Your term length should ideally last as long as you have others depending on your income—that includes your partner in crime, your 'rents, your pets, and maaaybe even your plants (no, seriously). It should also cover all of your outstanding debts, e.g., if you have a 30-year mortgage, it'd make sense to get a 30-year term to protect your home.
With that said, it's important to keep a few things in mind.
- Your rates will not change during the term that you set into your policy. So, if you buy a 5-year term, you'll pay the same amount every month for 5 years. And the same goes for a 20-year term. Commitment is kinda nice, right?
- Your term length will affect your cost because our risk of death increases with every year we live on this great, green earth. The longer you want to be insured, the riskier it is to the insurance company and the higher your monthly rate will be. This means that, on average, a 5-year term's monthly rate will be cheaper than a 20-year term's rate.
- Generally speaking, the younger you are, the cheaper your monthly rate will be for the same term length. So, buying a 10-year term when you are 30 years old will mean you have a very different monthly rate than if you purchased the same coverage for 10 years at age 40. Thanks, youth! This also means that even with the ability to extend to 65, you might still want a longer term upfront so that you can lock in those young rates.
As you can see, there are several factors to consider. The term you choose should be based on your budget, how long you need to be covered, and how long you want to have a locked-in rate. And since we allow extending to age 65 (provided you still meet our insurability requirements when you request the extension), that last choice should be a lot less stressful than with other insurers. Good luck!