It’s easy to understand why young adults purchase life insurance. It provides financial support for families if a wage-earner dies young from disease or an accident. Many types of life insurance also serve as broader financial management tools. And life insurance is inexpensive when you’re young. But what if the years have sped by and you still don’t have life insurance, or you think you might need more – is it too late?
It’s Almost Never Too Late, Say the Experts
“The good news [for the over-50 crowd] is life insurance is more available and affordable than ever,” according to a Kiplinger report published last month. “Even 80-year-olds and people with a range of health situations have options for coverage.”
That’s good news indeed, because there are plenty of reasons why older adults might want to buy life insurance, whether you’re still working or already retired:
- Replace coverage lost due to job change or retirement
- Replace an expired term insurance policy
- Increase total coverage
- Pay off your mortgage and/or provide ongoing funds to relieve financial strain on a surviving spouse
- Support adult children who are still financially dependent on you
- Cover your final expenses
- Accrue funds for post-death charitable contribution
What to Consider
Yes, premiums will cost more now that you’re older, but they still may be much more affordable than you think. Your age, health (especially certain chronic conditions), family history, location, even your job if you’re still working or your hobbies all affect the type of coverage you may be able to get as well as the cost.
Cost goes up the older you are because you are more likely to develop a serious health problem as you age and your life expectancy is shorter compared to the time of purchase. (Average life expectancy for Americans these days is 78.6 years.) The insurance company’s risk is higher, as they expect to receive fewer premium dollars from you before they have to pay out on the policy. That said, the Kiplinger report also notes that a third of retirees will live into their 90s, according to the Social Security Administration.
Your personal factors and the amount of coverage you desire will determine what type of life insurance makes the most sense for you. For example, if you want the funds to pay off your mortgage, what will it take?
Term or Permanent?
Term insurance covers a certain number of years – usually somewhere between 5 and 30 years -- after which the policy expires. The premiums are usually very affordable, and the cost remains the same for each of those years. Term insurance can be a great choice for a specific purpose such as paying off a mortgage.
Permanent (whole or universal) life insurance costs more, but it gives you more options so it’s the best choice for longer-term goals. This can be especially important if you’re concerned about providing funds that will support a surviving spouse or an adult, special-needs child after you’re gone. Permanent insurance policies do not expire, as long as you keep paying the premiums, so you can be confident the money will be there when needed.
Permanent life insurance policies often can be custom-tailored to your needs. Some companies also offer a long-term care option that allows at least some of the money to be used this way instead of as a death benefit.
So, will you be eligible for life insurance at your “advanced” age? Probably. But policies can differ dramatically. So take the time to shop around and ask lots of questions. Naturally, you want to find the best price, but you want to be sure the policy you choose will provide the benefits you expect when the time comes.
If you would like more information on how much senior living costs at Magnolia Manor or how to make a plan to afford senior living costs, use our free online cost calculator or don't hesitate to contact us at 855-540-5433.