Life insurance in your 40s

For Life Insurance Awareness Month, we’re illustrating the need for life insurance across different life stages. In your 40’s, you likely have loved ones that depend on you and your income. That makes it an ideal time for life insurance coverage.
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Why life insurance is critical in your 40s
In this decade, you’re likely in the midst of some financially demanding years, with a complex mix of responsibilities and assets on your plate that you want to protect. Here are some specific reasons why you may need life insurance:
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You want to protect your children's future
If you have children, they’re your biggest responsibility—and likely your largest expense. Life insurance can help cover their expenses and protect their future if something were to happen to you.
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You have a spouse that depends on your income
You might not have children, but you may have a spouse whose quality of life largely depends on your income. If your income were to be lost, life insurance can help to ensure they’ll maintain that same quality of life.
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You have some level of debt
A recent Experian study showed that Gen Xers (ages 40-55) are likely to carry the most debt of any age group at about $136,000. Life insurance can provide your loved ones with the resources to handle your debts should you pass away.
What kind of life insurance should people in their 40s get?

For someone in their 40s, term life insurance might be the best option. Term is affordable, straightforward, and can be tailored to provide coverage during financially taxing years where you need it most. Here are some common examples of time periods you can structure a term policy around.

  • Until your kids are finished with school
  • Until you’ve paid off your debt (like a mortgage)
  • Until you reach retirement

What does a term policy cover?

In the example to the left, we demonstrated common periods of time to have term life insurance coverage. Ultimately, it's up to the beneficiaries to decide how to use the death benefit. Here are some things it could help cover:

  • Home mortgages or rent
  • Lost income
  • Loans & debt
  • Living expenses
  • Funeral costs
Life insurance and your financial legacy

Our Financial Legacy Index found that many Americans aren’t prepared for the financial ramifications of their death. Here are some findings that particularly demonstrate the need for life insurance:

  • 52% of Americans say they often worry about the financial situation they will leave behind for their children/future children after they pass away.
  • 33% of Americans say their family would be left financially unstable or bankrupt in the event of their death.
  • 82% of Americans value leaving behind a strong financial legacy, but 38% lack confidence they will do so.
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The bottom line on life insurance in your 40s

Your 40s is one of the most critical, financially-demanding decades to protect. Being in the middle of childcare and eldercare, college, and retirement, means there’s plenty of expenses you want covered for your family who relies on you. Life insurance provides peace of mind knowing those expenses are taken care of should you pass away, making it a crucial piece of your financial legacy.

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