Once We Get Married Do I Need Life Insurance?

by Tamila McDonald
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when to buy life insurance

Many couples struggle to figure out when to buy life insurance. Some may think it isn’t necessary right after the wedding. However, that isn’t always the case. If you need to know if you need life insurance now that you’re married, here’s what you need to consider.

Income and Spending

When you get married, you usually start looking at your household income and spending as “ours” instead of “yours and mine.” You might take on bigger financial obligations because you are doing so jointly, leading to costs that wouldn’t be affordable if one of you was no longer in the equation.

If that’s the case, life insurance is a good idea. That way, if something happens to one of you, the other gets a financial influx that can let them address some of these suddenly unaffordable expenses. It allows them to maintain their lifestyle, handle joint debts, or take other steps to remain financially afloat, which is really what life insurance is all about.

Final Expenses

Many couples don’t realize how much final expenses can cost. For example, the average casket runs $2,000, though more expensive versions can run in excess of $10,000. And that amount doesn’t include the plot, embalming, vaults, and services.

Even a cremation without any embalming, services, or extra expenses – a process known as a direct cremation – costs an average of $1,100. Though, in cities with higher costs of living, it’s typically more.

Additionally, if your spouse’s death was unexpected and proceeded by a hospital stay, the surviving spouse may be responsible for any final medical bills. Some admissions forms include guarantor language and, when a spouse signs them to approve care, they are essentially promising to handle the costs even if their spouse dies. The same can be true for couples living in community property states, as any debt incurred during the marriage can be viewed as joint debt.

With life insurance policies, you can ensure that your spouse doesn’t have to shoulder the financial burden associated with your final expenses. This can be critical if your last wishes go beyond the cheapest options around, ensuring they can do what you’d like without needing to incur debt or experience a hardship.

When to Buy Life Insurance

Ideally, you want to buy life insurance as soon as possible. The younger you are, and the better condition you are in, the lower your policy bill will end up. Plus, the odds that you’ll be rejected due to your current health is typically reduced, as you may not have any conditions that are considered high risk.

Did you first get life insurance when you got married, or did you have it earlier? Did you end up waiting until your life circumstances changed again, such as after having children? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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