The younger you are, the less it costs to buy life insurance. Unfortunately, our 20s and 30s are not usually the time for thinking that far ahead.
Premiums start to increase when people hit their late 40s and continue to climb from there. So how old is too old to buy life insurance? The answer is, the older you are, the more limited your options and the higher your premiums, but you can still purchase life insurance until you reach the age of 85.
Premium Increases with Age
Although premiums start increasing in the late 40s, it is still possible for a healthy, non-smoking person to buy a sizable life insurance policy at a very reasonable monthly premium at age 50. By the time you reach the age of 65, however, your options become more limited and premiums are much higher. The cost can be reduced somewhat by choosing a 15-year term over a 20-year term policy.
Many top carriers will not even offer 20-year terms to people over the age of 70. Men and women buying life insurance at this age tend to opt for 15 or 10-year term policies because of the high premiums at this level. For many people age 80 and older, the cost of even a 10-year term may be completely unaffordable.
Why Life Insurance Costs More as We Grow Older
Like all insurance, life insurance is about pooling risks. People of the same age are grouped together and the risk of death for the average member of the group is calculated. As the likelihood of death increases with age, so does the cost of insuring a member of an older group. As health becomes more of a factor the older you become, men and women over the age of 45 may be subject to more stringent health screening when buying life insurance.
Alternatives to Term Life Insurance
If purchasing term life insurance is not feasible at your age, there are other options you may want to consider. If you have an existing term life insurance policy and are looking for more protection, find out if your current policy has a conversion rider. If it does, you can convert into a permanent policy without additional underwriting.
If you do not have an existing policy, consider other insurance products that may provide you with some level of protection:
Guaranteed life insurance: This type of policy usually has much smaller death benefits than term or permanent life insurance. However, it will be issued with few questions asked if you can pay the premiums.
Simplified life insurance: No medical exam is required, although you can still be rejected based on the required health questionnaire.
Final expense life insurance: This insurance covers medical, funeral, and other end-of-life costs.
If you are an older person hoping to buy life insurance, our knowledgeable agents at Christensen Insurance in Susanville, CA can help. We will go over your options and help you find the best protection available at a price you can afford.