Shopping for life insurance can be confusing no matter what your age, but if you’re concerned that there won’t be options for you because you’re over the age of fifty, don’t be. Our lifespans are increasing, and today’s fifty isn’t the same as it was just a couple of generations ago.
Consider why you are shopping for a new life insurance policy now. Possible reasons for doing so include:
- Your existing term life policy is at its end, and you must either renew the term or convert it to a whole life policy.
- Your existing term life policy is about to lapse and you cannot renew it or convert it to a whole life policy.
- The premiums on your existing whole life policy are too high.
- All you need is a small life insurance policy to cover your final liabilities.
Whatever your reason for purchasing a new life insurance policy at this stage of your life, you should begin by doing a little research, and making the decision between whole life or term insurance.
Whole life insurance is a wiser choice if:
- You have no debt, including a mortgage.
- You are in a high-income bracket.
- You are financially well-off and are seeking tax benefits.
- You wish to leave an inheritance.
On the other hand, term life insurance is better if:
- You still have significant financial obligations, such as college tuition for your children, or a mortgage on your home.
- Your children are still your financial dependents.
- Your spouse or elderly parents are dependent upon you.
- You own a business.
- You need a source of final expenses.
If you own an existing term life policy and are unsure whether you should convert it or renew it, consider that a new policy will almost certainly come with higher premiums. You should ask your insurance agent if the option to renew or convert is available to you, and, if it is, use the points listed above to help you decide which option you wish to take.
Apart from those points, your age is a factor you must be considered, especially in relation to the length of your term. If you are in your early fifties and you have an existing term life insurance policy with five years left on a fifteen-year term, renewing it would give you coverage into your early seventies. On the other hand, if you only had a ten-year term, you’d only be covered into your sixties after renewing it, so converting it to a whole life policy might be better.
If, after all of this, you still can’t decide, consider seeking the advice of a professional financial planner. These are people who are trained to provide advice to those seeking life insurance or investment advice, and are accustomed to working with clients of every age.
Whatever you choose, bear in mind that all those late-night commercials hawking insurance for people “aged fifty to eighty” have one thing right: life insurance is an excellent way to provide a little extra financial security to your family.