Down the Road: Your Life Insurance Timeline

You see life-changing events every day in your profession. From parents bringing in their newborns for a checkup to older adults discussing their long-term health care needs, you get to experience the entire spectrum of life. But have you considered the life changes you’ll experience down the road and how they’ll affect the ones you love?

Life insurance can be an uncomfortable topic. Everyone knows they need it, but no one wants to talk about it. While it may seem like a grim subject to discuss, it’s a smart financial move to strongly consider, especially at the beginning of your career. Take a look at your life insurance timeline and how major life-changing events can affect your life insurance needs.

Getting married or divorced

When you get married, you and your spouse will be building an estate together. Your separate financial obligations will become a combined effort and both of you will be accustomed to a certain standard of living. If one of you were to pass away, you’d want to make sure that your policy covers the loss of your income.  This will help ensure that your spouse will be able to provide for themselves in the event of your passing. If you purchase a policy at this point in your life, your premiums will be lower since you are young and most likely in good health.

In the event that you get a divorce, you will need to reevaluate your life insurance needs since you and your ex-spouse will no longer be sharing an estate together. If you own the insurance policy, you will need to review it and decide if you want to appoint a new beneficiary. If your spouse owns the policy, you will want to consider purchasing a new one for yourself.

Having children/dependents

If you decide to have children or adopt, having enough life insurance will help protect their future. When you review your policy, you will need to factor in the cost of childcare, college tuition and other daily living expenses that need to be covered in the event of your passing. The more dependents you have, the more life insurance you’ll need. Life insurance will also eliminate any debts you may leave behind, giving your children financial peace of mind.

Buying a home

Purchasing a home is a huge expense which means you may need to take out a loan or two to pay the mortgage. Depending on your individual financial situation, you may even need to take out a second mortgage or refinance your house, placing you in a financial bind.

A life insurance policy will prevent your loved ones from having to pay off the balance of these loans if something were to happen to you.

Protecting your practice

Life insurance does more than protect the ones you love. It also protects your business. If you run your own private practice or share a small practice with other family physicians, consider how your practice would survive if you or a partner were no longer in the picture. Life insurance could be used to cover this type of business loss and ensure the continuation of your practice.

If your practice is in debt and you pass away, your family could be held accountable for paying these outstanding debts. A life insurance policy will protect them against this financial risk.

Planning for retirement

Retirement doesn’t mark the end of your need for life insurance. As you get closer to retiring, you will need to reevaluate your life insurance policy and see how it can help fund your golden years.

At this point in your life, your children are all grown up and are taking care of families of their own. You may also be fortunate enough to have paid off your mortgage. This leaves the door open for you to enjoy retirement to the fullest.

Life insurance can supplement any income you may receive from Social Security, your pension, or a 401(k). In the sad event that you pass away before your spouse or partner, your policy can help offset that loss of income so they can continue living in comfort. And the best part is that the life benefits passed on to your beneficiaries are tax-free.

If you have obligations or commitments to attend to, you can use your life insurance to leave a lasting legacy. You can assign the benefits to your favorite charity, your alma mater, or any other institution or program that meant a great deal to you and your family.


When considering life insurance and how your needs may change throughout your lifetime, consult with an insurance or financial professional who can walk you through your unique situation and who can help define your long-term financial goals and any possible risk involved.

For more information on different types of life insurance policies, click here.

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AAFP Insurance Services
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(800) 325-8166

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