On average people are starting families later which is a growing concern for insurance companies because typically people consider taking out life insurance when they reach certain “milestones” in their life such as marriage and having children. Interestingly as society has changed a fixation to milestones has not. What is interesting about this behaviour is the fact that it’s your life! Why should you delay making financial planning decisions until later in life based upon other peoples perceptions of milestones?
There can be benefits for making plans sooner for example you can lock in lower annual insurance premiums by taking out life insurance policies as a young adult. However this increases the later you start and in the U.S. the median age for women at their first marriage was almost 27 in 2010, compared with less than 21 in 1950, with men, the figure is more than 28 from 24, waiting for the milestone of marriage could lead to increased insurance costs. In the same time that the average age of marriage has risen U.S. Individual life insurance sales decreased by 45 percent from 1983 to 2012. Importantly of people aged 18 to 29 only 18 percent had life insurance, compared with 43 percent for baby boomers.
In Australia the median age at first marriage for men has increased from 26.5 years in 1990 to 29.6 years in 2010 and from 24.3 years to 27.9 years for women in the same period. There are various factors that lead to this result including later movement into the job market due to further education, increased acceptance of cohabitation before marriage, and children moving out of the family home later in adulthood due to these factors (in 2006-07, 49% of men and 45% of women aged 18-24 years had never left home, mainly for financial reasons (41%) or the convenience and/or enjoyment of living at home (36%).)
Another milestone for planning is the birth of children with the median age of first-time mothers increasing from 27.5 years in 1990 to 28.9 years by 2010.
The delay in making these plans as their lives are “on hold” when compared to their parents generation should not stop them from making plans for their future including; purchasing life insurance, and managing their superannuation, making a Will, an advance care directive and naming a power of attorney to manage your financial affairs in the event that you cannot. It is never too early to plan for your future so start today.