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You've heard that life insurance is important, but how do you know the right time to buy it? Do you get it early while in your 30s, or wait until your 60s?

Ideally, you should purchase life insurance at the age of 34 or younger. This if for a few reasons. The first is that life insurance premiums typically go up once you reach the age of 35 and increase dramatically every five years after that. Despite this, most people under 35 aren't likely to purchase life insurance. College students especially are struggling to balance work and life, as well as pay for expensive classes, textbooks and rent. Adding a life insurance policy when you're so young can seem like simply adding an unnecessary burden to your wallet. But life insurance is a crucial for everyone — especially graduates with mountains of debt. If you pass away, that debt will fall to your family. Young people often don't think that they need life insurance when they're not sick, but this isn't true. In fact, the rate of deaths among people between the ages of 25 and 44 has been increasing since 2012.

Another reason people aren't purchasing life insurance is that they are marrying less frequently. Millennials are marrying and having children much later in life than the previous generations, if at all. This is in large part due to the cost of living. Rent for a single apartment averages often costs more than $1,000 a month. With no partner or children to provide for, Millennials are more likely to see life insurance as unnecessary. This means that, if they suddenly die, their debt will instead transfer to immediate surviving family — such as their parents. Retired parents may not have the resources to pay off their children's student debts should the child suddenly pass, however.

How Much Does Life Insurance Cost?

On average, non-smokers between the age of 26 and 25 pay around $16.79 a month for a $250,000 life insurance policy. Rates tend to be slightly higher for men than women. Rates also depend on the amount of coverage as well as:

  • Term length
  • Credit score
  • Medical exam results
  • Lifestyle choices
  • Family health history

Lifestyle choices and high risk habits — such as smoking — may raise your life insurance premiums drastically, which is why a medical exam is conducted when you apply for life insurance.

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