Life insurance for seniors: Dos and don'ts
Life insurance is key to protecting both yourself and your beneficiaries. Because of the broad support a life insurance policy can offer, there are multiple groups that can benefit from securing a policy. Whether you're a parent to young children, a spouse to a partner who counts on you financially or even a younger person starting out in their career, life insurance is often a valuable and cost-effective financial product to have.
When it comes to life insurance for seniors, however, the common wisdom is that life insurance simply isn't worth having. The cost of life insurance for older adults, the thinking goes, is too high relative to the coverage amount that can be taken out.
While the pricing structure for senior life insurance is markedly different than for younger demographics, there are some older adults who would actually benefit from taking out a policy. And the cost to do so doesn't necessarily need to be prohibitive.
If you're in the market for life insurance then start by getting a free price quote so you know exactly what to expect.
If you're an older adult considering life insurance then it can help to understand these dos and don'ts as you complete the application process.
Before you hit the "apply" button make sure you know what you can afford. As mentioned, life insurance costs for seniors can be manageable, particularly if you're in good health. But the more you ask for in coverage the more you'll be expected to pay in premiums. So it helps to know where you have space in your budget first. This will make the application process smoother and more expedient.
You don't want to get your hopes up by being quoted for a policy you can't afford. On the other hand, you may be able to secure more coverage than you had initially expected. Crunch the numbers, have a top figure in mind and then proceed from there.
You can get a free price estimate so you know exactly what it would cost.
Just because you're older you shouldn't automatically assume life insurance isn't worth having. What may be advantageous for one senior may not be as advantageous for another and vice versa. So, view it through a personal lens.
Maybe you need a policy that can help cover end-of-life expenses like a wake, funeral, burial and more. Then a life insurance policy in an appropriate amount may actually be worth it. Similarly, if you don't have much (or any) savings or home equity to leave to loved ones then a life insurance policy could help fill the gap. It can also help pay down any debt you would otherwise be leaving to family and friends to deal with.
So don't immediately dismiss getting life insurance because of your age. Depending on your personal circumstances it still may be helpful to have.
Life insurance comes in all shapes and sizes with the most popular two kinds being whole and term. The former has an attractive cash reserve that can be used while alive while term does not. Term, however, is often significantly less expensive than whole life insurance, largely due to its lack of cash reserves and the pre-determined life of the policy (whole life insurance lasts for the duration of the insured's life).
For seniors, particularly those on a budget, term life insurance may be the better option to pursue: it's cheaper and can be set for as long as the insured feels it's necessary. Whole life insurance is beneficial to have, too, but those cash reserves need time to build up and the benefit won't be immediately accessible.
Know your goals and what you can afford and then pick your policy type from there.
If you are healthy and want to offset some of the concerns an insurance provider has about insuring you, then don't skip taking a medical exam. A medical exam that tests your blood, urine, blood pressure and more can go a long way in securing your policy - and it will help reduce premium costs you otherwise would have paid if you passed on the exam.
With that being said, if you're worried about what an exam could discover (or simply want to expedite the process as much as possible), you can also apply for no-exam life insurance. Just understand that, because of the lack of health verification, you're likely to pay more for this sort of protection.
Get a free price quote now or use the table below to explore some top life insurance providers on the market.
Despite the conventional wisdom - and depending on your personal circumstances - life insurance policies for seniors can actually be beneficial and cost-effective. To get the best policy, however, you should know your budget and why a policy is needed. Make sure to also choose the right policy type and don't miss out on the medical exam.
If you think you could benefit from a life insurance plan then start by getting a free price estimate.