Myth: you only need life insurance when you are older
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By Prudence Thipe
When you are in your twenties and starting out in life, you can be forgiven for thinking about getting your career started, buying a car and enjoying your independence rather than buying life insurance.
After all, life insurance is only for older people who have families and financial obligations, isn’t it? No. First, death, disability or severe illness is not limited to just older age groups; and secondly, the younger you are when taking out life insurance, the more affordable it is.
When you are in your twenties, you should consider life insurance and the financial protection and other advantages it will offer as you move through various life stages.
Life insurance should be the foundation of any financial plan as its main function is to pay off debt, be it current or some time in the future, like settling a student loan, which is something that becomes part of our lives once we start to work and begin accumulating assets.
Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has also entered the equation by teaching us that life and our plans can change very quickly and what appears to be a certainty today, may no longer apply tomorrow. The pandemic does not respect age or gender.
For the younger consumer, the virus has drawn attention to the fact that instead of living and spending for today, it is perhaps time to think about the future and to start planning a more financially secure life-insured future.
The time is right because:
- When still young and earning an income, you have an opportunity to acquire assets: life cover acts as protection of your assets in the unfortunate event of death.
- The sooner you start, the more affordable your monthly premiums could be, and the easier it is to begin building a financially secure future.
Life insurance is the key to providing a legacy after your passing and not leaving those behind to cover debts, whether current or those that accrue in the future. To a family left behind, life cover can also be used to replace any financial assistance that a younger family member could have been giving to his or her family.
A policy pay-out can cover essential expenses, such as mortgage bond re-payments, credit card accounts, car loans, student loans and other debt. It can also ensure that any outstanding medical costs and the costs that a funeral policy may not cover, are met.
As no two people are the same, getting the right life cover for you should involve receiving expert advice from a financial adviser who can ascertain your financial obligations, assets, goals and lifestyle wishes. A life insurance policy can then be tailored accordingly.
As your financial obligations increase and life becomes more complicated, it pays to have a trusted adviser consult you on at least a yearly basis, so that changes in your life and financial goals can be catered for and your legacy can be maintained.
Prudence Thipe, general manager: sales and distribution at Old Mutual’s Mass and Foundation Cluster