Most of us thought we only needed to buy a big term life insurance policy when we were starting out in our adult life. We wanted to protect our kids and spouses if we should pass away. We probably had big mortgages to cover, and we also had plans for our children’s education. The policy would expire after a few decades, but that was alright, because we planned to have our obligations taken care of in that time, and we planned to outgrow our need for coverage. However things did not always work out like we planned, and now, in middle age or retirement years, we find that we could still use a life insurance policy.
The good news is that people are expected to live longer, even longer than they did a decade ago. Since we did live long enough for our term policies to expire, we can expect to live even longer! However, we may not have outlived our need for coverage. Top insurers recognize that, since people are living and working longer, they may still need to buy policies at older ages. Rates have dropped, and insurers are developing more policies that can be issued to older people.
A 65 year old in decent health can still buy term. They may not be able to find a 30 year term policy, but they can find 10 year policies at affordable rates. Maybe that extra 10 years will be enough to pay off an extended mortgage or get the kids out of the house. Many term policies do not even require a medical exam, but requirements vary, based on the age and health of the applicant, and also the amount of life insurance applied for. Actually, if you are in good health, you may find lower premiums if you take the time to have a medical exam.
If an older person has some more serious health issues, or wants to have coverage that will not expire, they can consider a whole life insurance policy. Sometimes these are called final expense policies, and they are designed to be issued to almost all older people, sometimes up to 85 years of age! Simplified issue policies only ask a few health questions, and can usually accept any applicants who are not terminally ill and who do not need to live in a nursing home. Guaranteed issue policies accept everybody who can pay the premium, though they usually cost a bit more for the same coverage as simplified issue policies. Another problem with guaranteed issue policies is that they usually have a waiting period before the full death benefit will be paid. Sometimes the waiting period is 2 or 3 years, and that is used instead of health underwriting to qualify applicants. So, if you are considering a senior life policy, try to qualify for simplified issue instead of guaranteed issue if you can. But guaranteed issue policies usually refund all premiums paid with interest even if the waiting period has not been satisfied. So, for an older person who cannot find any other insurance, it is still a good deal.