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How Much Life Insurance Costs in 2020

By: David Bach  |  Last Updated: October 5, 2020
Financial Expert & 10x New York Times Bestseller
IN THIS ARTICLEHow much does life insurance cost?
Starting monthly life insurance rates for women
Starting monthly life insurance rates for men
What type of policy should you start with?
Factors that influence your life insurance rates
Key takeaway: Don’t wait to buy life insurance

One out of every five people with life insurance say they don’t have enough, according to the Insurance Information Institute. That’s 20% of people that’ll leave their spouses, family and loved ones with serious financial obligations if they die.

If you’re fully committed to protecting your family, I believe you need life insurance in place. Period. 

People tend to think that having adequate coverage means shelling out a lot of money, but that’s not necessarily true. Want to learn more? Great! Below, I dissect what it really costs to get life insurance today.

How much does life insurance cost?

To answer this question, I first went out and obtained quotes to compare average life insurance rates based on age, gender and policy type. 

To get an accurate price range for your unique situation, I recommend getting at least three quotes from top life insurance companies. Get matched with one of my top recommendations by clicking on your state on the map below.

What I found while comparing quotes is that now is the time to buy life insurance. Why? Because a huge factor in the cost of life insurance is your age.

If you’re a young person, especially, LISTEN UP. The younger you are when you buy, the cheaper your life insurance will cost. Don’t believe me? 

Here’s what you can expect to pay based on the type of insurance you buy, your age and your gender.

Starting monthly life insurance rates for women

 

Age (when the policy is purchased) Policy amount 20-year term life insurance monthly premium 30-year term life insurance monthly premium Whole life insurance monthly premium
20 $250,000 $10.90 $14.79 $62.20
$500,000 $15.91 $22.52 $124.40
$1,000,000 $23.48 $37.39 $216.46
30 $250,000 $11.11 $15.91 $93.70
$500,000 $16.32 $25.58 $187.40
$1,000,000 $25.07 $44.19 $323.23
40 $250,000 $15.30 $23.31 $131.64
$500,000 $24.62 $40.90 $263.28
$1,000,000 $41.64 $75.42 $461.83
50 $250,000 $30.98 $51.81 $201.45
$500,000 $55.59 $95.55 $400.28
$1,000,000 $96.89 $180.06 $731.99

Quotes provided by Quotacy

Starting monthly life insurance rates for men

 

Age (when the policy is purchased) Policy amount 20-year term life insurance monthly premium 30-year term life insurance monthly premium Whole life insurance monthly premium
20 $250,000 $12.36 $17.82 $75.18
$500,000 $18.75 $28.89 $150.36
$1,000,000 $30.59 $48.67 $247.84
30 $250,000 $12.54 $18.55 $111.14
$500,000 $19.06 $30.55 $222.28
$1,000,000 $31.44 $53.86 $382.86
40 $250,000 $17.90 $28.47 $157.69
$500,000 $29.09 $50.57 $315.38
$1,000,000 $50.13 $94.26 $551.62
50 $250,000 $38.87 $68.07 $237.02
$500,000 $70.70 $128.17 $467.46
$1,000,000 $134.29 $245.56 $840.77

Quotes provided by Quotacy

What type of policy should you start with?

I recommend most people start with a $500,000 to $1 million term life insurance policy, instead of whole life insurance. That might sound like a lot, but it’s very likely at the low end. 

The good news is that term life insurance is cheap, as the tables above show, and prices don’t dramatically jump as you buy more coverage. 

Next, make sure your term matches up to at least the amount of time you have until retirement. For example, if retirement is 20 years away for you, buy a 20-year policy. If you have 30 years until retirement, buy a 30-year policy.

Here’s why I recommend this approach: By the time you retire, you should already have enough money to sustain yourself and your family without having to work. Major obligations are likely out of the way — you’ve largely paid off your debt or put your kids through college, for example.

Factors that influence your life insurance rates

Did you notice how much cheaper the premiums are if you’re a young person? If you’re a 30-year-old woman, for example, and you buy $250,000 of life insurance on a 20-year policy, you’d only spend about $11 per month or $132 per year. 

That’s not to say, if you’re older, you shouldn’t buy life insurance. You don’t get a free pass just because it’s more expensive. It may feel expensive now, but imagine if your family really needed it. Figure out a way to fit life insurance into your budget. Better yet, put it on autopay so you don’t even have to think about it. 

The numbers I shared above are just starting points. Depending on how you live, the premiums you might have to pay will be different. It’ll depend on a variety of factors, including: your health, your age, your driving record, your family health history, whether you’re a smoker (if you smoke, STOP!) and where you live.

If you’d like to get started and see how much life insurance might cost you, view my top recommendations for best life insurance companies.

Key takeaway: Don’t wait to buy life insurance

I’ve been teaching people about the importance of life insurance for decades. If there’s one pattern I’ve seen, it’s that buying life insurance is easy to put off.

I’m here to tell you: Don’t wait! It’s scary to think about, but you or I could die tomorrow. Getting life insurance set up isn’t as much of a hassle as it sounds. It only takes a few clicks to get started. And don’t you owe it to your family to protect them in every way you can?

Check out my top recommendations for life insurance companies

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