Life insurance for 45-year-olds

You’ve worked so hard — now it's time to protect your family and plan for their future.

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By the time you’re 45 years old, you’re probably in your financial prime. Much like building up a 401(k) or IRA gives you a financial cushion for your future, life insurance does the same for your family and anyone you leave behind should you die prematurely. At 45 years old, you’re young enough to access an affordable life insurance policy and cover your debt, set your kids up for college or leave a lasting financial legacy.

What is the best life insurance policy for 45-year-olds?

We recommend: Convertible term life insurance

The mid-40s age bracket is a popular time to shop for life insurance as many people want to protect their families and financial interests. At this stage of your life, a term policy is a solid choice, with the option to convert to a permanent policy later. A convertible term policy gives you flexibility in the future, so if you need the insurance longer than you thought or you want to switch to a policy that accumulates cash value, you can upgrade to a permanent policy.

Our top pick: Global Atlantic Financial Group

This insurer sells convertible term life policies, as well as a range of permanent policies that build cash value over time. It stands out for offering a long list of riders that can help you to customize your coverage. These include a unique “wellness for life” rider, which rewards you for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you visit your doctor regularly and stay within the weight range specified in your policy, you could access premium discounts and other added-value features.

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Which is the cheapest life insurance company for 45-year-olds?

To find the cheapest life insurance company for this age group, we compared rates from 10 major carriers. For a $250,000, 20-year term life policy, a 45-year-old nonsmoking man could score a rate of $32.21 a month with Pacific Life. If he smokes, he’ll be charged a higher premium. Legal & General’s rates are low at $107.08 a month.

Meanwhile, the most budget-friendly option for a 45-year-old nonsmoking woman is Legal & General at $25.87 a month. For a smoker, the same insurer offers a rate of $80.14 a month.

Costs of a 20-year, $250,000 term life policy for a 45-year-old in perfect health

Legal & General$32.42$25.87
Pacific Life$32.21$25.72
Lincoln Financial$50.53$39.38
Protective Life$32.92$26.25

*Based on sample rates from Policygenius, August 2019.

What is the typical cost of life insurance for 45-year-olds?

While life insurance underwriters do take your age into account when determining your rates, a healthy 45-year-old is not deemed too risky to insure. You’re in a good position to qualify for both coverage and preferred rates.

Life insurance companies tailor their rates to the individual. But according to our research, the typical cost for $500,000 of coverage in a 20-year term policy for a man in perfect health is $47.85 a month.

For a woman, the average cost for the same policy is $47.85 a month.

Case study

If you’re trying to decide whether it’s worth splurging on a higher level of coverage, here’s the good news. When you’re in your mid-40s, chances are it won’t be too much of a price difference.

Let’s look at a 45-year-old woman who doesn’t smoke. Our research shows a $250,000 policy with Legal & General — one of the cheapest insurers — will set her back just $25.87 a month. If she wants to boost her coverage to $500,000, that rate would climb to $44.62 a month. That’s less than $20 a month for double the protection.

And if she wants to leave a healthy inheritance to her kids or grandkids, she might consider purchasing a $1 million policy. Legal & General charges around $81.79 a month for that.

How much life insurance do I need around age 45?

To work out how much life insurance to buy, think about everything you pay for now and everything you can expect to pay for in the future. Then, consider taking out a policy to match those financial obligations. These could include a mortgage, car loan or college tuition. Our life insurance calculator can help you to calculate how much coverage you need.

If you’ve gotten married or divorced, received an inheritance, bought a new home or became a grandparent, it’s a good idea to re-evaluate your coverage to make sure you have enough.

What is my risk of dying in the next five years?

A typical, healthy 45-year-old has a long life ahead of them. According to life expectancy data, a woman’s risk of dying in the next five years is 1.21%. For a man, the figure climbs slightly to 1.88%.

To put this into context, let’s look at the average life expectancy in the US. A man who reaches 65 can expect to live until age 84.3, and a woman is likely to live until the age of 86.6. Of course, these are averages; about a quarter of 65-year-olds live past age 90.

Odds of dying for a 45-year-old

Within the next…MaleFemale
5 years1.88%1.21%
10 years4.80%3.07%
20 years14.88%9.34%
30 years32.74%22.47%

Life expectancy rates are merely calculations based on averages of mortality among specific population, gender and age groups. They do not predict the specific life expectancy of any one person - including you. If you're concerned about your overall health and risks, talk to your doctor or health professional.

Compare life insurance companies for 45-year-olds

Name Product Issue Ages Minimum Coverage Maximum Coverage Medical Exam Required State Availability
LadderLife™ Life Insurance
20 - 60 years old
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.
18 - 85 years old
Depends on provider and policy
All 50 states
Compare affordable quotes from 12+ A-rated life insurance companies side-by-side.
18 - 100 years old
This life insurance broker combines technology and the human touch to match you with a policy tailored to your needs.
21 - 54 years old
Not available in New York
Affordable 2-, 10- and 20-year term life insurance policies. Instant quotes and no medical exams.
20 - 85 years old
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.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

As a 45-year-old, you may be a breadwinner, business owner or someone with financial assets to protect, so buying life insurance is a smart move. Most people in their mid-40s opt for a term life insurance policy that will take them up to their retirement — usually 20 or 30 years. If you’re in good health, you can typically lock in a pretty low premium for a quarter- or half-million dollars in coverage.

There’s nothing more personal than life insurance. When you’re planning for the future, compare life insurance policies to find one that fits your needs.

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