In a perfect world, everybody would have ample money set aside for retirement, the house would be paid for, the kids would be financially secure and we’d never have economic recessions that wipe out people life savings. But as the current situation has demonstrated, global perfection continues to allude us. If you’re a senior citizen (or approaching senior citizenship) and your financial picture isn’t as rosy as you’d hoped, consider life insurance. For senior adults, it’s an affordable way to ensure that funds are available to pay off any debt you leave behind, support a surviving spouse or pay for funeral expenses.
Once thought of as an affordable life insurance option to protect the families of young people, term life insurance for senior adults is becoming increasingly popular. While it accrues no cash value that you can draw on, term life insurance has several advantages that make it a good choice for seniors.
In many states, life insurance companies are required by law to provide guaranteed life insurance policies for seniors age 63 up to age 83. These are frequently short-term policies with limited death benefits during the first two years of the policy. After two years, your beneficiary receives the full benefit. These deferred life insurance policies will pay the full death benefit for accidental death, however, at any time as long as your premiums are current. With funeral costs skyrocketing, this type of life insurance for senior adults can at least provide your spouse or children with the funds to bury you without burying them in debt.
To begin with, term life insurance is significantly cheaper than whole life. An article in the Wall Street Journal claimed that whole life is typically “10 times more expensive than term life insurance.” For seniors on a fixed income, that’s important.
Another advantage is that some providers do not require a health exam, particularly for policies with low death benefits. These types of policies are usually available for a relatively low monthly premium. For policies with higher death benefits, a health exam will likely be required and your ultimate premium will be depend on a review of the results.
You can also select the length of your life insurance policy coverage, choosing 10, 15 or if you’re feeling really optimistic and come from a good gene pool, 20 years. At the moment, there are more than two dozen providers who sell 20-year term policies to people 65 and older, but not in all states.