Life insurance for 59-year-olds: Is it worth it? |

Life insurance for 59-year-olds

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Plan for the unexpected and sign up for life insurance while good rates are still within reach.

By your 59th birthday, you’ve probably gone through your wealth-building phase. A life insurance policy can help you to protect everything you’ve worked so hard for, like your family, your financial assets and your business, if you have one.

What is the best life insurance policy for 59-year-olds?

We recommend: Term life insurance

The majority of 59-year-olds choose a 10- or 20-year term life policy. Term life is the most basic form of protection, but for many 59-year-olds, it makes sense — they have less debts and more wealth, and they’re putting more money toward their 401ks and IRAs. By choosing term life and continuing to build up a nest egg, policyholders offer their families financial security while planning for their own future.

If you’re purchasing life insurance for estate planning purposes, a permanent policy might suit you better. Though it’s more expensive, it provides lifelong protection and accumulates cash value. Many term policies come with the option to convert before the policy ends or by age 70, so if you change your mind, you can switch to a permanent policy later on.

A great pick: Policygenius

Selecting the right insurance policy at the right price is an important decision. That’s why we recommend Policygenius. Policygenius allows you to size up quotes from top-rated providers side-by-side, ensuring that you walk away with the absolute best rate.

Get a quote on Policygenius

Which is the cheapest life insurance provider for 59-year-olds?

Let’s use a $250,000, 20-year term policy as an example. According to our research, the cheapest life insurance providers for a 59-year-old nonsmoking man tend to be Banner Life at $99.11 a month. As always, smokers pay more for life insurance — in this case, the best rate is around $339.70 a month from these same providers.

For a 59-year-old nonsmoking woman, the most cost-effective option may be Protective Life Insurance, which tends to charge $70.52 a month. If you smoke, Banner Life might offer a rate of $250.60 a month.

Monthly costs of a 20-year, $250,000 term life policy for a 59-year-old in perfect health

Banner Life$99.11$71.72
Pacific Life$99.39$71.73
Lincoln Financial Group$168.11$137.7
Protective Life$99.12$70.52

What is the typical cost of life insurance for 59-year-olds?

Life insurance underwriting is complex, and the rate you’re offered is a result of a range of factors, such as your age, health, family history, occupation and lifestyle. It also depends on whether or not you opt for a no-exam policy. While purchasing a policy in your late-50s is more expensive than it is in your early- and mid-50s, preferred rates may still be within reach.

According to our research, for a 59-year-old nonsmoking man in perfect health, the typical cost for $500,000 of coverage in a 20-year term policy — one of the most popular policy options — is $200.02 a month. Over 20 years, this totals $48,005.66, with an expected value of $191,813.78.

If we look at that same policy for a 59-year-old nonsmoking woman, the average cost is around $140.15 a month. This adds up to $33,635.31 over the life of the policy, with an expected value of $137,914.23.

Case study

As you’re comparing life insurance policies, you’ll notice the prices between policy coverage can be steep. On the flipside, you’re probably at a stage of your life where $50 to $100 a month doesn’t put a huge dent in your savings.

If you’re undecided about how much coverage to buy, this case study might put the policies into perspective.

Let’s look at a 59-year-old nonsmoking woman. Based on our research, a $250,000, 20-year term policy with Protective Life, one of the cheapest life insurance providers, tends to cost $70.52 a month. To increase that coverage to $500,000, that same provider might charge $126.42 a month — a price difference of $55.90 for double the coverage.

To boost coverage to $1 million, there’s more of a price hike, with Protective Life charging $241.23 a month.

How much life insurance do I need by age 59?

When you’re crunching the numbers, consider your financial needs now and in the near future. If you’ve had a life insurance policy in the past, chances are your situation has changed in more ways than one. You might have paid off your mortgage, gotten remarried and covered your kids through college. You may have bought a second home or welcomed grandkids. Typically, as you age, you have fewer debts and more wealth or financial assets. If that’s the case for you, be careful of buying too much life insurance. Use our life insurance calculator to determine just how much you need.

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

You’ve lived a long, eventful life already, and you can expect to hit a few more milestones. Based on our life expectancy data, if you’re a typical 59-year-old man, your risk of dying in the next five years is 5.96%. For women, the figure is lower at 3.57%.

To give you an idea of the average life expectancy in the US, a man who turns 65 years old is likely to live until 84.3, while a woman can expect to reach age 86.6. Remember, these are averages; about a quarter of 65-year-olds will live past 90.

Though age is a life insurer’s number one consideration, you’re probably still in a good position to get coverage. If you’re free from major health conditions like heart disease and diabetes, you’re likely not deemed too risky to insure. That being said, the rates tend to jump from year to year when you’re in your 50s and 60s, so if you’re thinking of signing up for a life insurance policy, you might not want to wait too long.

Odds of dying for a 59-year-old

Within the next…MaleFemale
5 years5.96%3.57%
10 years13.75%8.69%
20 years38.36%27.58%
30 years75.55%63.55%

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.

Bottom line

Most people in their late-50s go for a term life policy that takes them up until their retirement, when they’ve paid off most — if not all — of their debts. If you’re in good health, you’ll probably be offered a good premium for $250,000 or $500,000 in coverage. After 60, life insurance providers are less lenient.

The best life insurance policy for you is the one that’s tailored to your needs. Don’t take shortcuts — compare life insurance policies to find the right fit.

Name Product Issue Ages Coverage Range Medical Exam Required State Availability
18 - 85 years old
$10,000 to $10,000,000+
Depends on provider and policy
All 50 states
Compare quotes from 16 life insurance companies side by side.
18 - 64 years old
$100,000 to $3,000,000
All 50 states
Customized term life insurance policies up to $3 million, no medical exam required.
20 to 60 years old
$100,000 to $8,000,000
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 - 60 (or 55 for smokers)
$50,000 to $350,000
Lifefy is not available in the following states: Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Utah, Virginia, Washington
Offers quick, affordable and completely paperless solutions. Coverage up to $350,000. Only available in 38 states.
21 - 54 years old
$50,000 to $1,000,000
Not available in Alaska or New York
Affordable 2-, 10- and 20-year term life insurance policies. Instant quotes and no medical exams.
25 - 60 years old
$100,000 to $5,000,000
Available in all states except for Montana
Offers term life insurance with accelerated underwriting. No-exam coverage up to $1,000,000 for those who qualify.
18 - 80 years old
$50,000 to $25,000,000
Depends on provider and policy
All 50 states
Get a quote within minutes from more than a dozen insurers.

Compare up to 4 providers

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