What are the Aspects I Should Look at When Choosing Life Insurance at Age 50?

“By the time we hit 50, we have learned our hardest lessons. We have found out that only a few things are really important. We have learned to take life seriously, but never ourselves.” – Marie Dressler  Turning 50 is a wonderful milestone and this time of life brings new adventures, challenges and celebrations.  Part of taking life seriously includes making provisions for your loved ones in the event of your passing.  A popular way to achieve this is life insurance.  You may think that life insurance is no longer important or available once you reach 50 but this is not true.  If you want the reassurance of financial stability for your loved ones once you are gone a life policy may be a viable option for you; and there are many to choose from.  You should do your research and keep in mind the following items when looking at life insurance policies at age 50.

  1. Price: As you age you get closer to your life expectancy, making life insurance much more expensive. You will have to shop around to try and keep your rates reasonable.  Pricing considerations don’t just apply to new life insurance policies; they can apply to existing policies as well.  If you already have a life policy, your premiums will generally increase at age 50.  Some life insurance policies will guarantee premium payments while others have steadily increasing rates based on your age.  If you don’t have a fixed premium, expect your payments to increase at age 50.  This may be a good opportunity to have an agent review your existing policy and compare it to the pricing of a new policy.  It may be more cost efficient to switch policies depending on current rates and your health.
  2. Your insurance needs at age 50: If you have minor children, anyone that is financially dependent on you, or a mortgage to payoff life insurance may be a good fit for you.  People are now remarrying and having children later in life so it is not unheard of to need a life insurance policy at age 50.  This policy could provide much needed income to your family if something unexpected were to happen.If you are a business owner, you need to protect your business and employees. If your business cannot financially sustain itself without you, you need a life insurance policy to protect your investment.  This protection is an important consideration for you as a single business owner as well as for any partners necessary to the business.Life insurance at age 50 may also be a way for you to ease the burden of expenses when you pass away. If you do not have savings or investments that would cover funeral expenses and you do not want to saddle your loved ones with these expenses a life insurance benefit may be a financially feasible way for you to pay for these expenses.
  1. The type of insurance you need: When looking at life insurance you have options.  The two basic choices are term and permanent insurance.  Term insurance is available for a designated amount of time.  You can generally purchase term insurance for 10, 20, 0r 30 years.  Term insurance provides a death benefit if the insured dies during the period of the policy.  If you outlive your term policy, you forfeit your premiums.  While you only benefit from a term policy if the insured dies, the premiums are much less expensive than permanent insurance.Another option is permanent insurance.  Permanent insurance has several key differences than term and has many different variations.  The most notable difference is that permanent insurance lasts through your lifetime.  Because your insurance company will have to pay at the time of death, your premiums will be much higher than term insurance.  Also, permanent insurance provides a death benefit and has a cash value component.  The cash value can be taken out as a loan and may directly impact your death benefit amount.  There are many different variations of permanent insurance.Permanent insurance may be a better option if you are looking for life insurance for a death benefit and a cash savings vehicle.  You can utilize this type of policy to help pay for your children’s college or add to any other future cash need you see on the horizon.  Permanent insurance can be used as a forced savings account for those that have trouble putting money aside and then used at a later date when needed.
  1. Get help: It’s already been mentioned, but can’t be stressed enough, consult an expert.  It is exceedingly important to look at your entire financial picture and your goals before selecting a life insurance policy.  You need to first identify what your goals for a life policy are and then work with an experienced agent to find the right policy to achieve those goals.  How close are you to your retirement goals?  Do you have people in your life that are financially dependent on you?  Do you need assistance with saving for the future?  How much can you realistically afford to pay in premiums?  These are all questions that need to be answered and taken into account when selecting the policy that works for you.