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Life Insurance

Should I Buy Life Insurance in My 20s or 30s?

By RBC Insurance • Published May 3, 2023 • 7 Min Read

Your 20s and 30s are a major time of growth and change. Maybe you're starting your career, getting married, having a baby, or taking on big debts for the first time, like a car, a dream trip, or a mortgage.

For many, it’s a time to double down on values and build a strong foundation for the future, but there are many reasons to consider life insurance right now as part of that plan.

Life insurance can be an important part of short and long-term financial planning. Starting early can help you find financial security and protect all that you’re building and working towards now, with other benefits, like more affordable monthly rates and investment growth.

Key takeaways

  • Life insurance is a great way to protect your family’s financial future even when you’re young, by ensuring they can financially support themselves if you’re gone.
  • It may be more affordable to buy life insurance in your 20s and 30s, when you’re likely younger and healthier.
  • Short-term financial benefits can include affordability and coverage without a medical exam, for peace of mind as life changes and your family grows.
  • Long-term financial benefits can include better eligibility (coverage even if you wait until later in life and develop health issues) and ways to grow wealth through investment opportunities.

Why should people in their 20s get life insurance?

Younger people might consider life insurance for the following reasons:

Lower premiums

Life insurance premiums, the monthly or annual fees you pay now to keep your coverage active, are often lower for younger people. It can be much more affordable to have purchased life insurance when you’re younger, than when you are in your 40s or older.

Easier to get approved

There are many factors that affect life insurance premiums but your age and your health are arguably two top factors, so why not lock in low premiums now? When you buy a term policy the rate is set and you pay the same premium for the duration of your policy term.

You plan to own a home

Carrying a mortgage can feel daunting when you’re starting a family and money is tight. Life insurance includes benefits that could help your family cover mortgage costs and afford to stay in your home if something happens to you. Plans that offer investment opportunities can also add equity to your estate and give you more options for getting loans or paying down debts later.

You are getting married or starting a family

Protecting your family goes beyond baby-proofing the house. Life insurance is a way to safeguard your new family’s financial stability, now and in the future, so you can all sleep better at night.

How does life insurance in your 20s and 30s protect your loved ones?

Immediate benefits: You’ll have peace of mind knowing that if something happens to you now, any expenses related to your death will be taken care of. Your loved ones will receive a death benefit, a lump sum of tax-free or tax-deferred money when you pass away. Death benefits can help cover funeral costs and expenses and cover your debts. For example, public student loan debts are forgiven when you die, but private loan debts may still need to be paid off.

Long-term benefits: Signing up for a life insurance plan early means costs will be more affordable over the years. This can help during a time of life when daily expenses can be high, like when you’re paying for daycare costs or rent. Even if you don’t have a family but plan on starting one someday, you can rest easier knowing you’ve planned for their financial stability.

Permanent life insurance plans can have additional long-term benefits. They can help grow your wealth over the years, with a portion of your premiums invested. It can also help with estate planning by covering some of the government taxes and fees that arise when you pass away, and your assets are transferred to loved ones.

What life insurance options are available to younger people

Depending on your goals and life plans, life insurance companies have different options to meet your budget and life stage.

Types of life Insurance

Term life insurance: Term life insurance plans are more affordable plans over a set amount of time (called a term), usually between 10 and 40 years. Coverage expires when your term is up but can be converted to permanent plans later. Term insurance is a popular choice for people at a younger age who may want a lower monthly cost now, as they’re paying off debts or planning other life purchases.

Permanent life insurance: Permanent coverage costs more upfront but covers you for life. Different types of permanent life insurance plans are available including Whole Life, Universal, and T100. Some permanent plans offer investment opportunities to grow wealth as you protect your family.

  • Whole life insurance: Provides lifetime coverage, with monthly fees that won’t change over time. You will still be insured for life, even when your payments end. This can be an option for people who take a “set it and forget it” approach to their finances and investments.
  • Universal life insurance: A more flexible permanent plan that allows you to update your premiums and benefits over time as life changes. This can be an option for people who want to be able to shift plans and enjoy being hands-on with investments.
  • T100 life insurance: A straightforward permanent plan where you pay a fixed amount each month or year for life and no longer need to pay a monthly premium when you reach 100.

Questions to ask when considering what life insurance is best for you:

Do I need life insurance if I don’t have kids?

Life insurance can be an important part of your financial plan, even if you don’t have kids. It can cover expensive funeral costs, debts like private student debts and bank loans, and relieve the financial pressure on other family members or friends. If you do have kids in the future, you can list them as beneficiaries on your plan at any time.

What if my goals change over the next 20-40 years?

You can update your beneficiaries at any time throughout your life, so if you have a new partner or more children, you can ensure everyone is protected.

Can I change my life insurance plan over the years?

Permanent life insurance plans can be adapted over the years. You can pay your set premium or decide to pay more into your plan to increase its value or end its term early.

Will the amount I pay monthly change over the years?

Both term and permanent plans have set monthly payments that won’t change over your lifetime. However, some permanent plans have the option of changing the amount you pay and your coverage.

What is the best age to buy life insurance?

There is no best age to buy life insurance, but purchasing a policy in your 20s and 30s has many benefits, like more affordable costs. It’s usually more affordable to purchase a plan when you’re young and healthy rather than waiting until later when you may have developed health issues.

How to decide what options are right for you?

Getting a policy earlier in life may help you save money, plan for your family and invest in your future. A licensed insurance advisor can help you ask the right questions and develop a personalized plan that will ensure you make the right choice for you and your family.

Speak with an RBC Insurance Advisor by calling 1-888-925-0946 or Have an Advisor Call Me.

Want to speak with an advisor in person? Find an Advisor or Store.

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*Home and auto insurance products are distributed by RBC Insurance Agency Ltd. and underwritten by Aviva General Insurance Company. In Quebec, RBC Insurance Agency Ltd. Is registered as a damage insurance agency. As a result of government-run auto insurance plans, auto insurance is not available through RBC Insurance in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.

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