How to get cheap life insurance for people 50 and older

Learn what to look for in a life insurance plan when you're in your 50s.

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When you reach your 50s, your life and financial commitments probably look a bit different than they did in, say, your 20s. You may find yourself wondering whether you need life insurance at all.

Before you make your decision, there are some variables to examine to see if a life insurance policy still makes sense.

Why we like:

Term life insurance with no policy fees and the freedom to cancel anytime. Simple application process that can get you approved for coverage instantly.

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  • Cancel your coverage at any time
  • No annual fees

Why we like: LadderLife™ Life Insurance

Term life insurance with no policy fees and the freedom to cancel anytime. Simple application process that can get you approved for coverage instantly.

  • No brokers trying to upsell you
  • Your rate is locked in until your term expires
  • 30 day money-back guarantee

Companies that offer policies for adults aged 50 or older

Name Product Issue Ages Minimum Coverage Maximum Coverage Medical Exam Required State Availability
LadderLife™ Life Insurance
20 - 60 years old
$100,000
$8,000,000
No
Not available in New York
Term life insurance with no policy fees and the freedom to cancel anytime. Simple application process that can get you approved for coverage instantly.
Sproutt
18 - 100 years old
$50,000
$3,000,000
No
Nationwide
This life insurance broker combines technology and the human touch to match you with a policy tailored to your needs.
Bestow
21 - 54 years old
$50,000
$1,000,000
No
Not available in New York
Affordable 2-, 10- and 20-year term life insurance policies. Instant quotes and no medical exams.
AIG
AIG
20 - 85 years old
$100,000
$2,000,000
Depends on policy.
Products and product features may not be available in all states.
This well-established life insurance provider could offer you $250,000 worth of coverage for as low as $14 per month.
Fabric
25 - 60 years old
$100,000
$5,000,000
No
Available in all states except NY, CA and MT
Get affordable term life insurance with accelerated underwriting or no-exam coverage up to $1,000,000. Available in all states except CA, NY and MT.
Policygenius
18 - 85 years old
$10,000
$10,000,000+
Depends on provider and policy
All 50 states
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Why should I consider life insurance if I’m older than 50?

As a baby boomer, it’s worth looking into life insurance in these situations:

  • You have people relying on your income. Above all, life insurance is an income protection policy. If you have loved ones relying on your income to cover their living expenses, a policy can ease their financial burden when you pass away — especially if you don’t have much in savings.
  • You want to protect your estate. Life insurance is a payable-upon-death asset, which means the proceeds of your policy typically won’t go through probate. If you’ve accumulated assets over your lifetime, a policy can help your heirs to hold onto those assets and pay any taxes owed.
  • You want to make sure you’re covered if you fall ill. You can add an accelerated death benefit or critical illness rider to most policies. These riders pay out a portion of your policy if you’re diagnosed with a serious illness, which can offset financial stress if you need to undergo treatment.
  • You’d like to take care of your funeral costs. Many people in their 50s purchase a policy to simply pay for their burial and end-of-life expenses. A funeral can cost $10,000 or more, so the payout from a life insurance policy can help your family through the grieving process.
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    Types of life insurance for those aged 50 to 59

    These policies are the best choices for someone in their 50s:

    • Term life insurance. This offers temporary coverage for a set period of time, like 10, 15 or 20 years. You could purchase a policy that would expire when you no longer have financial obligations — for example, the year retire or pay off your mortgage, or your grandchildren go to college. If you die during the term, your beneficiaries receive a guaranteed death benefit.
    • Whole life insurance. If you want to treat your life insurance policy as a cash asset, look into whole life. A portion of your premiums are invested to give your policy a cash value, which earns interest over time at a set rate. Once you’ve built up enough cash value, you can begin to borrow against your policy — which can be useful if you have large expenses to cover, like a home renovation.
    • Final expense insurance. Often marketed to those aged 55-plus, these policies are designed to cover end-of-life costs, such as a funeral and medical bills.
    • Simplified issue life insurance. If you have a preexisting health condition, you can forgo the medical exam with simplified issue life insurance. You may need to complete a health questionnaire, though.

    Which riders should I add to my policy?

    Depending on your needs, you could add these riders to your coverage:

    • Accelerated death benefit. Allows you to access part of the death benefit while you’re still alive if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness.
    • Long-term care rider. Pays out a portion of the death benefit to help you to cover long-term care expesnes, like a nursing home or private nurse.
    • Term conversion rider. Available on term life policies, this rider gives you the option to convert to permanent coverage later on — usually before your 65th or 70th birthday.

    Can I apply for life insurance without having to take a medical exam?

    Yes. Some policies don’t require a medical exam — like funeral, simplified issue and guaranteed issue insurance. However, these policies are expensive and capped at small amounts, like $25,000 or $50,000. Unless you have a preexisting condition or need coverage quickly, you’ll likely be able to lower your premiums by taking a medical exam.

      How much does life insurance cost for someone 50 or older?

      You can find affordable coverage without sacrificing the quality of protection in your 50s. A simple way to get started is by comparing life insurance providers that offer policies in line with the coverage you need. As you look at policies, you’ll notice that starting from age 50 on, your life insurance premiums are likely to start increasing drastically as you get older.

      Let’s look at the cost of a 20-year term life policy with $500,000 of coverage for a man in perfect health. According to our research, a 50-year-old man in good health could get a policy from Legal & General for around $74.39 a month. However, that same amount of coverage from those same providers would be double the cost if you bought the policy at age 57, with the monthly premiums increasing to $148.35.

      So as you get into your 50s and start considering purchasing life insurance, you might want to buy a policy sooner rather than later to lock in a lower premium.

      Sample rates for a $250,000 policy

      The cost of a life insurance premium is based on the level of risk the applicant presents to the insurer, depending on factors like:

      • Your gender and occupation.
      • Any existing medical conditions.
      • Whether you use tobacco.

      The tables below show what monthly premiums could cost for 10-, 20- and 30-year term policies offering $250,000 in coverage.

      Age10 year20 year30 year
      50$24.67$43.35$70.24
      51$26.73$46.93$79.84
      52$29.40$50.90$90.34
      53$32.32$55.25$102.81
      54$35.51$60.25$118.13
      55$38.97$66.56$136.06
      56$42.48$73.30$161.88
      57$46.26$80.91$180.69
      58$50.37$89.61$201.03
      59$55.53$100.27$222.24
      Age10 year20 year30 year
      50$20.34$32.52$52.96
      51$22.35$35.24$59.94
      52$23.97$38.72$66.94
      53$25.78$42.63$75.25
      54$27.81$46.76$85.53
      55$30.04$51.11$98.00
      56$32.07$55.46$113.75
      57$34.30$59.60$126.88
      58$36.76$64.38$141.53
      59$39.71$70.25$159.56

      *Sample rates provided by Quotacy

      How to find the right life insurance policy if you’re older than 50

      While getting life insurance when you’re 50 or older is fairly easy these days, weighing your options is critical when trying to get the most affordable policy that meet your needs. Here are a few simple steps for you to consider when purchasing a life insurance policy:

      • Read the terms and conditions. Be sure that you’re getting the correct protection without any unnecessary features to avoid overpaying for a policy. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about any details on the policy that are unclear to you.
      • Consider your health. If the insurance provider you apply with requires a medical test, know that any pre-existing medical conditions, lifestyle habits and driving records can significantly affect the cost of your premiums.
      • Look for discounts. When applying for coverage, consider insurance needs for your partner or spouse as well — you may get a discount on your premiums. Insurance providers will generally also offer discounts if you pay your premiums annually.
      • Talk to an insurance adviser. If you’re unsure of which life insurance plan makes senses for you and is within your budget, an insurance consultant likely has the ability to provide recommendations on policies for you with competitive prices.

      What if my application has been denied and I’m older than 50?

      It’s usually possible to ask the provider for a reassessment of your life insurance application. They may ask for additional medical information to determine if they’re able to provide you with coverage and take on any risk you might pose.

      If you’re still unable to get coverage and your application has been denied, consider other alternative options like funeral insurance or no-medical-exam life insurance.

      What are my odds of passing away in my 50s?

      As you get into your 50s, you have lots of memories to look back on. You might have bought a home, started a successful business or watched your kids graduate from high school. But you still have plenty of years ahead of you.

      According to our life expectancy data, if you’re a typical healthy 53-year-old woman, your risk of passing away within the next five years is 2.38%. For a man, that number is a little bit higher at 3.86%.

      To put all of this into context, let’s look at the average life expectancy in the US. A woman who turns 65 can expect to live to age 86.6, while a man is likely to live to age 84.3. These are just averages; about a quarter of all 65-year-olds in the US will make it to their 90th birthday.

      Other types of insurance to consider if you’re older than 50

      If a life insurance policy isn’t the right fit for you, consider these alternatives:

      • Critical illness insurance. This coverage pays out a lump sum benefit if you’re diagnosed with a life-threatening condition as specified in the policy. The medical conditions covered vary between providers but often include cancer, heart disease, strokes and major organ transplants. The payout can be put toward medical treatment and rehabilitation facilities.
      • Disability insurance. The truest type of income protection, disability policies pay monthly benefits if you become disabled and can no longer work. Depending on your coverage, your policy can replace between 40% and 80% of your paycheck.

      Bottom line

      To get the ideal life insurance coverage if you’re older than 50, take the time to shop around and compare policies and premiums from different companies.

      Remember, there is no single best policy on the market — the best policy is the one that offers the coverage you need with flexible terms at an affordable price.

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