Getting life insurance for a 59 year old doesn’t have to be a hassle. There are several shortcuts you can take to save yourself both time and money. The most important part is not putting it off for another year or two. That little delay can quickly add up in premiums.
If your term expired and you are looking to renew it or take out a permanent policy, the premiums will be higher than they were when you were younger. The good news is there are ways you can save money.
How to Save Money on Life Insurance for a 59-Year-Old
There are several ways to save money at any age. Approaching your 60s is no different. The majority of your premiums will be based on your current age, health, and whether you are a man or a woman.
Use a Life Insurance Needs Calculator
This is the big one. Knowing exactly how much life insurance you need can save you fistfuls of money in the long run. It’ll prevent you from overbuying insurance that your family doesn’t need or may not even use.
Overbuying with a permanent policy is one thing. But overbuying on a term life insurance policy (the cheaper of the two) means that the extra money paying for a death benefit which may go nowhere.
Using a life insurance needs calculator shows you exactly how much life insurance you need. You know you won’t waste money buying too much. You’ll also know that if anything happens to you, your family will be covered.
Get Quotes from an Independent Agent
Independent agents have the distinct advantage of being able to shop multiple companies for their clients. Instead of the client having to call dozens of different companies, the independent agent can do it with a few clicks. (So can you with the Instant Quotes tool on the left. Up top if you're on mobile.)
The other type of life insurance agent (the captive agent) can only offer life insurance from one company. They count on people not having the time or motivation to comparison shop themselves and go with the first person they call.
Each life insurance company has different underwriting guidelines for the same things. One company might charge more for high blood pressure. Another might not care about high blood pressure, but charges more for pre-diabetes. That information is continually changing and almost impossible to keep up to date in print.
Calling an independent agent (even if you decide to go with a captive agent after comparison shopping) means you have access to all that information and can rest easy knowing you got the best possible deal.
Consider Your Reasons for Buying Life Insurance
The type of life insurance you buy depends almost entirely on why you’re buying it in the first place. If you need something to pay off your mortgage if something happens before you retire, then term would be a wise choice. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a way to ensure that your heirs have the cash to pay any estate taxes, then permanent makes more sense.
It would be a hassle to buy the wrong thing because it was cheaper or sounded good at the time. Keeping a list of your reasons handy as you do your research can help you maintain focus.
Get a Policy Requiring a Medical Exam
The more a life insurance company can verify that you’re relatively healthy, the less they need to charge you. If one of their check boxes in underwriting reads “unknown” they automatically charge more.
Life insurance companies exist to mitigate risk. They also need to mitigate risk for themselves. If someone is trying to avoid disclosing more information, they assume a percentage of those people are trying to cheat the system. So they charge more.
Prepare for the Life Insurance Medical Exam
You have about two weeks notice from when you send in your life insurance application to when the scheduled medical exam takes place. During this time (and even before if you’re still in the research/comparison phase) adjust your schedule just slightly to boost your results in the medical exam.
How to prepare for the life insurance medical exam is simple. Adjust your schedule for the weeks leading up to the exam to make time for all those things people are supposed to do but can seem to find time for. Things like 3 hours of exercise a week, eating leafy green vegetables, drinking 2 oz of water per pound of body weight every day, etc.
Just that small, temporary adjustment to your life can improve your bloodwork and health. Many time it’s enough to make the difference between health classes. That’s a 25% discount if you can jump to the next better health class.
Term is Cheaper than Permanent, But Not Best for Everyone
If you’re in a financially tight spot at the moment, term might be the way to go. You should revisit your reasons why you’re looking into life insurance too.
Term policies offer only the death benefit. Permanent policies have other, more complicated, components like cash value that means the insurance company charges more for them. They also last your entire life as long as you keep paying your premiums.
If you think you might need permanent life insurance, but it’ll stretch your pocketbook too much, consider a term policy with a conversion option. That can work until you get to a place that makes more sense to pay extra for permanent insurance. Review your options with a financial planner too.
Annuity Payments Cost Less Than Lump Sum
Most of the time, life insurance is paid out in a lump sum. Your beneficiary gets one check for the entire amount. Some companies offer annuity payment instead, paying the whole amount over a specific period. Because they don’t have to write a check for the entire sum up front, they don’t need to charge as much for the policy.
This works best when your beneficiaries won’t need all the money up front. For example, if you’re looking at life insurance to continue providing for your spouse, an annuity payment can save you money now and ensure their income for years to come.
Term Life Insurance for a 59-Year-Old Male
The rates below reflect a relatively healthy, non-smoking man. If you are above average health for your age, your rates could even be lower.
Men - Age 59
Once you hit 59, your options for 30-year terms are limited. The companies offering 30-year terms reduce their risk by limiting the size of the death benefits, which is why you don't see $500,000+ benefits on a 30-year term.
Term Life Insurance for a 59-Year-Old Female
These are term rates for a moderately healthy woman who doesn’t smoke. They may be lower or higher depending on your health.
Women - Age 59
Like the rates for men, 30-year terms are not available above $250,000 for women either. The company which offers 30-year terms at lower benefits amounts at unisex rates.
Permanent Life Insurance
Permanent life insurance exists in several forms, each more nuanced than the last. But they all last for an entire lifetime. In this manner, you are guaranteeing immediate cash to your heirs upon your death.
This can be for whatever purpose you choose. Many families set aside the money for estate taxes and funeral expenses. Other people even name charities as their beneficiary since the payout is larger than the amount paid in.
In addition to the death benefit of the policy, permanent life insurance also has a cash value accumulation. This grows as you pay your premiums. You can use it as a low-interest loan. If you pass away before repaying the loan, the life insurance company subtracts the remaining amount from your death benefit.
Living Benefits of Life Insurance
You can buy simple life insurance that only offers a death benefit. However, some policies also offer living benefits to life insurance. These can be either built into the policy (like the cash value accumulation) or added through a rider (like accelerated death benefits.)
Living benefits means that you can take advantage of the policy during your life, rather than only your beneficiaries benefiting. Cash value can provide a loan. Accelerated death benefits can pay you a portion of your death benefits if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness or need extra help in your senior years.
Life Insurance with Pre-existing Medical Conditions
One of the main factors insurance companies use to determine your health class is your current health and your medical history. Pre-existing medical conditions (even if you’ve successfully beaten your ailment) can still significantly impact your rates.
The life insurance company takes everything into account. They even look at normal conditions that get increasingly common with age like high blood pressure and diabetes. Other things like hearing loss may or may not affect your rates too.
Conclusions on Life Insurance at Age 59
The premiums won’t be as high as if you wait. Focus on companies who use your actual age (not age nearest) to save yourself around 8%. Use our other tips to save money listed above to make sure you pay as little as possible.
How Abrams Insurance Solutions Can Help
We are a group of independent life insurance agents. Working with over 70 of the top-rated companies gives us access to excellent underwriting guidelines for every situation.
Independent agents like us work for you and not the insurance company. If the company you apply with doesn’t treat you fairly, we promise not to rest until we see if another company can do better. To see what your rates may look like, use the Instant Quotes tool on the left. (Top if you’re on mobile.)
If you have any questions, give us a call at 858-703-6178. We are always happy to help, and there is never any obligation to buy.