Everything You Need to Know About Life Insurance for a 30-Year-Old

Life Insurance for 30 years old

When you hit your 30s, things start to change. While you almost definitely had some responsibilities and goals in your 20s, everything starts to settle in when you hit 30. You probably have a much clearer idea of who you are as a person and what you want out of life. And that might mean taking on bigger responsibilities, like getting more serious about your career, having kids, or buying a house.

All that said, you’re still young in your 30s. The later seasons of life still feel far away. You might have started retirement planning, for example, but reaching retirement age might feel like a distant dream.

Ultimately, your 30s is a mix of enjoying your youth and dialing in your life. And that might have you thinking about things you’ve never wondered about before, like life insurance. Life insurance for people under 30 might not have been on your radar, but life insurance for 30-year-old individuals is fairly common. And for good reason: experts at CNBC say it makes the most sense to buy life insurance when you’re young.

Should a 30-year-old get life insurance?

Why would you buy something you ideally won’t need for decades? There are two big reasons


First, it makes sense because you can get the best life insurance in your 30s, in terms of pricing. When insurance companies underwrite life insurance for 30-year-old individuals, they know that the individual most likely has a lot of years ahead of them.

That means that you have plenty of years of paying your premiums (the cost of your life insurance policy), allowing the insurance provider to make some money off you before they have to pay out your death benefit to your beneficiaries. As a result, they set life insurance rates for 30-year-old individuals at very affordable levels, especially when compared to buying a policy later in life.

30 is something of a sweet spot, too. There’s not a huge difference between the cost of life insurance under 30 and life insurance over 30. That means you can still capitalize on the lowest-possible rates by buying now. But if you wait until you hit your 40s, you should be prepared to pay more for a life insurance policy.

Protection for your loved ones

Just because something is cheapest now doesn’t mean you necessarily need to buy it, though. Only you can truly answer the question, “Should I buy life insurance in my 30s?” Generally, you only need to buy life insurance if you have people in your life that rely on your income or that you wouldn’t want to leave with your outstanding debts.

Breadwinners should usually buy life insurance, for example, so their partners and other loved ones aren’t suddenly left without an income stream if they pass away unexpectedly. Other instances when life insurance for 30-year-old people makes sense include hefty debts, like a sizable private student loan or a mortgage. You don’t want to leave your loved ones with those expenses. And you can buy a life insurance policy with a benefit to pay the remainder of the debt’s balance, supporting their quality of life after you’re gone.

What is the best life insurance for a 30-year-old?

If you’ve thought, “Should I get life insurance at 30?” and decided the answer is yes, it’s time to figure out which type of policy you should buy. While we’d love to tell you that there’s one best type of life insurance for a 30-year-old, the truth is that the best coverage depends on your goals and budget.

Still, though, we can help you explore your options so you can make the right decision for your loved ones. To start, let’s look at the two major types of life insurance:

  • Term life insurance. Term life insurance gets its name from the term that comes with it. You buy a term insurance policy to be in effect for a set number of years (the term), usually between 15 and 35 years. If that term ends before you pass away, your policy expires — although you can often convert that term policy into a whole policy. Why do people buy insurance that might never pay out? Simple. Term insurance is by far the most affordable type of life insurance. And because you can get a term that helps with your goals — like a 15-year term if you have a 15-year mortgage — it might be the best life insurance policy for a 30-year-old and their specific goals.
  • Whole life insurance. Unlike term insurance, whole insurance lasts your lifetime. It costs more, but it also comes with a cash value component, which could potentially even pay you dividends later in life. Life insurance rates for 30-year-old women and men who choose whole life policies will be higher than a term policy, but many agree that the benefits outweigh the added cost. It really comes down to whether or not your budget can support the higher premiums.

How much higher are we talking here? To give you the clearest picture of your options and to help you find the best policy, we compiled life insurance rates for 30-year-old buyers.

But first, if you want to learn more about the difference between term and whole policies, we have some additional resources for you:

How much does term life insurance cost for a 30-year-old?

For the purposes of helping you find the best term life insurance for 30-year-old men and women, we ran rates for nonsmokers in California (the most populous state) purchasing a policy with a $500,000 death benefit. Your rates will depend on your health level, your home state, and the death benefit you choose, but this should give you a ballpark idea.

You’ll notice that we’re giving you these rates broken down by certain tiers. Here’s what each means:

  • Standard: You have a relatively average life expectancy and a few mildly concerning health factors, like a family history of certain conditions.
  • Standard plus: You’re close to healthy but have some outliers, like a higher-than-preferred BMI.
  • Preferred: You’re in generally good health, but you might have one or two slightly concerning factors, like mildly high blood pressure.
  • Preferred plus: Congrats! In an insurance company’s eyes, you’re perfectly healthy.

Here at Sproutt, we have tools to help people assess their key health and wellness factors. If you’re not sure where you’d fall, get in touch so we can help you find out.

Now, let’s get to rates for life insurance for 30-year-olds who choose term insurance:

Annual cost of term life insurance for a 30-year-old male

 StandardStandard PlusPreferredPreferred Plus
15-year term$355-$405$315-$359$230-$261$170-$205
20-year term$417-$475$367-$420$290-$333$228-$255
25-year term$576-$730$493-$730$380-$590$297-$490
30-year term$722-$818$570-$725$455-$510$352-$410
35-year term$907-$908$701-$908$550-$908$444-$908
Source: CompuLife

Annual cost of term life insurance for a 30-year-old woman

 StandardStandard PlusPreferredPreferred Plus
15-year term$295-$353$280-$315$198-$228$155-$180
20-year term$348-$395$314-$360$232-$268$193-$216
25-year term$467-$615$430-$615$308-$470$245-$395
30-year term$535-$635$490-$561$360-$412$290-$337
35-year term$699$626-$699$450-$699$364-$699
Source: CompuLife

How much does whole life insurance cost for a 30-year-old?

What if you want a policy that won’t expire? If you’re looking for lifelong coverage, the best life insurance in your 30s is going to be a whole policy. But brace yourself. It costs a dramatic amount more.

There are multiple different types of whole, also called permanent, life insurance. The Insurance Information Institute (III) has a helpful guide to get you started. It pays to review your options so you can understand the best whole life insurance for 30-year-old men and women today.

Because there are different policy types, it’s harder to compare rates (as they’ll differ based on the policy type). That said, NerdWallet says that 30-year-old preferred plus males pay about $4,000 in annual premiums for a whole policy with a death benefit of $500,000, while preferred plus females of the same age with the same policy benefit pay roughly $3,500 a year.

As we said, whole life coverage is more expensive, but it can come with some serious perks. If you want help finding the best life insurance in your 30s in terms of coverage and price, don’t hesitate to contact our team of life insurance experts.

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