Long-Term Care Benefits, High Age Limits, And Guaranteed Issue Policies
In 10 years, all baby boomers will be at least 65 years old and entering a new phase in their lives – retirement. With this new phase comes new financial goals and challenges, including securing their own and their family’s financial futures.
Life insurance is one way to go about this, as it affords policyholders with the assurance that, should something happen to them – a disability, a terminal illness diagnosis, the need for long-term hospice care, even death – their family won’t be left to shoulder the financial burden.
But insurance gets more expensive as you age. In fact, insurance premiums increase three to five percent every year you get older. So how can baby boomers get that peace of mind without burning a hole through their pockets?
Thankfully, there are life insurance providers that cater to this demographic, offering affordable and easily accessible life insurance to those in their sunset years. Here, we look at four of the best insurers for baby boomers.
Understanding The Baby Boomer
Baby boomers are Americans who were born between 1946 and 1964. They’re preceded by the Silent Generation and succeeded by Gen X. Though they only take up 23 percent of the US population, baby boomers are considered the most economically influential demographic, with 70 percent of all disposable income controlled by the generation.
As of today, most baby boomers are entering or nestling into their retirement phase, with the youngest ones in their mid-50s and the oldest ones in their mid-70s. With this in mind, it may not seem necessary for baby boomers to purchase life insurance.
Generally, they have fewer years left to cover and fewer responsibilities too, as mortgage payments, debts, and dependents become less of a problem the older people get. This is compounded by the fact that insurance rates for baby boomers are much higher than rates for Gen X-ers and millennials.
But that doesn’t mean that this generation can’t benefit from life insurance. Here are some reasons why baby boomers should get life insurance anyway:
To provide their spouse or family with enough funds to cover expenses when they get sick or pass away
To cover final expenses, or end-of-life expenses such as hospital bills, hospice fees, medication, funeral costs, etc.
To provide for a disabled or special-needs adult dependent
To leave behind money for the children and grandchildren in their family
To cover long-term care expenses for chronic conditions, disabilities, and terminal illnesses
To aid in estate planning
What To Look For In A Life Insurance Provider
So what should baby boomers look for in an insurance provider? And how can they make the most of their coverage options?
Here are three factors to look into:
Policy, Coverage, And Riders
There are several different types of life insurance, from term life to permanent policies. Here are some of the most common ones:
Term life: A term policy provides coverage for a set number of years. As such, this is the simplest and most affordable type of life insurance. This suits baby boomers who may only want coverage for a few years and who don't want to be burdened with high premiums.
Whole life: This is a permanent policy that stays with you till the end of your life. With a whole life policy, you get a death benefit and cash value (an interest-earning account where you can grow your money). While this type of policy allows you to set aside savings and even withdraw money during your lifetime, the tradeoff is that it can cost up to nine times more than a term life insurance policy.
Universal life: This policy is similar to whole life insurance in that it provides permanent life insurance coverage and a cash value component. However, universal insurance also comes with flexible premiums and a cash benefit – excellent for those with irregular income streams.
Final expense: This type of insurance is meant for providing coverage for end-of-life expenses, such as medical bills, funeral costs, cremation, and the like. This usually provides lower coverage than your regular term life insurance plan.
Guaranteed issue: This is an excellent option for those who can’t pass medical exams due to underlying health conditions. With this policy, you're guaranteed coverage even if you're dealing with some health concerns that would otherwise be an issue to other life insurance providers. A downside to this policy, however, is that since it waives the medical exam requirement, it can be very expensive.
Riders are optional provisions that you can add to policies for additional benefits. Some riders to consider are:
Accelerated death benefit rider: This rider allows policyholders to access a portion of their death benefit in advance if ever they are diagnosed with a terminal illness. This can help you and your family deal with the financial burden of hospital bills and medication.
Accidental death rider: In the event of death due to an accident, the insured's family receives an additional predetermined payout on top of the agreed-upon death benefit.
Long-term care rider: For policyholders who require hospice care at the end of their lives, this rider provides them with monthly payments to assist with the costs.
Waiver of premium rider: Should you become disabled or lose your job due to an accident or disease, the company can waive future premiums up to a certain number of months. This can help a policyholder and their family get back on track with their finances while maintaining coverage.
As mentioned, premiums go up the older you get. But aside from age, health, gender, and lifestyle also play a part in premiums.
Essentially, the more you engage in risky behaviors, the more likely you are to receive higher rates. So if you're a smoker or if you've been diagnosed with a chronic illness, you may have a hard time finding life policies that are affordable.
Aside from the ease of requesting quotes, an integral component of the life insurance application process is the medical exam requirement. This requirement allows an insurer to determine just how much to charge their clients for premiums and what kinds of life policies can be made available to them.
For older folks, this is what gets in the way of attaining more coverage and lower rates. But some life insurance companies offer special life policies – called guaranteed issue policies – that waive the medical exam requirement and provide guaranteed acceptance at no additional cost.
The 4 Best Insurance Companies For Baby Boomers
Based on the factors we discussed above, here are the four best insurers for the baby boomer generation:
Mutual of Omaha
Mutual of Omaha offers affordable rates and high renewal age limits for people of all ages, making it a good choice for baby boomers. Mutual's term life is available to those between the ages of 18 and 80 and can be renewed till the age of 95.
Mutual also offers two whole life policies that will be favorable to senior and baby boomer applicants. Their guaranteed whole life coverage plan is a guaranteed issue permanent life policy that is available to clients 45 to 85 years of age and comes with no medical exam or health questionnaire requirements. The coverage limit is quite low, however, as customers can only get up to $25,000 in coverage for this. But if you're looking for an easily accessible and affordable final expense life insurance plan, this could work.
Mutual also offers a "Living Promise" whole life plan, which assures policyholders accelerated death benefits for terminal illnesses or nursing home care.
Principal Life Insurance
Principal Financial Service is an Iowa-based company that offers term and universal life insurance coverage. Their term life insurance comes in two variations.
First is the standard plan, which provides 10 to 30 years’ worth of life insurance coverage. Coverage ranges from $200,000 to $5 million and is available to those 20 to 80 years of age.
If you want something more short-term, you can opt for Principal's One-Year Term life, which provides 12 months of coverage starting at $200,000. This life insurance policy is available to those 20 to 99 years of age.
Another option for baby boomer customers is Principal's Survivorship Coverage universal policy, which provides coverage for two individuals for the price of one. This is an excellent option for those interested in estate planning.
Transamerica offers simple and straightforward term, whole, and universal life insurance policies. But the main draw for baby boomer clients is that they offer three options for final expense coverage.
The policies are guaranteed issue policies with no medical exam or health questionnaire requirements and can provide between $1,000 to $25,000 worth of coverage. Policies are available to those aged 0 to 85 years old.
Brighthouse offers an indexed universal insurance plan that comes with long-term care support in the form of SmartCare. With SmartCare, policyholders may choose to include a long-term care accelerated death benefit rider to help them cover things like hospice and assisted living costs. And since the plan is indexed, the LTC benefits can grow over time.
If you want short-term coverage, you can opt for Brighthouse's SimplySelect plan, which provides 10 to 30 years of coverage for up to $2 million worth of death benefits. This plan is available to anyone under the age of 95.
Finally, Brighthouse is also known for its hassle-free underwriting process. If you choose the Simple Underwriting option, your application can be processed in as little as 24 hours – all without medical exams and questions.
The Bottom Line
Those in the baby boomer generation are entering a new phase of their lives – a phase that comes with unique financial challenges. As such, it's important to find a life insurance company that can cater to your needs and help you care for your loved ones. You should also look for an insurer with considerations for age and health concerns, providing provisions for the inevitabilities that come later in life.
Not content with the options we provided? At Wesley Insurance, LLC, we make it our mission to help our customers find the best life insurance policies to suit their every need. Visit our website for more information about how we can help you achieve the best life insurance for you.