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Ask the Life Insurance Expert

Does a 23-year-old single man just starting a career need life insurance?

You need life insurance if someone would be hurt financially if you died and were no longer able to provide support. If you're unmarried and have no children, then you probably don't need life insurance.

A case could be made for life insurance if you were carrying a lot of debt that someone else would have to take on if you died, or if you were providing financial support for younger siblings or your parents.

Most people wait to purchase life insurance until they are married and start a family. If you see family life in your future, then you could purchase life insurance now so it's in place once you need it. Life insurance rates are cheaper the younger and healthier you are. By waiting to purchase life insurance, you risk developing a health condition that could make it difficult to qualify for the best rates.

At 23, though, that risk is low. Before you make any decisions, learn about the different types of life insurance and talk to a trusted financial adviser. A good adviser will provide guidance based on your overall financial status and goals.

For more, see Life insurance basics.

Last updated: Aug. 21, 2012