Many people purchase life insurance in order to help protect those they love so they don’t suffer financially if their income is no longer there. They know life insurance could be the only thing that stands between their loved ones and financial hardship.
So what about when you reach the “empty nester” phase of life? Do you still need life insurance when your kids are out of the house? That all depends on multiple factors.
According to JT Davis Asset Management, there are several circumstances in which it might be a good idea to continue paying those life insurance premiums. Some situations to consider are:
- if your kids might need your help in the future (if they have student loans, for example),
- if you have other dependents (like elderly parents or young grandchildren),
- if you’re not done saving for retirement and your spouse would depend on those funds, or
- if you have debt.1
The Insurance Information Institute offers several other situations for empty nesters to consider before they give up their life insurance, including paying unexpected expenses an early death would cause, giving your benefit to heirs or charity, and social security benefits that would be lost or reduced from an early death.2 The Institute also references the Social Security “blackout period,” reduced survivor’s benefits, and the loss of a second Social Security benefit when one spouse dies. (You can learn more about Social Security benefits at ssa.gov and speak to a Social Security claims representative since personal situations vary.) 3
As you consider whether or not you need life insurance during your empty nester years, examine your own circumstances to determine the best choice for you. Contact a financial advisor to help you make the best decision.
- “Do Empty Nesters Need Life Insurance?” JT Davis Asset Management, 2017
- “Do "empty nesters" need life insurance?” Insurance Information Institute, 2018
- “Benefits Planner: Survivors | If You Are The Survivor,” Social Security Administration, 2019
Categories: Life Insurance, Term Life Insurance, Whole Life Insurance