As your financial situation changes throughout your lifetime, the need for life insurance also fluctuates. Many seniors believe they no longer need life insurance, either because their mortgage is paid off and they have retirement savings to spend or because their children, who are often life insurance beneficiaries, have become financially secure in their own right. Do seniors still need life insurance? Today, we’ll talk about life insurance for seniors, the different types offered, and whether it still makes sense after retirement.
Step 1: Consider your needs, and those of your family members. Throughout their careers, many people get life insurance as part of their employment benefits, and once they retire, these policies are either paid for or, if it was term coverage, the term is over. As a retiree, you may wonder whether you need to think about buying a new policy. To answer that question, we need to think about its purpose: life insurance provides money to the people you leave behind. For that reason, consider the situations of your loved ones before deciding. You might want to use life insurance to provide a solid inheritance, to pay off expenses like a remaining mortgage or medical costs, or simply to cover the costs of burial.
Step 2: Shop around. For this step, contact a trusted life insurance agent. If you don’t have one, ask friends and family members for a referral. You want help from someone you trust to help you navigate the many options available before you decide. Be prepared for medical questions and exams, since most policies for seniors will require these at a minimum, and some companies require more extensive medical exams than others. Shop around with a trusted agent who can help you.
Step 3: Consider the different types of life insurance. The terminology can be confusing, so choose an agent who will clearly explain the differences and help you find the perfect policy for you. Here are some examples of the types of policies available:
- Final expenses only. If you’re only looking to cover burial expenses because your loved ones are generally secure financially, you may only need a burial/final expense policy.
- Term life. If you have debts to pay off or want to leave your loved ones a sum of money, you’ll need to decide between term life, whole life, and other policies. In general, term life insurance is less expensive and your payments are fixed, but the policy ends after a pre-determined term.
- Whole life. Whole life is generally more expensive than term life, but the policy lasts until your death. Whole life also lets you borrow against the policy’s cash value.
- Universal life. Universal life is similar to whole life, but both premiums and cash value fluctuate based on how the policy’s investments perform in the market, which means you could see higher premiums down the road.
Step 4: Budget costs and choosing a policy. Life insurance is more expensive when you start a new policy after age 50, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find one that you can afford. Work through your income and expenses and, if the policy fits your budget, get started by working with your agent.
With all the different options and unusual terminology, buying life insurance can be confusing, but a trusted agent can help you navigate through the process. Following the steps above can help you make some of the decisions before visiting your agent, so you can explain exactly what you need.
Life insurance is just one of life’s many challenging decisions. When it’s time to decide about assisted senior living, contact us at Ashbridge Manor Senior Living. Our dedicated senior care professionals will answer all your questions and make the transition easy. Our facilities provide helpful amenities, engaging daily activities, an emphasis on wellness, and a friendly, welcoming sense of community. You can find us at 971 E. Lancaster Avenue in Downingtown, PA, call 610.269.8800, or contact us online for more information.