating for the surviving family members.

Products You Can Recommend for Clients:

  • Key person life insurance
  • Cross-purchase agreement

Starting Over

Unfortunately, not all families remain intact throughout an entire lifetime. In the event of a divorce, remarriage or the addition of children or stepchildren later in life, life insurance needs may change significantly.

In this stage: During these life-changing events, clients with policies currently in place should always review and update the beneficiaries on each of their policies. In addition, there are many cases where a divorcee is ordered by the court to purchase life insurance to cover the cost of child support payments if something should happen to them.

Products You Can Recommend for Clients:

  • Term life insurance to cover court-mandated child support payments
  • Additional term or permanent life insurance to cover needs of additional children or stepchildren

Empty Nesters

Once children are grown and have moved out on their own, clients at this stage may not need as much life insurance as they once did.

In this stage: Income protection is still important, along with final expense protection for any outstanding debts. This is also the time to focus on term life policies that may be expiring. Clients should review their coverage and consider an appropriate amount of permanent coverage or term conversion possibilities now that the children have moved out on their own. It’s also key to remember that each spouse should have a life insurance policy, regardless of which makes more money.

Products You Can Recommend for Clients:

  • Whole life policy
  • Permanent products with long-term care riders


At this point, cash value from current life insurance can come into play for supplemental retirement income.

In this stage: Life insurance proceeds can provide lost social security income replacement for a surviving spouse, or a legacy to pass onto their children and grandchildren. Retirees may also need to purchase a lower death benefit policy to cover funeral costs.

Products You Can Recommend for Clients:

  • Permanent life insurance policy
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Whether your clients are just starting out or have been in the game of life for a while, taking care of themselves and their loved ones’ futures remains important. Consider these recommendations of life insurance products for every life stage.

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