Life Insurance For People Over 50}

Submitted by: Marilyn Katz

Are people over 50 too old for life insurance? After all, most consumers assume that large term life insurance policies work best when they cover younger people who still have a mortgage to cover and kids to support. We are all sold term life insurance at some point with the thought that after the contract expires, our kids will be off, and our homes will be all paid off. At that point, in a perfect world, we would have savings so that any future needs and obligations could be self insured.

However, times have changed. For one thing, Americans are living longer, and life insurance rates reflect that increae. Insurance rates are one thing that may cost less than they did 10 years ago! Americans are also working longer, and many of us do not expect to retire at 65. Our kids do not always follow our financial schedule, and sometimes they still need help past the age we had planned on them being independent. And setbacks, like layoffs and home equity loans, may have kept home mortgages from getting paid off on that 15 or 30 year schedule we had planned on. Furthermore, many people reach retirement, and they realize the money that they worked so hard to save will not go as far as they had planned.

So just because a term life insurance policy expired, our need for life insurance may not have expired at all. Baby boomers, and even senior citizens are still looking for life insurance policies. In fact, even though coverage is usually cheaper for younger people, it is when we reach middle age that we really start to realize the need for good coverage.

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However, top rated insurers keep track of all of these trends too, and they do offer affordable plans for people over 50, and I have even seen policies that accept people up to age 85. Elderly people may need to apply for whole life insurance, but there are term policies that accept applicants at 70 years of age.

A 70 year old cannot expect to find a 30 year term policy, but a reasonably healthy retiree can find affordable 10 year policies. If 10 years is not enough, or a person suffers from some serious health conditions, a whole life insurance policy should be considered.

Sometimes older people purchase their own policies because they want to plan for final expenses and estate transfers. However, many times the children of senior citizens purchase a policy on their parents. They do it as an affordable way to plan for funeral expenses. The purchase relieves the parents and children from having to worry about allocating thousands of dollars for a funeral and settling final debts.

Whole life policies do not expire, but provide coverage as long as the policy is kept in force. In general, the policy will be in force as long as it is paid for or paid up. In addition, simplified and guaranteed issue whole life insurance policies, that accept senior citizens, are very common. Sometimes these policies are called final expense or burial policies.

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