Life Insurance

Top reasons to get life insurance in yours 50s

Oct 19, 2023
grandpa and grandson playing together
If you're in your 50s, you may feel like it’s way too late (and expensive) to get life insurance, but that’s a misconception. It sounds cliche, but there’s no deadline for taking measures to improve your financial security. In fact, as you approach retirement and face evolving life circumstances, having a safety net becomes even more critical.

You may have put off getting life insurance for a lot of different reasons. Maybe you started a family later in life, as is becoming more common. Perhaps up until now, you had competing financial priorities that made it challenging to think about adding in another expense. Or you might have assumed that because of a health condition you wouldn’t qualify.  

Whatever the reason, it’s never too late to research your life insurance options, even if you’re in your 50s. Here are some questions to consider as you think about your future finances.

How would my loved ones get by financially without me?

It’s not a happy topic to think about, but it’s something you should consider nonetheless. If you have dependents, such as a non-working spouse, children, or even aging parents, a life insurance policy can help them with financial stability in the event of your untimely passing. 

This is particularly crucial if your loved ones rely on your income for their daily expenses or if you're planning to contribute to future financial goals like your children's education or a grandchild’s upbringing.

Would I be leaving behind a lot of debt?

A study based on data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Household Debt and Credit report found that at age 50, the average American has $86,994 in debt. Now ask yourself: Would you really want to leave a burden of that size for your loved ones to deal with?

Even in your 50s, many people still have significant debts, such as a mortgage, car loan, credit cards, or even personal loans. A life insurance policy can help ensure these debts do not become a financial headache for your family who would already be grieving your untimely loss. With a death benefit payment, they might be able to take care of these obligations without any added financial strain.

Wonder how much coverage you need?
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Who would cover my end of life expenses?

The cost of funeral services can be surprisingly high. In fact, as per the National Funeral Directors Association, average funeral costs including plot reached over $11,000 in 2023. A bill like that could make an already difficult situation even more strenuous. Life insurance can help cover these final expenses so it’s one less thing for loved ones to worry about.

What does my retirement income look like?

Certain types of life insurance, like whole life insurance, come with a cash value component that can supplement your retirement income. These policies allow a portion of your premiums to accumulate as cash value, and over time, this cash value can grow. With a sufficient balance, you can draw from this cash value as an extra income source, helping to make your retirement more comfortable.

Do I want to leave behind a legacy?

Life insurance can also help you leave a legacy. It might be leaving your heirs with a financial cushion, or even making a sizable donation to a charity or cause you care about. Thus, life insurance can also act as a tool to help you make a lasting impact even after you're gone.

Is the cost of life insurance worth it after 50?

Life insurance premiums are typically higher once you reach age 50 or more, but it can still be a worthwhile investment. (If you’re reading this and you’re still in your 30s or 40s, you might want to jump on an insurance policy now.) Work with your financial advisor to discuss what type of coverage might work best for you, and then speak with an insurance company to navigate the various life insurance options to get a customized rate quote that fits your budget.

Take the next step

Obtaining life insurance in your 50s is a significant step towards helping to ensure your loved ones' financial security and managing your financial obligations. From helping to provide a safety net for dependents to aiding in estate planning and retirement, the benefits of securing a life insurance policy at this stage of life may outweigh the slightly higher cost you may pay for your policy. 

Though premiums may be higher, the peace of mind and financial security offered by life insurance are invaluable.

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ChatGPT was used for idea generation, but the author made significant modifications and takes ultimate responsibility for the content.

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