Life insurance can provide you with financial security and peace of mind when planning for the future
When people reach their 50s, it often becomes a much higher priority to get their financial plans together as they start taking their financial plans for the future more seriously. During this time, the question of whether or not to get a life insurance policy tends to pop up.
Many people think that by the time they reach their 50s, they’ve passed the age where getting a policy makes sense. Whether it’s out of fear that their premiums will be too high or they will have trouble getting a policy, these misconceptions stop many people from looking into a policy.
To determine whether or not a life insurance policy is right for you, you should consider your current financial situation and what your options are for policies. Then, you can make a better decision on whether or not getting a policy is the right move for you.
4 Things To Consider When Thinking About Getting Life Insurance In Your 50s
Consider the following to understand if getting a life insurance policy is right for you
Getting a life insurance policy is a big financial decision. Before deciding on whether or not to get a policy, there’s a whole slew of factors to consider to determine if it’s the right choice for you. Among those factors, you should think about your age and health, the financial goals you have, and what your current financial situation looks like.
1. Age and Health
Your age and your health play a large part in how much life insurance coverage someone may get and the price they may pay for it. As you get older, life insurance premiums typically increase. The younger and healthier you are, the less of a risk you pose to an insurance company. In most cases, you will be required to undergo some type of medical exam as well as provide some details about your medical history.
There are plenty of reasons why someone may need no medical exam life insurance. Whether it’s due to a busy schedule or health issues that may lead to a higher price for a policy, life insurance policies that do not require a medical exam serve as a great option for people who still need some type of coverage.
One popular option for life insurance that does not require a medical exam is something called an accelerated term life insurance policy. In this option, you would still be required to submit detailed information about your health and your health history, but more often than not, you can forgo a medical exam.
Companies that offer this type of insurance use an accelerated underwriting process to determine how much coverage they can provide and at what price. It’s a much simpler, faster process in comparison to the typical application process.
If your health prevents you from getting coverage through traditional life insurance types, there are still some options for you too. Guaranteed life insurance and simplified life insurance are generally the best options if you can’t get covered due to medical reasons.
These life insurance options tend to be fairly expensive, so make sure you’ve exhausted all of your options before settling on guaranteed or simplified life insurance.
2. Financial Situation and Responsibilities
One factor you might consider when you think about getting a life insurance policy is what you would leave behind if you were to pass away. Do you have dependent children who would need financial support? Do you have any big debts, like a mortgage, that someone else would be responsible for paying?
If you have many financial obligations you would leave behind, this can help you decide how much life insurance coverage you need, how long you want to get a policy for, and how much you are willing to pay for your policy.
Now, if you feel like you’ve adequately prepared your family financially, maybe a life insurance policy isn’t necessary. However, if you don’t have savings to pass along and want to do all that you can to leave behind money for your family, a life insurance policy may be a smart investment for you. At the very least, a life insurance policy can provide you with some peace of mind knowing your family will have some financial security if you were to pass away.
3. Estate Planning Goals
No matter what age you are, having a plan of action in place for your estate is crucial. Your estate plan designates and communicates your wishes on how you would like to handle everything you own. This may include:
How things like your home, your investments, and any personal assets are handled
Who you would like to care for any minor children
How you would like your care handled if you were to become incapacitated
How you would like your funeral arrangements handled
You may have specific wishes for how you would like your assets distributed, plans to leave a certain amount of financial support to your beneficiaries, or preferences on your funeral arrangements. A life insurance policy can help you ensure your beneficiaries receive the financial support they need to carry out your wishes adequately.
4. Personal Preferences and Values
You may have personal goals when it comes to leaving money for your beneficiaries. If you have children, you may want to leave behind money to help them pay for larger expenses, like college expenses, a wedding, or a house. If these are your goals and you aren’t sure that you will realistically be able to accomplish them, a life insurance policy can act as a good backup plan to make sure you are leaving behind support for your family.
Top Life Insurance Options For People In Their 50s
Figure out which life insurance type best suits your needs
Among the most popular types of life insurance policies are term and permanent life insurance. While these are not the only types of life insurance, they do tend to be the most common, especially among people in their 50s.
These policies are not created equally, though. So, do your best to understand each type to determine which is right for you.
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance is one of the most popular life insurance types for people in their 50s. This type of life insurance policy covers you for a specific amount of time. That can be anywhere between 10-30 years. If you were to pass away during this time, your beneficiaries would receive a death benefit based on your coverage amount.
Term life insurance is one of the most basic forms of life insurance, but it still provides a great amount of coverage and is very flexible with the term limit. Because it is fairly basic, term life insurance is generally the most affordable type of life insurance.
Permanent Life Insurance
Permanent life insurance is another popular type of life insurance, but it tends to be a bit more than most people in their 50s really need.
As opposed to term life insurance, permanent life insurance covers the policyholder for their entire life. Beyond the death benefit, permanent life insurance policies typically include what is called a cash value. As the insurance policy ages, policyholders can borrow against the cash value of the policy.
Because permanent life insurance is a bit more comprehensive, it tends to be a much more expensive option. Most people in their 50s find this to be much more coverage than they actually need. That’s why, more often than not, people opt for a term life insurance policy instead.
3 Tips For Choosing A Life Insurance Policy In Your 50s
Follow these three tips to make sure you choose the right life insurance policy for your needs
If you’ve determined that a life insurance policy is the right option for you, you will want to do your best to make sure you are getting the best policy for your situation. By understanding how much coverage you need, shopping around for quotes, and getting advice from a financial advisor, you’ll be on the fast track to getting a policy that’s right for you.
1. Shop Around
It’s easier than ever to shop around for a life insurance policy that fits your needs. To make sure that you are getting the best policy for the best price, you need to compare quotes from multiple life insurance companies.
Before you get started, you will first need to prepare some information to get the most accurate quotes possible. Depending on the company and the type of life insurance you are looking into, the insurance company may ask you for the following information:
Your health history - An insurance company will likely ask about both your health history and the health history of your family. If you have chronic conditions or any other health issues, you should be prepared to explain those.
Your current health - Unless you opt for a life insurance policy that doesn’t require a medical exam, you will more than likely be asked to undergo a medical exam to help the company understand your current health status.
Your lifestyle information - You will be asked questions about your job and even your hobbies. If you have a riskier job or hobbies, you may pay more for a life insurance policy.
Your coverage needs - You will need to know how much coverage you need. The insurance company may ask for financial information to help you find the right amount of coverage. It’s always best to have a general idea of how much coverage you need beforehand though.
Your goals - The insurance company may ask you some questions about what you intend to use the insurance policy for. Whether that be to help pay off a mortgage or to support your children financially, be ready to explain your goals.
When it comes time to get your quotes, you have a couple of different options to explore. You can find quotes from companies online, you may consider working with a broker, or you may want to try getting quotes from an insurance agent. In fact, you may get quotes from a combination of these options or all three to fully lay out your options.
After you have gotten your quotes, compare the policy information, like the monthly price, the policy length, the coverage amount, and any other terms and conditions. Find a healthy balance between the amount of coverage you want and how much you are willing to pay for your policy.
2. Work With a Financial Advisor
Even beyond life insurance needs, working with a financial advisor can help you get a much better handle on your financial goals and plans. Financial advisors can help you with taxes, investments, and estate planning among many other things.
When it comes to life insurance, a financial advisor can work with you to understand where you are now and where you want to be in the future. A financial advisor will work with you to come up with a plan to get you on the right track. If a life insurance policy is something that your financial advisor recommends, they can help guide you to get the right amount of coverage and the right policy type.
3. Only Get the Coverage You Need
A big mistake that people make when buying life insurance is getting too much coverage. When getting life insurance, you should try to only get the amount of coverage you need. If you don’t work with a financial advisor, it can be tricky to understand how much you really need.
To figure out the amount of life insurance coverage you need, you should consider a few different factors:
Your debts - Consider how much outstanding debt you will leave behind and any interest it would accrue. This can include your mortgage, student loans, personal loans, and anything else outstanding.
Your income - Determine how much income would need to be replaced if you were no longer around. It’s recommended that you plan to replace between 6-10 times your annual salary. It may not be necessary to take out that much if you have some savings and investments that you can leave behind for your family.
Your beneficiaries - If your death would put others in your family in financial hardship, consider how much would be needed to help them stay afloat. Consider children, your spouse, and even business partners that may rely on you.
The amount of coverage you need will always depend on your unique financial needs. There are plenty of tools and resources out there that can help you better understand the amount of coverage you need.
Whether or not a life insurance policy is worth it if you are in your 50s depends on your financial situation and your needs. Keep in mind, though, that being in your 50s doesn’t mean you can’t get a life insurance policy for a reasonable price with a good amount of coverage. As you work to better understand your financial situation and your options, you can make an informed decision on whether or not a life insurance policy is the right investment for you.