Best Life Insurance for a 30-Something Mom?

Dear Insurance Adviser, What's a better bet for a 35-year-old married mom? Term or whole life insurance? Looking to not pay much but want the most I can get.


- Mom on a Budget

Dear Mom, I always recommend buying level term life insurance for someone in your situation. You need a lot of life insurance when you have a young family, and term life rates per $1,000 of coverage are a fraction of the cost of permanent or whole life insurance, especially at younger ages.

The most common options for level guaranteed rates (meaning rates that won't change) are for 10 years, 15 years, 20 years or 30 years. I recommend that you pick a price guarantee that will assure you that fixed price until your youngest child finishes college (ages 22-25). So, for example, if your youngest is 7 years old, pick a price guarantee of 15 years or more.

Make sure the policy you are considering includes a conversion right. If you still need life insurance when your price guarantee ends and you can't qualify for coverage for medical reasons, you'll want to be able to convert your term policy to a permanent, cash value policy at preferred rates. The conversion right guarantees you the opportunity to do just that.

Happy hunting.

Bankrate's content, including the guidance of its advice-and-expert columns and this website, is intended only to assist you with financial decisions. The content is broad in scope and does not consider your personal financial situation. Bankrate recommends that you seek the advice of advisers who are fully aware of your individual circumstances before making any final decisions or implementing any financial strategy. Please remember that your use of this website is governed by Bankrate's Terms of Use.