If only we knew! If only we knew when our health was going to change from good to bad we could buy life insurance at the optimal time. If only we knew when we were going to die we could pay out as little as possible on life insurance with the maximum return to our family.
If only we would quit focusing on us and put all of the focus on those who depend on us, we could quit trying to beat the odds and just do some prudent planning. We know that for almost all of us there are the same three primary reasons for carrying life insurance, children, replacement of income during working years and mortgages. We know that most of those things occur and then resolve themselves (go away) between our mid 20’s and mid 60’s.
One thing to keep in mind when considering those needs is that a significant percentage of us don’t make it from our mid 20’s to our mid 60’s due to premature death. 1 in 6 men and 1 in 9 women make it to the age where responsibilities start, but don’t make it to their 65th birthday.
The mortality experience here in the US is higher than most people would guess until you start thinking about all of the friends and family members who have died too young.
So prudence would say that carrying adequate life insurance as soon as you have responsibilities and planning on carrying it until those responsibilities resolve themselves is the right thing to do. I’ve talked to plenty of widows who wished their husband’s had been more proactive and wished they had pushed a little harder to get them to do what should have been done.
Bottom line. I think keeping in focus that life insurance is all about those we are responsible to and understanding that our premature death will cause hardship should logically lead us to do the right thing.