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Life Stages

As times change, so do your life insurance needs.

Your life insurance should reflect your current needs. Unfortunately, too many of us take a "set and forget" mindset when taking out a life insurance policy. The good news is that finding a policy that's right for you doesn't have to be hard.

Find out what you should be looking for in a life insurance policy at five different stages of your life.

Five life stages you'll need life insurance

1. Building your wealth as a young adult

You're young, healthy and single, and you've finally moved out of home to start a life of your own. You probably don't think you need life insurance, but there are a few key types of cover you should consider.

Income protection cover

If you couldn't work due to illness or injury, how could you fund the 20-something lifestyle you love so much? This is where income protection insurance can be a big help, providing an ongoing monthly benefit to replace your income until you're back at work.

Life cover

You may not have a family yet, but you might have a mortgage or plenty of other bills to pay, for example a personal loan and a car loan. Term life insurance provides a lump-sum payment to pay those debts if you die or become terminally ill.

TPD cover

You could have a long, high-income career stretching out in front of you, but if you suffer a total and permanent disability and are unlikely to work ever again, TPD insurance pays a lump sum to help you take care of yourself and maintain a decent standard of living.

Trauma cover

Severe illnesses like cancer often don't discriminate based on age. They can strike at any time and have huge financial consequences, so consider trauma insurance to help pay your medical bills and get back to full health as soon as possible.

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2. Getting married

Congratulations! Choosing to spend the rest of your life with someone is a huge commitment, and it also means your life insurance needs have changed. There are several types of cover you may want to consider.

Income protection cover

If illness or injury keeps you off work for an extended period, you may need to put those grand plans you and your partner have for the future on the back burner. But if you have income protection insurance, you can keep on living the lifestyle you want and planning for the future you're both dreaming of.

Life cover

Sharing your life often means sharing debts, and you and your partner may now be paying off a mortgage or other debts together. If you were to die or become terminally ill, would your loved one be able to cope with the financial stress of paying off all your commitments? The lump-sum benefit from a life cover policy ensures they won't have to.

TPD cover

Becoming disabled can wreck your plans of a high-earning career and cause financial chaos. But if you have TPD cover in place, you can afford to maintain your current lifestyle and maybe even let your partner stop working to care for you.

Trauma cover

If you're struck down by a serious illness, trauma cover provides a lump-sum benefit that you can use to cover your medical bills or let your partner take time off work while you recover.

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3. Buying a home

Homes aren't cheap, especially in most Australian capital cities, so buying a home means taking on a significant financial responsibility. And with this increased responsibility comes a number of new reasons why you should consider life insurance.

Income protection cover

Your mortgage repayments will most likely eat up a huge chunk of your income, so if you're sick or injured and unable to earn an income, how will you keep up with your mortgage repayments? Income protection insurance can provide a replacement income to help you keep paying the mortgage and maintain your standard of living.

Life cover

If you died unexpectedly, would your partner be able to manage the mortgage repayments on their own? This is where life cover can be a huge help, providing a lump sum to help your spouse pay off debts and avoid financial stress.

TPD cover

When you have a high-earning career stretching out in front of you, lenders are more than happy to offer you a home loan. But if you become disabled and unable to work, keeping up with those repayments becomes incredibly difficult – which is why the lump-sum payment from a TPD insurance policy can be so beneficial.

Trauma cover

If you suffer a serious illness, trauma insurance provides a lump sum to eliminate financial worries. You can pay for the treatment you need, reduce or eliminate debts and hopefully enjoy a speedy recovery.

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4. Having kids

If you thought a mortgage was a huge responsibility, wait until you've got a couple of kids to look after. Once children come into your life, insurance cover becomes more important than ever.

Income protection cover

If you've got a young child, there's a good chance your family will be relying on one income for a while. With income protection insurance, you'll still be able to provide that income even while you're off work.

Life cover

Raising kids is expensive, so if you die or become terminally ill, life cover provides a lump-sum payment to help your partner or a guardian cover the cost of raising your children.

TPD cover

If you become permanently disabled and unable to work, TPD cover provides a lump-sum benefit that you can use to offset the loss of income, pay for your ongoing care or even allow your partner to quit work.

Trauma cover

If you suffer a serious illness, the benefit from a trauma insurance policy can help you cover your medical costs and allow your partner to take time off work while you recover.

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5. Getting ready for retirement

You're nearing the golden years and preparing to sit back and relax after decades of hard work. With the right life insurance in place, your lifestyle now and into retirement will be protected even if something goes wrong.

Income protection cover

Your final years in the workforce are often crucial to boost your retirement savings to an adequate level, so income protection insurance can help keep those funds coming in while you're unable to work.

Life cover

Debts and your adult kids may still be placing a strain on your finances, so life cover ensures that all your ongoing expenses will be taken care of even if you're no longer around.

TPD cover

If you're injured in an accident and become disabled, the money you've saved for retirement simply may not be enough for the lifestyle you want. TPD cover pays a benefit to help you pay medical and ongoing care costs, or let your partner leave work to look after you.

Trauma cover

If you suffer a heart attack, cancer, stroke or some other critical illness, the lump-sum benefit from trauma insurance ensures that you won't have to dip into your retirement savings to cover your medical bills.

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Which life stage are you at? Read through these life insurance guides

Life insurance needs based on age

Life Insurance States Graph

Life insurance and early adulthood (18-25)

In these formative years, many young people are just finding their feet and beginning to realise just what financial independence means. Most don’t have financial dependants. While they may still be living with their parents, many young Australians own a car or have a credit card.

But what if that car was bought on a finance plan or that credit card was used to finance a trip to Europe and you were suddenly unable to pay those bills? What would happen if an illness or injury meant that you were no longer able to keep up with those payments?

One of the major benefits of taking out insurance during your early adulthood is that your premiums are drastically cheaper. The reason that premiums are generally cheaper is that younger people present less of a risk to insurer because of both their health and the amount of time that these people will be holding their policies.

Reasons why you should consider cover include:

  • Paying your rent in the event you are no longer able to work
  • Making sure your household bills are paid
  • Keeping up your normal lifestyle
  • The continuation of your savings goals
  • Paying for any education costs
  • Securing your financial independence

Cover worth considering

Importance of having life insurance in adulthood (25-45)

This is the time in most peoples live that are filled with those life milestones like marriage, buying your first home and having children. While these are all memorable events, they can also bring their share of financial responsibilities and expenses.

These responsibilities can often act as a strong incentive to purchase life insurance.

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Reasons why people in this life stage should consider cover include:

  • Paying off the mortgage
  • Continuing finance payments on a new car
  • Paying off household bills
  • Continuation of and investments
  • Maintaining their family’s current lifestyle
  • Funeral expenses

Discussing life insurance with a partner

Cover Worth Considering

This group can benefit from taking out the same covers as listed above for those in early adulthood but there are other cover options that they may want to consider in addition to income protection, personal accident and term life insurance (which is especially important to those in this life stage).

Life insurance for pre-retirement (45-65)

At this time in most people’s lives, their careers are beginning to wind down, their children have left the nest and their mortgages are that much closer to being paid off. While this segment of the population is gearing up for retirement, they still have financial obligations that need to be met.

Since people who are in this life stage are preparing for 20 plus years retirement, it is important to make sure that your finances are in order.

50's guide Get a quote

Reasons why people in this life stage may consider cover include:

  • Protecting their assets
  • Eliminating their debt
  • Preparing for any health issues
  • Helping their children with their finances
  • Planning for their retirement
  • Creating wills and trusts.

Cover Worth Considering

Most insurance needs are cumulative, which is why there are always options to bundle policies together. By this life stage, many people will already have some combination of the cover options listed for the previous life stages. Whether it be a comprehensive life insurance policy that covers trauma and TPD or the insurance provided through your super, you will most likely have some form of protection in place.

Life insurance and retirement (65+)

This is the life stage that people spend their entire lives building to and hopefully a time of reduced financial obligations.

Many people in this life stage have a large chunk of their mortgage paid and hopefully have a healthy balance in their superannuation. After years balancing the costs associated with their children, trying to reduce their debt and put money away for retirement, they have made it.

However, their need for financial protection is still very real. Health and insurance is important because of the increased risk of illness and injury that comes with age.

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Reasons why people in this life stage may consider cover include:

  • Maintaining cashflow
  • Budgeting
  • Debt reduction
  • Paying off the last of their mortgage
  • Cost of living
  • Maintaining savings for retirement
  • Travel expenses
  • Maintaining lifestyle
  • Inheritance tax mitigation
  • Aged care planning
  • Estate planning

Cover Worth Considering

How much will life insurance cost at each life stages?

The average cost of life insurance varies with your age. This is due to a variety of factors based on your age including your life expectancy and the length of your cover.

AgeAverage premium per month (Male)Average premium per month (Female)

Premiums are based on a non-smoker for a sum insured of $500,000. Quotes are from finder's quote engine and are subject to change at any time.

What is my life expectancy at each life stage?

The average life expectancy varies with age.

AgeLife expectancy (Male)Life expectancy (Females)

Source: World Health Organisation (WHO) 2016.

Life insurance needs are also affected by your dependants

Life insurance for single people

As a young, single person you may think that it’s unnecessary to purchase life insurance, but this isn’t the case. Life insurance can offer you and your family financial security and be bundled to provide income protection or critical illness insurance. If you have debts from university or personal loans, life insurance can allow your family to pay them off if something happens to you.

Life insurance is at its least expensive when you’re young and healthy and if you purchase a plan early you can reap the benefits of cheaper overall premiums. If you find a brand that you like, you can start with a cheaper plan and add in coverage as you grow older and build your family.

Just remember, you don’t have to buy the most expensive policy from the start. Talk to an adviser and pick a plan that suits your personal needs and can grow as your needs change.

Life insurance for couples

Similar to life insurance if you are single, getting married or having a partner increases the need for quality life insurance. In the event of death, life insurance can provide your partner with the ability to pay for expenses and keep the household in order. As a young couple, you will have similar accessibility to that of a young, single person, meaning you are generally eligible for lower premiums.

Life insurance is important for couples because there are usually more monthly expenses in the form of:

  • Mortgage
  • Car payments
  • Medical bills
  • Debt and loan payments

In the event of a life insurance claim, the lump sum payment can be used to pay off these debts or provide a monthly income.

As mentioned with insurance for single people, avoid risks associated with purchasing insurance by buying only the coverage you need and by shopping around to find the best price to fit your budget.

Life insurance if you have kids

Life insurance becomes increasingly important when you have children. In the event of death, the financial responsibility of raising a family may fall onto the single income of your spouse. Having a life insurance policy also adds the ability to bundle trauma insurance or income protection into your policy so that you can receive a lump sum payment in the event of a critical injury or monthly instalments if you cannot work.

On top of other financial responsibilities for couples, having children can multiply your expenses.

  • The average cost of raising a child is $488 per month. This is a number that is consistent across income and age brackets.
  • Over the course of raising a child from age 0 to 24, the total comes to around $610,000. These numbers can fluctuate and even multiply if you have more than 1 child.
  • Childcare, school tuition and college savings. These are other associated expenses that can fluctuate month-to-month.

When you are evaluating a life insurance policy make sure to have a payout sum that is large enough to give your family the financial support they need. You can calculate this by looking at the living standard you want your family to sustain and the current and future costs of raising your kids.

Life insurance if you're an empty nester

It is still important to have life insurance as an empty nester. As you grow older and prepare for retirement, life insurance offers added financial security for your spouse in the form of a lump sum or income protection if you pass away. Life insurance policies often have financial adviser benefits which will help your partner find the best way to use the claim payout.

As this is another stage in your life, it is important to reevaluate the coverage you need and tailor the plan accordingly. Some of the policy options you had when raising children may no longer be necessary and can be cut to save on monthly premiums.

Note: Premiums will increase as you get older and if you develop a medical condition. Also, many life insurance policies are cancelled at ages 70-75, so check with your insurer for specific restrictions.

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Coverage is the amount of money that you will be paid in the event of a claim. An insurance consultant can help you determine an appropriate amount. Calculator
Provides a lump sum payment if you become totally and permanently disabled and are unable to return to work.
Provides a lump sum payment if you suffer a serious medical condition. Cover can be taken out for 40-60 medical conditions depending on the policy you choose.
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Get quotes

Name Product Maximum Cover Maximum Entry Age Minimum Sum Insured Expiry Age
NobleOak Life Insurance
Get 2 months free when joining combined cover. Offer ends in April 30, 2020. T&Cs apply.
Real Family Life Cover
No expiry age as long as premiums are paid
Get a refund of 10% of the premiums you've paid (in the first 12 months) with The Real Reward™ .
Zurich Ezicover Life Insurance
Get your first month free. T&Cs apply.
ahm Life Insurance
No expiry age as long as premiums are paid
ahm Health members can save 10% off premiums.
Medibank Life Insurance
No expiry age as long as premiums are paid
10% discount for Medibank health members & go into the draw for $1,000 Gift Card when you get a life insurance quote.
Guardian Life Insurance
No expiry age as long as premiums are paid

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