If you've just got married or bought a new house, your life insurance needs have changed.

How stages of life shape your insurance needs

It’s often said that life is measured not in years, but in events. Thinking back on your own upbringing, you can probably remember many important events, like learning to ride your bike, your first date, graduating from high school, or getting your drivers license. These are all fond memories that people can look back on.

Now that you’re older and with more responsibilities, you’ve probably found that these momentous life events have not only not subsided, but increased. Getting married, buying a home, managing a family, running your own business, or planning for retirement are just a small handful of what you may have in store or what you may be experiencing right now.

While you’d be hard-pressed to find two people who are in the exact same stage of life, what everyone has in common are loved ones, people who share in these experiences, as well as those who may rely on them financially. No matter what phase you’re in, it’s important to address your life insurance needs, as they tend to vary depending on where you’re at.

The following are a few examples of how your life stage can affect your life insurance needs:

Getting married

Though the marriage rate has diminished over the years, more than half of Americans are married, according to the Pew Research Center. With marriage comes life insurance, as partners now have someone who relies on them “in sickness and in health,” as the traditional wedding vow states. If you don’t have life insurance and are married or soon will be, you should consider purchasing a policy. Talk to your agent about the appropriate amount of coverage to purchase, whether you should share a policy, and the type that’s best, such as term or whole.

Buying your first home

Homeownership is something that most people aspire to. It doesn’t come cheaply, however, as the median price for a single-family residence in the United States is about $200,000, according to the National Association of Realtors.

For most people, paying off a mortgage can take 30 years or longer, depending on what their mortgage rate is and how much they earn in annual income. This is also assuming that there aren’t any health issues that prevent someone from working. Even worse, an untimely death can leave families in a financial predicament if the person who died was the primary breadwinner. Having a life insurance policy in place can protect families from these worst-case scenarios.

Change in career

When people graduate from college, it’s customary to be employed in whatever industry they majored in. You may be surprised, though, by how many people wind up in a totally unrelated field after commencement ceremonies. According to a study from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, just 27 percent of college grads have a job related to their major. Sometimes, this results after changing careers. If you find yourself in a similar situation, you should be sure to review what life insurance coverage you have and whether an independent policy may be needed. Less than 50 percent of middle-market consumers – those who make between $35,000 and $100,000 per year – own an individual life insurance product, according to professional development organization LIMRA.

Preparing for retirement

Everyone hopes to be able to retire from the working world at some point. Some are fearful about being able to pay for it, though, perhaps preventing them from retiring. Nearly 60 percent of Americans are worried about not having enough money to last them the length of their lives in retirement, according to a recent Gallup poll.

Life insurance can provide you with a great sense of security. In addition to serving as a good fall back, you may need to adjust the proceeds of your life insurance because your circumstances have changed. For example, if your kids are grown up and living on their own, you may want to make an adjustment.

These are just a handful of circumstances that life brings. Adjusting your insurance needs appropriately can help chart your course through life’s smooth and storm-tossed seas.