A lot of factors need to be considered when shopping for or buying senior life insurance.
Although many of us buy life insurance for a number of reasons, buying insurance for someone aged over 60 years means looking into the needs of the senior at that particular moment, and times to come. These factors are a lot different compared to what you would consider for newly married couples or young adults.
Seniors have a different set of needs; needs that need to be considered to make the insurance cover meaningful. One therefore needs to have a defined purpose before deciding to buy this type of cover. Some of the objectives and reasons for buying for life insurance for seniors include:
1. Estate taxes
2. Outstanding Debts
3. Burial costs
4. Legacy and giving of gifts
5. Pension maximization
6. Charitable donations
One of the primary concerns/reasons for buying life insurance is the initial burial costs. Studies show that at least 46 million people are aged over 65, with the number expected to double over the next few years. The life expectancy of this group of baby boomers is increasing, and so is the financial responsibility of them living longer.
Living longer means the retirement benefits will need to cover this person through the retirement age. This also means the senior will have more medical needs, a critical factor in the cost of living for seniors. What this means is that the folks will use much of their hard earned money in their lifetime, thus fewer reserves to pay for other liabilities including unpaid medical bills and burial insurance costs after they are gone.
On another note, those with large estates have more concerns on their hands. Inheritance, succession, and estate taxes are some of the key concerns here. According to the IRS, estates worth more than $5, 450, 000 attract a 40% surcharge on interest rates. This was as of 2016.
Since most seniors are not concerned about income replacement with many unable to work or retired, looking for a way to protect their income is always recommended. Experts recommend using a pension maximization plan to ensure the pensioner continues to get his/her pension years after retiring. This method works by using a small percentage of the pensioner’s income to pay for senior life insurance. This ensures the senior leaves some bit of income/money to survivors upon death.
If you however aren’t concerned about maxing out your pension plan, or estate, but still want to donate a piece of it, or leave a gift to the family, having life insurance for seniors is still a credible option. One of the advantages of leaving a gift for your loved ones is that the death benefit is both tax-free and leveraged. This enables you to leave a lasting legacy to beneficiaries for many more years.
Whatever your concerns are, you need to know which insurance plan is best for you and your loved ones. The plan’s value should, however, be the main reason for buying life insurance in the first place.
How to Get the Most Out Of a Life Insurance Plan for Seniors
Once certain of your needs for a life insurance plan, you can then start figuring out what you want from the same. You however should focus more on getting the best value possible regardless of whatever laid plans you may have.
Take some time to discuss the benefits of each insurance plan with the insurance agent, and only go for the policy that gives you the best value for your money, promptly. If all you need is to have burial costs taken care of, you then should go for the burial life insurance policy. Also known as the final expense plan, this policy is straightforward and the most affordable plan anyone can go for.
Several other factors however have to be considered if looking for more than just burial expenses taken care of. You however need to be concerned about:
a. Buying guarantee ” the policy should never lapse for as long as premiums are paid on time
b. Immediate payouts ” understanding the waiting period
c. Health and physical well-being
d. Age ” How it will affect your capacity to buy life insurance
These are four of the critical factors to consider when choosing a life insurance plan for seniors. While you indeed are eligible for benefits, you wouldn’t want to outlive the policy either. Check with different senior life and health insurance brokers to see the preferred policy is available, and whether it is worth your money.
Price is the most influencing factor for many people. This ideally depends on a person’s purchasing power, though one needs to buy the most affordable insurance plan with the least premiums while getting maximum benefits from the same.
How much one is willing/can pay for an insurance policy (without stretching your finances too far) is another crucial factor to consider. Ideally, you should only buy an insurance policy you can service comfortably, and within your budget. Knowing how much you can spend on an insurance policy is crucial.
Premium to benefit ratio
Using simple mathematical knowledge and common sense, calculate how much you will get for every dollar invested in life insurance. Although you may not know when you will die, you can certainly tell how much in lump sum your beneficiaries will get and whether the lump sum will cover all funeral expenses. Taking such factors into consideration should enable you to make a more educated decision on the best plan for you.
A good example of such policies is a $25,000 burial policy (costing $10 per month) and a $30,000 policy (costing $35 per month). The best pick in this scenario is the $25,000 burial policy for it costs less, for more.
Efficiency, in this scenario, is how well your money is transferred for the most critical purpose. Life insurance, in essence, is a means of moving the little money you have now to enable heirs to benefit from it several years into the future. It is however worth noting that, life insurance policies aren’t created equal. Here is an example of how different life insurance policies work.
A couple has $25,000 earmarked for their heirs upon their death. One of them, however, discovers they could utilize life insurance to enable their children to get a more substantial lump sum. Upon contacting several insurance agents, she is left with two viable options.
1. Buy a life insurance cover for each of them
2. Buy a single life policy for both of them ” only pays after both of them are deceased.
From the options outlined above, the next best option is to buy a single policy covering both of them. This way, the cost of insurance will be spread over the two lives, which also reduces the chances of earlier payout should one pass away earlier than the other. This creates a scenario commonly known as survivorship policy.