How Does Age Affect Life Insurance?
Each stage of our lives is like a new chapter in our story. With each new chapter, our lifestyle, preferences, and priorities change. After all, the things that mattered to you in your 20s are likely very different than the things that may matter to you later in life.
As time passes, your life insurance needs may change, too. For that reason, your age and stage of life can help to indicate which type of life insurance you may need, how long you may need it, and how much coverage you should buy.
Your age can also drive the cost of your life insurance, which is known as your "premium rate." The sooner you buy life insurance, the more affordable it's likely to be. In fact, you can expect to pay an average of 8 to 10 percent more each year you wait to buy life insurance, with that number increasing to 9 to 12 percent more each year after you turn 50.1
This guide will help you gain insight into life insurance rates by age — and why there's no time to buy like the present.
You're just starting out in life — new apartment, new career and new engagement. Outside of work, your greatest concern is remembering to say "fiancée / fiancé" instead of "girlfriend / boyfriend" when you introduce your significant other. Life insurance may not be something that you've considered yet. After all, that's only for people with kids and mortgages, right?
Let's say you're the primary breadwinner. If you passed away, your significant other might feel adverse financial impacts as soon as one month later, according to the "2018 Insurance Barometer Study" by Life Happens, and LIMRA, a life insurance management and research organization.2
Many millennials are worried about their partner or spouse not having enough coverage if he or she passed away. The same study found that two in five millennials said they wished their spouses/partners would buy more life insurance.
That concern comes as no surprise, as the majority of millennials have some form of debt, according to an NBC News/GenForward survey. If you passed away, that debt, including those from student loans, could pass along to the people you love most.3 Life insurance could help to cover bills from debt collectors — along with other expenses.
At this stage of your life, you might want to consider term life insurance. It's typically one of the most affordable policies, as it offers you coverage for a set period of time (when you need it most).
For example, you might choose a 10- or 20-year term life policy with $250,000 worth of coverage through AIG Direct, which could help your significant other cover monthly bills, as well as your student loans.
Consider requesting a quote for different term lengths and comparing the cost.
After the term on your policy ends, so does your coverage. But you can choose to renew your existing policy, increase coverage or consider a more permanent life insurance policy, such as Universal Life Insurance. Your premium could increase, depending upon your age, health and selected policy type at that time.
Life is shaping up nicely — and you're preparing to add another member to your little family. No, not another golden retriever — a real baby this time. As a new parent, it's only natural to start planning for the baby's future.
And, in that future, you want to ensure that your little one is taken care of financially, no matter what.
You're in good company.
In fact, having or adopting a child is the event that motivates the highest number of people to buy life insurance.4 The "benefit amount" (how much your policy is worth at face value) can act as a financial security blanket, helping to protect your child, even in your absence.
Or maybe your babies have already grown up — and are starting college next year. There's still a need for life insurance, which can be used to help fund their tuition, room, books, or other expenses, should you pass away.
For some at this stage, you and your partner's home may be filled with love, but no children. In the event of your passing, the benefit amount from a life insurance policy could help pay the mortgage. That money could be the difference between your spouse having to sell or keep the home you shared together.
There are a couple of options to consider at this stage, including a term life insurance or a permanent life insurance policy. The obvious difference is that term last for a set period of time, while permanent insurance (or whole life insurance) can last for up to a lifetime.
It depends on how long you want coverage and how much you're able to pay for it.
If you only want coverage to see your newborn through to college, then a 20-year term life plan with $250,000 to $500,000 in coverage might be enough. Or maybe you need to match a mortgage commitment, in which case you might consider a 30-year term.
On the other hand, if you want a policy that will see you and your partner through retirement, you might want to opt for whole life insurance. Consider requesting a quote for term life insurance and whole life insurance and comparing your options.
You're still working hard and plan to keep at it for another decade or so. You can already picture you and your spouse enjoying a nice sunset from your beach chairs in Maui. Although your children moved out long ago, your partner still depends on your earnings as the primary breadwinner, as he or she has recently retired.
That's why you've been diligent about setting aside 10 percent of every paycheck, which is more than most Americans (65%)5 who have saved little to nothing.
Just as saving for retirement should be part of your financial plan, so should life insurance. The benefit amount from a policy could help to cover your funeral costs, supplement your retirement savings, or help pay for unforeseen expenses, like a car repair or medical emergency.
Depending upon your situation, term or permanent (whole life) insurance could both still be viable options.
But there's also an additional one to consider — a Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Insurance plan (GIWL). It's designed specifically for those who are 50 to 85 years old and there's no medical exam required. As long as you meet the age requirement, you're guaranteed approval.
You can choose how much coverage you need — from $5,000 to $25,000.* Your premium rate may vary, so it's best to request a free, instant quote.
Generally speaking, you'll pay less for a policy that does require a medical exam versus one that doesn't. So, if you're in good health standing, a term or Universal Life policy might be something to consider first. Both offer higher coverage options than a GIWL policy, which is ideal if you have younger children, many years left on a mortgage, or are planning to work for a longer period of time.
You're in the midst of your golden years and there's much to celebrate. Your children now have children of their own — and there's nothing you love more than spending time with them.
Leaving a legacy to your children and grandchildren is important to you — and life insurance can be one way to do just that.
The benefit amount from a policy could act as inheritance money to your children or grandchildren, which could be used toward college tuition, seed money for a business dream, or the down payment on a future home.
It could also be used to help your spouse maintain the quality of life you've built together.
There are a few options you may consider at this stage in life, including Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Insurance.
Another benefit of Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Insurance is that living benefits are included — at no additional cost. This is critical for those who may be suffering from a qualifying chronic or terminal illness, as it can potentially allow you to access critical funds from your policy when you and your family need them most. That can help take some of the financial pressure off of your loved ones — allowing them to focus on enjoying your time together instead.
It's never too early or too late to buy life insurance. By doing so, you'll gain the peace of mind that your loved ones will have a bright financial future — one that you helped to shape.
At this stage, you may also consider Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance. It can help protect you and your family if you are seriously injured or killed in an accident. Although it's not a life insurance policy, it can provide some level of coverage for those who might otherwise have none, due to a health issue. It may also be something to consider in addition to life insurance.
† Rate examles based on Preferred Plus rate class.
* The total amount of all American General Life Insurance Company Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Insurance policies on any person cannot exceed $25,000 in the aggregate. Policies issued by AGL in all states except NY, Policy #: 15532, ICC15-15532. AGL is not licensed to do business in New York.
1. Roberts-Grey, Gina; "How Age Affects Life Insurance"; Investopedia; November 2016; Web; Accessed July 2018 (https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/022615/how-age-affects-life-insurance-rates.asp)
2. "2018 Insurance Barometer Study"; Life Happens and LIMRA
3. Arenge, Andrew; "Poll: Majority of millennials are in debt, hitting pause on major life events"; April 2018; Web; Accessed July 2018 (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/poll-majority-millennials-are-debt-hitting-pause-major-life-events-n862376)
4. Kochanek, Kenneth M.A.; Murphy, Sherry B.S.; Xu, Jiaquan M.D.; and Arias, Elizabeth Ph.D.; "Mortality in the United States"; National Center for Health Statistics; December 2017; Web; Accessed July 2018 (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db293.pdf)
5. Scanlon, James M.S., HIA; "Un-sticking the Stuck Shopper"; LIMRA MarketFactsTM; November 2018
6. Martin, Emmie; "65% of Americans save little or nothing—and half could end up struggling in retirement"; CNBC; March 2018; Web; Accessed July 2018 (https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/15/bankrate-65-percent-of-americans-save-little-or-nothing.html)