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May 2nd is National Life Insurance Day. It marks the day that life insurance first became available in the US. Life insurance began to be sold in the late 1760’s. It has since been used by many to pay off debts.  It has helped surviving family members move on, has been used to pay for a child’s education and has helped keep family businesses where they belonged – in the family.

For those who are about to retire, insurance can help pay off debt beforehand. Many seniors who thought they would be debt free by that time, have found that insurance helps ease the burden of financial worry during the years they remain at work.

What should seniors consider when buying life insurance?

  • Read your policy information carefully! Many policies have rates that rise exponentially. If you have decided to purchase life insurance, do it now. Don’t wait until you are older.
  • Traditional life insurance is more expensive than last-to-die coverage. Most seniors who purchase last-to-die coverage use it for estate planning as it pays out a tax-free benefit when the last surviving spouse passes away.
  • If you are hard to insure or have health issues, consider a Guaranteed Issue policy. These policies do not have medical tests or health questions but do have a two year waiting period for payouts on non accidental deaths.
  • If you are in excellent health with an excellent family health history, preferred rates can save you as much as 35%. Many companies have variations of the preferred rate classification. Even if you don’t qualify for the best, you may qualify for a rate that is almost as good.

If you are a senior and are considering purchasing life insurance, shop around. Different companies can have widely varying rates for the same coverage. In countries such as the US and Canada life expectancy is increasing and life insurance is still considered a wise way to plan for the future.