Since getting your diploma, you’ve probably been busy looking for a job where you can apply all the skills you spent years honing in school.
But preparing for the unexpected is just as important. Even if you plan to take advantage of the life insurance options that an employer may provide, it’s a good idea to consider it as a supplement to coverage you purchase on your own.
While you might not think that you can afford it right now, life insurance may be more affordable than you think. In fact, now’s the best time to make sure you get the coverage you need at a price that fits your budget.
Buying now can save you later
While starting a family may still be years away, buying life insurance now can be a smart financial move. “Good health and a young age can mean very affordable life insurance, and you’re usually never healthier than when you’re young,” says Ed Johnson, assistant sales manager at Amica Life.
Not only can getting coverage early help you lock in low premiums for the duration of your policy, but even if your health changes in five or 10 years, your insurance premiums stay the same.
Don’t rely solely on life insurance from your employer
Employer-provided life insurance is a great benefit, and according to the 2016 Amica Life Financial Peace of Mind Survey, 45 percent of respondents believe it offers them sufficient coverage.1 Not necessarily, Johnson says.
Policies from your employer are typically only one to two times your income and may not be transferable, so you may not be able to keep your policy if you change jobs. Plus your employer could stop providing the benefit at any time. Purchasing a separate policy now can supplement your employer-provided coverage and help ensure you have coverage, wherever your career takes you.
“As long as you have your own personal policy, anything else you get is like icing on the cake,” Johnson says.
Deciding how much you need
When it comes to life insurance, a policy that’s equivalent to at least seven to 10 times your salary is recommended.2 But if you don’t have a job yet, it can be hard to determine how much life insurance you may actually need. Luckily, a life insurance specialist can help.
“As long as you have your own personal policy, anything else you get is like icing on the cake.” – Ed Johnson, assistant sales manager at Amica Life
“It’s called ‘forecasting,’” Johnson explains. “We consider the field you’re going into and what your degree is in and try to predict a path you will take.” By working together to understand what’s in your future, you and the life insurance specialist can arrive at a realistic figure.
Perks of financial peace of mind
As its name implies, term life insurance remains in place for a fixed number of years (or “term”). Permanent (or “whole”) life insurance, in contrast, is life insurance you keep as long as you pay the premium.
Along with helping to provide protection for your loved ones, a permanent life insurance policy builds up cash value. It works like this: Part of your premium goes toward paying the life insurance coverage in your policy. The other part builds value over time.
Once the policy has accumulated cash value, you can borrow against it at a competitive interest rate. Although this may lower your final benefit, this money can be withdrawn tax free.
While you’re looking for a job, think about protecting your future income. How affordable is life insurance? The answer may surprise you.
1 2016 Amica Life Financial Peace of Mind Survey, 2016.
2 You Wouldn’t Drive Without a Seatbelt – Why Live Without Life Insurance?, Amica Life, 2017.
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