Should Seniors Consider Buying Life Insurance?

Senior illustrating children’s book

In 2050, the population aged 65 and older is projected to be 83.7 million, almost double its estimated population of 43.1 million in 2012, according to the 2014 U.S. Census Bureau report, “An Aging Nation: The Older Population in the United States.”  If you count yourself among the adults who are approaching or are age 65 or older, you might want to consider buying one of the various kinds of life insurance policies for seniors.

How do you know if you need it? Consider these questions:

1. Is anyone dependent on my income?

If you’re no longer working and receive a pension and/or Social Security benefits, your spouse may be financially dependent on that money. Should the unthinkable happen to you, would any loved ones need to make drastic changes in their lives in order to maintain their current lifestyle?

If so, life insurance for seniors may be the answer.

2. Do you have any debt, and how much?

Some seniors retire with debt, while others accumulate it after the fact. That debt often results from unforeseen expenses such as a car repair, sick pet, or hospitalization. 

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) surveyed aging network professionals on their clients’ debt in May 2015. More than half of the survey’s respondents said that medical debt was the greatest barrier to the economic well-being of seniors, while nearly 20 percent cited missed utility payments as the biggest problem.

If you were no longer here, outstanding bills such as those would likely pass along to your loved ones. A life insurance policy can help assure that your loved ones wouldn’t have to shoulder that financial burden alone.

3. How much do you have in retirement savings?

People have been living longer.  A man turning age 65 today may expect to reach 84.3 years old, while a woman may expect to reach 86.6 years old, according to averages from the Social Security Administration.  Because our exact life expectancy is unknown, it’s difficult to know if we’ve saved enough for our senior years.

A life insurance policy could enable your estate to remain intact and alleviate some of the impact on your loved ones from the loss of your income.

4. Do I have a will - an estate plan?

Frequently, seniors buy life insurance as a way to leave something behind for their loved ones or for charitable organizations that matter greatly to them. If that’s the case for you, you may want to consider guaranteed-acceptance life insurance. It’s a type of whole life insurance for seniors who meet a certain age requirement. Once you own the policy, and as long as you stay current on your premium payments, it accumulates cash value over time, adding value to your estate. In the event of your passing, the policy’s available cash value could become an inheritance for a child or grandchild.

Have you determined that you might need life insurance as a senior? See what a Guaranteed Life Insurance policy from Gerber Life would look like, tailored to you.

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