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Think before you buy life insurance.
Think before you buy life insurance. / Jamie Grill/Getty Images/Blend Images

People who have no life insurance often run a big risk when it comes to protecting their loved ones. But sometimes having life insurance when it’s not necessary also can be an expensive mistake.

Buying life insurance is a personal decision, but sometimes what seems to be a responsible choice can prove misdirected. For instance, when you’re:

Unattached. The purpose of life insurance is to provide for people who depend on you financially. If you’re single and no one falls into that category, why pay for unnecessary coverage?

Older with children. If your children are grown and financially self-sufficient, life insurance may be unnecessary, especially if the premiums are a financial burden.

The older super-saver. You’re retired but have amassed a significant nest egg. “You have enough assets built up to cover your retirement and the retirement of your spouse should something happen to you prematurely,” explains financial planner Sharon Bloodworth of Minneapolis.

Someone with a solid estate plan. “Your estate is large enough to live on comfortably and liquid enough to pay any estate taxes,” Bloodworth says. “Also, you have enough assets to cover your own funeral rather than leaving your family responsible for the cost.”

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