When you think of life insurance, you probably don’t think of baby boomers.
They don’t need it, right? It’s for people with debts or fledgling families. You’re supposed to buy it when you’re young! Baby boomers weren’t coming of age in the Great Recession, so they’re financially set and don’t need a safety net. And while any or all of those might be the case, it’s not always true. Baby boomers might still need life insurance for a variety of reasons. And because of their age and health, it can be a particular challenge for them to get it. Fortunately, it’s not impossible. By knowing how and where to shop, baby boomers can get the life insurance protection they need. Here’s how.
The best life insurance companies for baby boomers
It’s definitely possible for baby boomers to get life insurance, but it comes with a few caveats. Depending on the coverage amount and length, carriers may be wary about providing a policy. Life insurance companies also err on the side of caution due to health conditions (we get less healthy as we age; it happens).
That’s why, in addition to choosing the right carrier – one that will accommodate any health conditions – baby boomers should also choose the right policy. We’ve got some sample quotes below from carriers for $250,000, 10-year policies. That’s less than you’d see for many, say, 30-year-olds, but should meet the needs of most baby boomers.
|Carrier||Age 60||Age 65||Age 70|
|Protective||$60.20 / $700.00||$104.13 / $1,225.00||$184.04 / $2,140.00|
|Pacific Life||$60.35 / $709.99||$104.13 / $1,225.11||$182.06 / $2,141.92|
|AIG||$70.84 / $819.00||$115.61 / $1,336.50||$195.01 / $2,076.50|
|Banner Life||$65.41 / $747.50||$109.59 / $1,252.50||$196.00 / $2,240.00|
|Principal||$61.69 / $705.00||$106.97 / $1,222.50||$178.06 / $2,035.00|
|Prudential||$65.19 / $745.00||$116.38 / $1,330.00||$200.38 / $2,290.00|
|Mutual of Omaha||$71.75 / $820.00||$121.41 / $1,387.50||N/A|
|Transamerica||N/A||$133.52 / $1,552.50||N/A||SBLI||$68.32 / $785.25||$109.10 / $1,254.00||$195.01 / $2,241.50|
*Based on New Jersey rates for a healthy male
Knowing which carriers offer more affordable rates is a good start when shopping for life insurance. After that, you can find out which carriers are the best for certain health conditions and find the perfect match for you.
Why baby boomers might still need life insurance
For most baby boomers, they’re past the point of needing life insurance. They have their house paid off, their kids already graduated college, and they’re close to (or already in!) retirement. They’re just enjoying their golden years now.
But there are times when baby boomers might still need life insurance. For example, they may not have considered funeral costs in their financial planning, which can be several thousand dollars. Or the Great Recession may have set them back a bit and they still need a small safety net. Or they have co-signed credit cards or other debts they don’t want their family to deal with. Or they want money to leave to their kids and grandkids. Or maybe they want to be able to cover long-term care expenses.
The point is, life insurance isn’t just a young person’s game. There are plenty of reasons for baby boomers to buy life insurance, which is why it’s important that they choose the right company.
Other life insurance options
We talk about term life insurance a lot on PolicyGenius, and for good reason. For most people, it provides the coverage they need at an affordable rate.
But term life insurance costs increase by an average of 8-10% every year it’s put off. Take a look at these rates for millennials and Gen X-ers. Baby boomers are paying a lot more for their life insurance than younger generations.
That’s when a different type of life insurance might come in handy – specifically, policies that don’t require a medical exam. Some types of no medical exam life insurance include:
Note that life insurance companies use the medical exam to properly set rates. By forgoing it, applicants pay more – maybe more than for a term life insurance policy. But unlike a traditional term life insurance, where particularly old or poor applicants may be rejected, you’re much more likely to be accepted.
If you’re unable to get a term life insurance policy it’ll cost you more to get a different type, but having some protection is better than none for those who really need it.
Riders for baby boomers to consider
Riders are additions to life insurance policies – either add-ons for an extra cost, or features built into the policy – that let the policyholder tailor it to their needs. There are a lot of riders to choose from, but there are a couple that might be particularly attractive to baby boomers.
The first is a long-term care rider. This rider allows you to use the death benefit early in order to pay for long-term care services like nursing needs.
Another is an accelerated death benefit rider. With this rider, if you become terminally ill, you can access the death benefit to pay for medical costs rather than saddling your loved ones with debt.
Finally, consider a term conversion rider. If you are lucky enough to qualify for a term life insurance policy but the insurer will only approve a short term, this will turn the policy into a whole life insurance policy, meaning it stays in effect for as long as you pay the premiums. Most term life insurance policies come with a conversion feature built in, but it’s good to be aware of so you know what options you have when the policy term ends.
There are a lot of topics that seem to boil down to millennials vs baby boomers – eating avocado toast, owning a house, ringing doorbells – but there’s one thing people of every generation have in common: They just might need life insurance, and they need to get it from a company that works for them.
Check out our list of the best life insurance companies for everyone here.