The single most important thing about researching life insurance over 40 is to remember that everyone has a unique situation. What is right for most people, might not be best for your family.
Before you start, we strongly recommend writing down why you are looking into life insurance. The reason(s) will determine the type and amount of coverage you get. After that and affordability, everything is a secondary consideration.
To discuss any questions you have as you read this guide, give us a call at (888) 905-0333. We’re here to help. You can also use the Instant Quotes tool on the left (top on mobile) to compare rates right now.
Table of contents
- How To Save Money On Life Insurance In Your 40s
- Term Life Insurance Over 40
- Permanent Life Insurance
- No Exam Life Insurance
- Finding Life Insurance With A Pre-Existing Condition
- What About Life Insurance Through Work?
- Life Insurance Riders
- How Abrams Insurance Solutions Can Help
How To Save Money On Life Insurance In Your 40s
Most people are surprised to find out how little it can cost to buy life insurance once you reach your 40s.
Studies show that the vast majority of Americans grossly overestimate the cost of life insurance. Which, in turn, creates a barrier to even considering it.
As you do your research and shop around, remember that you can always say no to any quote you get if it doesn’t fit in your family’s budget. We believe that life insurance creates a safety net for your family, but it shouldn’t take the bread off the table.
Even with low premiums surprising most people, there are several other ways to ensure you spend as little as possible at any age.
Use a Life Insurance Needs Calculator
The undisputed best way to save money is not to let someone talk you into getting a penny more than you need.
We’ve seen agents use all sorts of crazy systems to give clients a ballpark number of how much insurance to buy. Most of them involve multiplying your income by some number.
But that creates an enormous problem.
Every family is different.
Two people earning $50,000 a year might have completely different life insurance needs. Let’s say Person A has three college-bound teenagers and a $500,000 mortgage. Person B’s has a toddler and $250,000 mortgage.
They’ll need different insurance amounts.
Which leaves the only responsible way to calculate financial responsibilities and use that number. No ballparking. We created a life insurance needs calculator to do precisely that.
Get Quotes From An Independent Agent
Even if you decide to work with a captive agent, get quotes from an independent one as you shop around.
Captive agents can only sell policies from the company they work for. Independent agents aren’t employed by a company, they can sell whatever they want.
That means an independent agent can give you rates from dozens of companies and even help you compare without bias.
This makes it easier to find life insurance if you have a pre-existing medical condition or even smoke cannabis. They can point you toward the companies who have the best underwriting guidelines for you.
Take The Medical Exam
The life insurance medical exam is inconvenient. No one will tell you otherwise.
While insurance companies do their best to make it convenient as possible, they also offer no exam options for people who are just too busy.
Because a no exam application gives the underwriter less information to work with, no exam policies are more expensive by default.
Term Is Cheaper Than Permanent Life Insurance
But it’s not always better.
The right type of insurance for your family will depend on why you’re considering it. (Remember those reasons you wrote down?)
Term life insurance is best if you are looking to cover a temporary need like:
- Minor children
- Income until retirement
Permanent life insurance can easily cost 10x as much as the same benefit in a term policy. But permanent life insurance is better for uses like estate planning and providing for lifelong dependents.
You Can Layer Policies
Instead of purchasing one large policy, you can break it up into smaller ones to only cover a single purpose.
For example, you may need life insurance for estate planning and providing for your spouse until you retire. You can get a permanent policy to cover your estate planning needs. Then get only what you need to cover your income until retirement in a term policy.
It’s much cheaper to get multiple policies like this instead of one massive permanent policy.
Annuity Payment Options
Most life insurance is a single (lump sum) payout.
However, if you choose an annuity payment for your beneficiary, you can reduce the cost of your premiums.
Annuity payments work best for replacing income or supporting dependents.
Not every company will offer this option. Speak with your agent about the availability.
Requalification, Renewal, and Conversion Options
If you already have a term policy, you may have additional options.
Instead of letting it lapse, you might be able to renew or convert it.
Renewing your term policy allows you to take out another term. It doesn’t require any underwriting or another medical exam. You’ll just pay the current age rates for your same health class.
Many term policies offer conversion options. It allows you to turn your term policy into a permanent one. The process works the same as renewing, but you’ll pay the rates for a permanent policy at your current age.
Both of the above options are better choices if your health isn’t as good as when you first took out life insurance. If your health has improved, try requalifying.
The most common scenario where we recommend requalifying is when someone loses weight after taking out their policy. Instead of converting/renewing at their health class, going through underwriting again actually produces lower premiums.
You Can Actually Lower Your Coverage & Premiums
Most life insurance companies will let you lower premiums on an existing policy if you ask. The catch is you reduce the benefits a corresponding amount too.
It’s worth looking into if you discover your policy over-insures you. It’s also better to lower benefits and premiums if you hit a rough financial patch and are facing the decision to let your policy lapse.
Term Life Insurance Over 40
Term life insurance is the best option for most people. It’s much less expensive than any other type of insurance. It also covers the needs of most families. Plus, the sooner you get life insurance, the less it costs.
Types of Term Insurance
The most common type of term life insurance is called a level term.
It’s where your benefits and premiums stay the same. Most people think of this as regular life insurance.
The two other types are increasing and decreasing term.
Increasing term is rare and only used in cases where you know your needs will grow as well as your ability to pay more in premiums.
People buy decreasing term life insurance mainly to cover mortgages. As they pay off their home, the amount of life insurance they need to cover those payments also decreases.
When you speak with your life insurance agent about why you’re looking for life insurance, they can point you in the best direction.
How Long Of A Term Do You Need?
Again, this depends on why you’re buying.
A term the length of your mortgage makes sense if that’s your reason. A 20 or 25-year term makes sense to cover children until adulthood. A 20 or 30-year term may be best until retirement age.
It’s better to overshoot your reason for buying slightly. For example, if you need life insurance for 18 years, then a 20-year term makes sense. But purchasing a 30-year term to cover 18 years is wasting money.
Term Life Insurance Quotes For Men Ages 40 – 49
The following monthly rates reflect what’s available for relatively healthy men who don’t smoke. You can compare companies or different benefit amounts for free using the instant quotes tool on the left. (Top if you’re on mobile.)
Your rates could be lower if you are in great health and depending on your state.
10-Year Term Quotes For Men Over 40
20-Year Term Quotes For Men Over 40
30-Year Term Quotes For Men Over 40
Term Life Insurance Quotes For Women Ages 40 – 49
The tables below are monthly term rates for women in decent health who don’t smoke. Depending on your state and health, your rates may vary. You can compare different companies with the Instant Quotes tool on the left. (It at the top of the page if you’re on mobile.)
10-Year Term Quotes For Women Over 40
20-Year Term Quotes For Women Over 40
30-Year Term Quotes For Women Over 40
Permanent Life Insurance
Permanent life insurance is still the most popular type. Most people lean toward whole life insurance. It’s the most straightforward. As long as you pay your premiums, permanent life insurance never expires.
This type also has a cash value accumulation component in addition to the death benefit. It grows over time as you pay your premiums. You can use it as a no-questions-asked loan for whatever you like.
The difference between the types of permanent life insurance is how the cash value accumulates. For example, whole life grows at a set rate between 2 and 4%. Indexed universal life growth depends on a specified market index, like the S&P 500.
No Exam Life Insurance
While we recommend saving as much money as possible, no exam life insurance does provide a convenient option.
Some people just don’t have time to prepare or take the exam. Others can’t handle needles or having blood drawn.
Finding Life Insurance With A Pre-Existing Condition
Having a medical condition does not preclude you from an affordable life insurance policy. Most situations are still insurable, although some will be postponed based on diagnosis and severity.
The best thing you can do is tell your agent upfront about any medical history. This prevents surprises during underwriting.
Some illnesses, like cancer, need to go into remission before you can get insurance. Other conditions, like MS, need to be symptom-free for months or years before insurance becomes available.
What About Life Insurance Through Work?
Getting life insurance through your job can be a great option. It can also present problems if you ever leave your job.
Stable or tenured jobs (like government work) can keep your life insurance in place for a long time. The problem pops up when you leave that job and lose your coverage.
Most people who choose private insurance over the company plan want the peace of mind that no matter what happens to their job (they find another one, the company downsizes, their position gets outsourced), they will still have the policy to protect their family.
On the other hand, if you have a medical condition that might otherwise be uninsurable, life insurance through your employer is a great option.
Life Insurance Riders
Riders are additional benefits you can attach to your main policy. They let you customize your insurance to better suit your needs and risk tolerances.
This is a rough one. It’s a term rider that attaches to a life insurance policy covering the insured’s child. Usually, the coverage lasts until they’re 18, 21, or 25.
Most child term riders also offer the ability for the kid to convert their policy into a permanent one once they reach 18. This allows young adults to get coverage who might otherwise have a difficult time getting life insurance.
Critical illness rider allows pre-payment of the death benefits in the event of specific medical events, like a heart attack, cancer, or stroke.
Depending on your insurance company, this is either payment of the entire death benefit or an amount you can choose at the time.
As one of the more expensive riders on the list, this provides a monthly payment in the event you are disabled and cannot work.
Most people think of disabilities as injuries or permanent issues. It can be anything that prevents you from working. Going through chemo is the most common example.
Guaranteed insurability allows you to increase your benefits at a later time without going through underwriting.
Your premiums will increase based on your current age when you request the benefit increase. However, your health class will remain the same.
Return of Premium
Return of premium is a term insurance rider that refunds all of your premiums paid at the end of your term. It’s hedging your bet that you’ll survive your term, which is statistically likely in your 40s.
The downside is that this rider can nearly double the price if your premiums.
This lets you convert your term policy into a permanent one at the end of the term. You will need to let your insurance company know that you want to take advantage of this option before your term expires.
You will pay new rates for permanent insurance at your current age. The good news is that the company doesn’t require any new underwriting.
Waiver of Premium
Waiver of premium means you won’t have to pay any premiums for your life insurance if you become totally disabled. Insurance companies define disabled as unable to work.
In the event this happens, you keep your life insurance in place without having to pay for it until you either recover or pass away.
How Abrams Insurance Solutions Can Help
Abrams Insurance Solutions is a small group of independent life insurance agents who aim to find the lowest priced option to protect every family. We believe that life insurance plays a significant part in a strong financial foundation.
With access to over 80 of the top-rated life insurance companies in the country, we can find something for everyone.
Give us a call today at (888) 905-0333. We’re happy to help answer questions, and there is never any obligation to buy.