6 Reasons to Consider Life Insurance
It is often assumed that the opportunity for obtaining life insurance coverage is past its prime if you are a senior. While it’s true that life insurance premiums get more expensive as you age, it’s never too late for seniors to consider life insurance. Whether you’re 50, 60, 70 or older, there are life insurance options whose benefits are worth the investment.
Learn more from these reasons to consider life insurance coverage as a senior.
6 Reasons to Consider Life Insurance as a Senior
Which life insurance is a good fit for you? Well, it depends.
Your dependents, financial situation, health and stage of your life all determine what kind of life insurance will best meet your needs.
Here are six reasons that seniors should still consider life insurance coverage:
1. Adults now live longer.
According to the Social Security Administration, the current average life expectancy for men is 84 and nearly 87 for women, an increase of over 20 years since the 1930s. Increased life expectancy is one of the benefits of modern medicine but it can leave you in a quandary in terms of financial planning and the increasing cost of medical expenses.
As more families expand outside of traditional molds, seniors also find themselves raising grandchildren or caring for other dependent family members well into retirement age. These unexpected costs can place financial strain on the limited income of a retiree. If you’re worried your retirement income and savings may not bridge that gap, life insurance can offer some security.
2. Life insurance can help cushion more than a loss of income.
One of the biggest boons to having a life insurance benefit is that it can offset income loss for loved ones in the event of death. However, there are also many other reasons to secure life insurance coverage, even if you’ve already retired and no longer depend on a paycheck.
Here are just a few situations in which you or your loved ones might find life insurance coverage helpful:
- Covering funeral expenses
- Cushioning the burden of estate tax
- Leaving behind a financial legacy for a charity or other heirs
- Paying off unsecured debt such as credit cards or a mortgage
- Providing for medical or long-term care expenses
3. Life insurance can still be affordable for seniors.
If you’re in your 50s, term life insurance coverage is an affordable option that can combine customized policies, fixed rates and traditional benefits. Some insurance companies allow converting your current term life insurance policy into a permanent one with minimal hassle and a small increase in premiums.
As you enter your 60s, you may find that whole life insurance or guaranteed universal life coverage offers the best value, while those over 70 may prefer to stick with policies that have limited death benefits but lower premiums. The kind of senior life insurance you choose should depend on not only your age but also the financial burdens and dependents you’ll leave behind.
4. Some kinds of life insurance can be a good investment.
You may be unaware that life insurance can be an investment strategy of sorts. Universal life insurance policies typically earn cash value while deferring taxes, while other permanent life insurance policies have investment strategies that involve some risk. Because these policies are complicated, you should consult with a qualified professional to decide which one is an appropriate investment for your situation.
If you’re worried you might miss out on reaping the benefits of life insurance if your health declines, look for whole life policies with “living benefits” that allow terminally ill policyholders to access the accumulated cash value.
Here are just a few kinds of life insurance available to adults over 50:
- Annual renewal term: Like term life but with the option to renew annually.
- Burial or final expense insurance: Small death benefit for lower premiums.
- Guaranteed universal life: Flexible policies that have qualities of both term and whole life insurance.
- Term life insurance: Fixed premiums for a specific period of coverage.
- Whole life insurance: Higher premiums but permanent coverage for life.
5. You don’t need perfect health to get life insurance.
If you’re one of many older adults with a serious health problem, you can still obtain life insurance coverage. Some life insurance carriers specifically write policies for those with preexisting conditions that balance minimizing company risk while still offering reasonable rates. Some insurance companies offer policies that don’t require an exam, but their policies are often much more expensive. Guaranteed issue plans are one option for those who absolutely can’t undergo a health screening but they are prohibitively expensive for most and often only offer a death benefit after the first two years of the policy.
Demonstrating that you manage your health well despite conditions can reassure insurance providers and offer better premiums, so it’s worthwhile to grin and bear the inconvenience during the application process. The confidence you’ll have about the legacy you leave behind is worth the extra effort.
6. You’re not too old to obtain life insurance coverage.
As a senior, you’ll have more options for coverage if you take out a policy when you’re young. It’s an unavoidable fact that older adults cost more to insure because the risk of death is higher than it is for healthier, younger populations. However, there are still plenty of ways to obtain affordable coverage in your 60s, 70s and even 80s.
Policies with limited death benefits that cover final expenses like burial still have relatively low premiums and don’t require extensive medical exams. Whole life policies are also designed to meet the needs of seniors who worry about aging out of term life insurance but still want the security of coverage.
About the Author
Sage Singleton is a freelance writer with a passion for literature and words. She enjoys writing articles that will inspire, educate and influence readers. She loves that words have the power to create change and make a positive impact in the world. Some of her work has been featured on sites like MSN, Huffington Post, Bustle, Paste and Babble. In her free time, she loves traveling, reading and learning French.
Are you a senior who is considering obtaining life insurance coverage? Why or why not? We’d like to hear your stories and thoughts in the comments below.
We Can Help! Our local advisors can help your family make a confident decision about senior living.