Tips for Middle Aged Buyers of Life Insurance

Life insurance protection is necessary at any age. Although the needs will be different in middle age than when younger children are in the house, it is still very important to ensure financial stability.

In the event of death, it ensures that life goes as close to normal for those remaining and helps pay the bills. Before buying life insurance in middle age, the following things will help you make a better decision.

Term vs. Whole Life Insurance

Whenever buying life insurance, the first question you need to answer is, “What kind—term or whole life?” Before talking to an agent, you will want to know the difference or have the agent explain it.

Term insurance is pure insurance and has no other benefits. Coverage is purchased for a set number of years, such as one, five, 10, 20, or 30 years, and it is much cheaper to buy than whole life. Being inexpensive, it also means that you can get more coverage for less money, which makes it ideal for purchasing when you are younger.

Whole life insurance has the added benefit of earning cash value. You can withdraw the cash in an emergency, but it will reduce the overall benefit if not repaid—with interest. A whole life policy can cover you for life.

Choosing a right life insurance can help your loved ones when the day arrives. (

The Premiums Are Based on Health

Life insurance premiums are based on two things—your age and your health. Buying smaller amounts of coverage—less than $50,000 (in some cases $100,000), a medical exam is usually not needed. More than that usually means a physical exam becomes necessary.

As you age, your risk of health problems and death increases, so it is best to buy life insurance when you are younger and healthier.

When Buying Term Insurance, Consider Renewal Time

If you have a whole life insurance policy (also called permanent life), there is no need to worry about renewing it. It will stay in force as long as you keep paying the premiums.

With term insurance, it is very important to know when it expires. Be sure that you have guaranteed renewal that will let you convert it to whole life. Otherwise, if your health goes bad or you become too old to get a decent rate when trying to convert it, you may not be able to afford a new life insurance policy.

Check Convertibility

Term insurance policies often come with the option to convert to a whole life policy. Shelly Gigante at Mass Mutual warns that you need to read the fine print on this rider. There may be a limited time that you can make the conversion, or, she says, you may not be able to convert it to that company’s best products—making you pay considerably more.

Epoch Times Photo
There could be many reasons to have more than one life insurance policy. (Renae Wang)

The Need for Coverage Is Less In the Middle Years

After your children have left home or are getting ready to, you do not need to have as much life insurance coverage. You likely still have a lot of bills—including a mortgage, credit card debt, medical bills, a car loan, business debt, possibly still paying for education, and more.

When a death occurs of either the breadwinner or the spouse, there will be a sudden need for cash.

A funeral costs around $7,000 to $10,000, and there may be large medical bills if there was treatment or hospitalization for medical problems before death. Life insurance can protect the remaining members of your family that still depend on that income.

Calculate Your Need for Insurance

Most insurance companies and financial advisors such as Forbes suggest that you buy enough coverage to equal 10 or more times your annual income. Other needs or goals can be added to that amount, depending on what you want to do with it. The main goal should be to pay off all existing debt and to provide some income for the surviving spouse and family.

Another goal could be to provide a college education for any children still at home. Money can also be left to a charitable or religious organization when you die. If you do not have enough to leave a sizable estate to your children, a life insurance policy can also be used to create an inheritance—or make it a larger one.

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

If you already have some medical issues that might prevent you from getting a regular life insurance policy at a reasonable rate, you may want to get a guaranteed issue life insurance policy. Investopedia states that this type of whole life policy does not require any physical exam, but it offers limited coverage with higher than normal premiums.

There is usually also a two-year waiting period. If you die within those two years, the company will only refund your premiums and may add 10 percent interest. These policies also have a limited age range, making them only available to people that are between 50 and 80 years old.

Living situation and age play significant roles in determining how much coverage one needs from a life insurance policy. (YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV/Shutterstock)

Special Riders

Insurance companies usually offer several kinds of riders, which are options that you can get when buying a policy. Riders will vary between states and companies, but you will want to know what is available. Some riders you may want include:

  • Waiver of premium rider. In case of disability, future premiums will be waived.
  • Disability income insurance. If you become disabled, this kind of rider may provide some income. Oftentimes, the income will affect the value of your policy.
  • Dividends. Some companies offer to pay dividends, but they are not guaranteed.
  • Life insurance supplement rider. This rider provides a mix of whole life and term. It applies premiums and dividends to pay for the policy and it is designed for people with tight budgets.

Shop Around for the Best Rates

Premiums for life insurance and riders will vary considerably. Shopping around can help you find a good price, but compare policies by using the same value for both to determine the better deal.

Epoch Times Photo
Our findings suggest that life insurance companies that acquire an applicant’s credit score are also indirectly acquiring information about that applicant’s educational attainment, intelligence, and personality, right back to childhood. (Looper_cro/iStock)

You can also use an insurance broker to help you find a good deal. Several top online brokers, rated by WalletHacks, can give you term insurance quickly, including Bestow (term), Walnut, and Fabric. Be sure to ask questions about anything you do not understand. Examine the policy after receiving it to ensure you got what you expected.

A life insurance policy may be canceled at any time.

The Epoch Times Copyright © 2022 The views and opinions expressed are only those of the authors. They are meant for general informational purposes only and should not be construed or interpreted as a recommendation or solicitation. The Epoch Times does not provide investment, tax, legal, financial planning, estate planning, or any other personal finance advice. The Epoch Times holds no liability for the accuracy or timeliness of the information provided.

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