Understanding Life Insurance Options for People

Life insurance is a crucial component of financial planning, offering reassurance and security for the future. Specifically for individuals under the age of 85, understanding the varied life insurance options available is essential to make informed decisions that fit personal and familial financial objectives. This detailed overview will explore the varieties of life insurance policies, key considerations for potential policyholders, and the impact of age and health on insurance choices.

Why Life Insurance is Vital Before Age 85

Many people underestimate the importance of securing life insurance early. The key advantage of acquiring life insurance before age 85 is lower premiums. Generally, as age increases, so do the policy costs, primarily because the risk of health issues rises. Obtaining life insurance at a younger age ensures that you are covered when these risks are fewer, which typically translates to more affordable premiums.

Moreover, life insurance can provide financial security to your dependents. Whether it’s ensuring your family can maintain their lifestyle, covering specific future expenses like college education, or protecting business interests, life insurance offers a financial safety net that should not be overlooked.

Types of Life Insurance Available

Life insurance policies come in various forms, each tailored to different needs and preferences. The two primary categories are term life insurance and permanent life insurance.

Term Life Insurance: This policy type is straightforward and offers coverage for a specified “term” or period (e.g., 10, 20, 30 years). It’s typically the most affordable option, making it a popular choice among young adults and families. However, it does not build cash value and once the term expires, the policyholder must either go without coverage or purchase a new policy, often at higher rates due to increased age.

Permanent Life Insurance: Unlike term life, permanent policies provide lifelong coverage, as long as premiums are paid. These policies also accumulate a cash value that can be borrowed against. There are several types of permanent life insurance, such as whole life, universal life, and variable life, each with unique features and investment components.

Considerations for Choosing a Life Insurance Policy

When selecting a life insurance policy, several factors should influence your decision:

Financial Situation and Goals: The choice between term and permanent life insurance often depends on your financial circumstances and future aspirations. Term insurance may be suitable for those with a specific end date for needing protection, like until children are financially independent. Permanent insurance is better for lifelong dependents or those interested in building cash value for future use.

Age and Health: Younger, healthier individuals get more favorable rates on policies. Medical exams are typically required for most types of life insurance, and premiums increase with age and declining health. Therefore, securing a policy early in life can often lead to significant savings and better coverage options.

Budget: Budget constraints are also a vital consideration. Term life insurance tends to be cheaper and might fit better into a tight budget. However, for those who can afford higher premiums and seek a greater return on their investment, permanent life insurance might be the better option.

The Impact of Age on Life Insurance

As mentioned earlier, age plays a critical role in determining the cost and availability of life insurance. Typically, premium costs increase by about 8-10% for each year of age, making early investment advisable. Moreover, the likelihood of developing health issues that could increase premiums or disqualify one from coverage escalates with age.

A 2021 study by the Life Insurance and Market Research Association (LIMRA) found that 44% of millennials overestimate the cost of term life insurance, and a significant portion remains uninsured. This suggests a gap in information and a critical opportunity for younger people to engage with life insurance products.


Understanding the different types of life insurance and determining the right time to purchase a policy can be daunting tasks. However, they are essential for ensuring financial protection and peace of mind. Individuals below 85, particularly those in younger age brackets, have the advantage of obtaining coverage at potentially lower rates and preparing for the future effectively.

Life insurance should be viewed not just as a monthly or yearly expense but as an integral part of lifelong financial planning. Engaging with a financial advisor or doing thorough research are prudent steps to tailor a life insurance solution that aligns with personal needs and financial goals, ensuring that you and your loved ones are protected regardless of life’s unpredictabilities.