I’m a senior; do I need life insurance?
Maybe, maybe not. As with any financial decision, the answer depends entirely on you.
Although life insurance has versatile uses, at its essence, life insurance is primarily suited for people who have financially-reliant dependents. This is because if the breadwinner is suddenly gone, the dependents will suffer a huge financial loss. For many who are retired and on Social Security, life insurance may not be the best solution. If you’re retired, debt-free (including the mortgage), and have enough set aside to cover burial expenses, you may not need life insurance.
However, even if you no longer have dependents, don’t write life insurance off quite yet. People in the following categories can benefit from life insurance, even in old age:
- Those who have a mortgage, a car payment, or other debt or may encounter unexpected debt (such as medical bills)
- People who want to leave a more significant inheritance to their children
- Wealthy individuals whose children will likely face estate taxes
- Those who don’t have enough to cover their burial expenses
Life insurance can be a good investment in any of the above situations, but it all comes down to where you’re at financially, your financial plan, and you. Notice how much your finances impact this decision? Practically speaking, that’s because life insurance gets progressively more expensive the longer you wait to apply for it. When a 60-year-old’s 20-year term policy ends, they may be shocked to learn that their once-affordable policy costs ten times as much at their current age. You must weigh the pros and cons against the cost to know if it’s worth it for you.
For some people, life insurance later in life doesn’t seem feasible. Some can’t buy a policy because their health conditions have already led to a denial (if this is you, look into guaranteed acceptance plans, which don’t factor your health into a policy). Others can’t afford the high price tag. In either situation, it’s best to talk to a licensed agent who can point you in the right direction and do their best to get you insured. Because no matter where you’re at, there could still be a good life insurance product available to you—all you need to know is who to talk to.