Getting older comes with a lot of perks and a lot of questions. You may be fully enjoying your years of retirement but still wondering about things like medical decisions and life insurance policies. Sometimes people mistakenly assume a senior citizen doesn’t need life insurance, or that they may not qualify for life insurance due to their age. The truth is there are more options than you realize when it comes to getting life insurance as you grow older. Many of the options out there will provide benefits you might not have considered yet. Knowing why life insurance is still beneficial to you even if you are over the age of 60 can make a huge difference to you and your loved ones both before and after you pass away. Here are five benefits life insurance has for seniors that can help you make a more informed decision.
1. It Keeps Your Loved Ones Out Of Debt
End of life care can cost thousands of dollars and without a proper plan in place, your loved ones can be stuck with daunting amounts of debt. If you end up needing prolonged care, the costs only increase each day. If you are married and your spouse is depending on your pension plan for income, you’ll need to make sure you know whether that income ends at death or not. The loss of income can also put your spouse in a precarious position of not knowing if they’ll be able to pay the bills without your income.
Life insurance policies can help cover the costs of your care and even include options for your spouse’s loss of income. Basically, you’re providing a way for your loved ones to continue living as stress-free as they possibly can even after you’re gone. Grief is already a very painful and long process, so taking some of the stress out of that time is a great reason to invest in a life insurance plan.
2. It Can Help Cover Funeral Expenses
The average funeral in 2019 costs around $9,000 for what most consider the basic services. This would include viewing and burial, basic service fees, transportation to the funeral home, a casket, embalming, and any other preparations that might be needed for unique circumstances. There are ways to lessen the cost of your funeral such as a direct burial, or cremation, but your family is still going to have expenses associated with these options as well.
Life insurance can also include final expense insurance. Final expense insurance works a lot like life insurance but is meant to cover only costs associated with your funeral or end of life plans. It’s just one less thing family members will have to think about when making arrangements and plans. This is especially true if your death is sudden and unexpected. Either way final expense insurance is a really helpful thing to have as part of your life insurance plans.
3. It Can Help Cover Long Term Care Expenses
You can add riders onto your life insurance policies for chronic and critical illnesses. These riders can be especially helpful for anyone still in their 60s, as long term care is likely to be much more costly if you develop a chronic illness at a younger age and need care for a longer period of time. Chronic and critical illness riders let you tap into some of the benefits of your life insurance prior to death.
Critical illness riders will focus on things like heart attack, stroke, ALS, cancer, renal failure, and even organ transplants. Chronic illness riders allow you to use some of your life insurance benefits while you’re still alive if your doctor verifies that you are unable to continue doing 2 or more activities of daily living on your own. Things like bathing, dressing, and even eating can fall into this category.
Usually, riders like this are very inexpensive, especially when comparing the costs you’d normally be facing with either a critical or chronic illness without this type of coverage. When you’re looking at your life insurance options make sure to keep additional riders in mind. It could be something that makes a huge difference in your quality of life if you end up needing long term care.
4. It Can Be Used For Low-Interest Loans
This isn’t an option everyone knows about but it’s still something to consider. Some policies will accumulate cash value which can be borrowed against for unexpected life expenses like a repair bill. These loans are usually very low-interest loans when compared to other loan products on the market. With the cost of living always on the rise, it’s hard to know if your retirement and pension plans will cover your expenses as you age. Having a back up like this could really come in handy especially when you’re least expecting it.
5. It Lets You Leave Your Legacy
Your life insurance policy will allow you to name beneficiaries. After your death, they will get the money you’ve set aside for them in your policy tax-free. This lets you leave a legacy with your loved ones. If your grandchild is a beneficiary you could be helping them pay for college without having to take out student loans. Other family members may be able to pay off their mortgage or high-interest loans they’ve taken out in their own name. While money won’t be your only legacy left with your family; giving them a gift like this can be something that leaves a mark for the rest of their life, and even generations to come.
Life insurance can be easy to overlook as you age. It’s easy to think only a young family would benefit from having a policy like that. But as you can see it’s as important as ever to have a life insurance policy in place even as you get older. By having one in place could potentially provide support for your family’s financial stability and quality of life. Consider the benefits you’ve read about here and explore some options! Your family will be grateful, and you’ll be able to know you’re taking care of your loved ones even after you’ve passed on.
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Gabe Nelson is a content specialist of over 7 years of experience, currently working for Insurance Geek. Just out of high school he set off crab fishing on the Bering Sea in Alaska. From there he went back home to finish his college degree at the University of Montana. He has a passion and keen understanding when it comes to life insurance inside and out. He has written hundreds of content pieces in numerous niches. Currently, he lives in Missouri with his wife and kids enjoying the peaceful town of St. Joseph.