Which is Better – 20 or 30-Year Term Life Insurance?
Choosing the right term for a term insurance policy is a tough decision.
A 20-year term vs. a 30-year term...how do you know the difference and decide which one will suit you best?
Let’s examine your reasons for buying life insurance to help you select which term length is the best for your unique situation.
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Choosing the Right Term Life Insurance Policy
Each person and his or her family have their own unique circumstances. Also, each of you are at various stages of your life in terms of your careers, savings/investments, and financial situation.
Let’s assume you have already decided on how much insurance you want, but simply can’t decide how long you want to have it in place.
There’s 2 ways to look at your situation - this includes where you stand right now and where you think you’re going to be down the road (which means your future needs). We know you don’t have a crystal ball and no one can foretell the future, so that means making an educated guess.Let’s look at some of the reasons why you want insurance to help you decide on how long you want the policy.
Reasons for a 20-Year Term or 30-Year Term
Choosing between a 20 or 30-year term depends largely on the reasons you want to buy life insurance in the first place. When it comes to term life insurance, most people purchase coverage to provide a source of income for their family if they no longer around.
Now, how old are you right now? If you’re in your twenties or thirties, you may have just bought a home or just started a family. At the very least, you want to ensure your kids are protected until they’re at least 18, or even more if you want add another 4 years for college.
Buying a 20 or 30-Year Term to Support Your Spouse and Children
You also have to consider your spouse. Is your spouse working right now, or staying home and looking after the kids until they’re old enough? Will your spouse be returning to work sometime later on?
What is your spouse earning now, and what will his or her future income be like? Will he/she earn enough to pay all the bills and raise the kids? And even after the children have left the nest, will your spouse be able to manage financially later on?
So, how do you decide? If you had a 20-year term policy and died 21 or 25 years from now, ask yourself how this would affect your spouse and family financially if you had no life insurance and your income was no longer available. If you answered – “Not good!” then we think you have your answer as to which term policy to buy.
What Happens When the 20 or 30-Year Term Policy Ends?
You might think, “Well, I’ll just renew my policy.” You can do that, but just remember that life insurance also gets more expensive as you age. If you’re 25-years-old, you can get a 20-year term policy for a $250,000 term life insurance policy right now for around $13.00 a month or $150.00 per year if you’re healthy and a non-smoker. A 30-year-term policy would cost you around $18.00 per month or $213.00 per year.
If you had to renew that policy today at age 45, then it would cost you a minimum of $29.00 per month or $348.00 per year. And that’s now! Twenty years down the road, it’s going to cost much more. Also, during that time it’s quite possible that your health is going to slip. You might have put on some weight, developed health problems such as diabetes or heart disease.
Now there is another option that some life insurance companies offer - conversion. With some policies, you have the option to convert some or all of it to permanent coverage, as long as the conversion is done before age 70. Not all companies offer it, so make sure to check with your agent if you can add this rider to your policy.
In addition, do keep in mind that your policy premiums will increase once you convert to permanent coverage. But it is an option that allows you to keep coverage when you're older without having to re-apply and take a medical exam.
Choosing a 20 or 30-Year Term and Your Health
As you become less healthy, you will no longer likely qualify for the best rating, which means that your premiums are going to be even more expensive.
Let us give you an example. Suppose you choose a 20-year-term policy with $250,000 of coverage right now, and it costs you $150.00 per year. At the end of that term, you realize you need insurance for another 10 years but you’ve developed heart disease and qualified for only a standard rating; now that 10-year policy would cost you $353.00 per year, which would actually be even much more expensive in the future.
You can save that money and worry by buying a longer term such as a 30-year-term because your premiums will stay fixed for the entire 30 years, regardless of how your health deteriorates. So, that’s something else to think about.
If you’re young, a 30-year-term policy might make more sense and if you’re older, then a 20-year-term might suit you best. But, make sure to think of your future needs and what might happen down the road in a worst-case scenario.
The Bottom Line
When shopping for life insurance you always want to talk to an independently-owned agency like JRC Insurance Group. We can access and research dozens of highly-rated companies to find your most affordable options.
If you have health concerns, don’t let that dissuade you. We can help you find the policy that best suits your needs by comparing rates and options from dozens of leading insurers. If you have questions or want to learn more, please give us a call at 855–247–9555.
Chris is a co-founder of JRC Insurance Group. Prior to founding JRC, he owned his own agency, and he has been a licensed life insurance agent since 2014. Chris is a die-hard San Diego Padres fan, and in his spare time he enjoys reading, ping pong, poker, and spending time with his wife and three daughters.