Term and Whole Life Insurance at Age 50

by Chris Huntley

In order to find the best quotes for life insurance at age 50, you should start off with understanding the different types of policies available to you.  Perhaps you’ve heard of term life insurance, whole life insurance or universal life insurance.  Which type of life insurance is best at 50 years old?  In my experience, 90% of individuals in their fifties will only need 10, 15, or 20 years of term life insurance coverage.

Term life insurance is suitable for most 50 year olds because life insurance is usually purchased to replace lost income from your job.  If your time horizon to keep working is just 10 to 20 years, most people will only keep their insurance in force for as long as they work.  Many people at age 50 will also purchase a term life insurance policy to cover debt, such as a business loan, auto or credit card loan, but most commonly, a home mortgage.  Even if this is the case, term life may still be the answer, because if you think in the future 15 to 20 years, your loan on your home, automobile, or business may be paid off, or almost certainly paid down.

At 50 years old, you should be in the prime earning years of you life, and hopefully are investing and putting away money for retirement.  So to sum up my reasons for why 90% of people at 50 only need temporary term coverage, if you look 15 to 20 years in the future, most of them will be retired or close to retiring, have more money in savings than ever, and have their debts paid down or paid off.  If this is what your future most likely looks like, term is probably your answer.

Some 50 year olds need a more permanent answer, however.  Perhaps you are receiving or planning on receiving a pension or social security benefits that do not have survivor benefits, and your spouse will depend on that income.  Term won’t work here.  For others, you just want to leave an inheritance to your spouse or children, so your life insurance need has nothing to do with income replacement.  You need permanent coverage.  And then those are those affluent families and individuals who have sizeable estate values, who need life insurance to pay estate taxes to Uncle Sam that would otherwise be paid from their estate.  That also calls for a permanent solution.  In all these examples, I recommend a policy that will cover you for your whole life called guaranteed universal life to age 120.

How much can a 50 year old expect to pay for life insurance?

Below see life insurance rates for a healthy, male age 50 who is also a non smoker, for 10 year term, 20 year term, and 30 year term life insurance from $100,000 coverage to $1 Million policy.

                                        $100,000   $250,000   $500,000   $1,000,000
10 Year Term                        $16.88    $30.89    $56.55    $103.53
15 Year Term                        $21.75    $41.98     $77.44    $147.44
20 Year Term                       $26.22    $52.64     $97.04    $187.35
Guaranteed to age 120      $81.25    $187.33  $364.17  $717.92

The quotes or rates above assume preferred health as of 12/27/2010 and are subject to change.  If the 50 year old man is in excellent health, the premiums would be a bit less expensive.  If the insured was a woman rather than a man, and all else was equal, the rate would be a bit cheaper as well.  If the man age 50 takes some medications for well controlled blood pressure, cholesterol, or mild anxiety, the quote may be accurate.  Some common high risk medical issues that can drop the applicant out of preferred status could be diabetes type 2, being obese or overweight, history of heart disorders such as replaced valve, coronary artery disease, or a need for a pacemaker.  Cigarette smokers life insurance is also more expensive.  For standard non smoker for 50 year old term life insurance, use “regular” in our instant quote form on the right and return of premium quotes are also available.

*Written by Chris Huntley. Huntley Wealth Insurance and its representatives do not give legal or tax advice. Please consult your own legal or tax adviser.
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Chris Huntley
Chris Huntley is the owner of Huntley Wealth Insurance, a San Diego life insurance agency. You can find him on Google + and Facebook. Over the past 8 years, Chris has consulted with over 2000 individuals about their insurance needs. He is a proud husband and father to three adorable girls.
Chris Huntley
Chris Huntley

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

chong lor December 28, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Please e-mail with application for 20yr term life insurance policy.


Chris January 5, 2011 at 2:00 am

Hello Mr. Lor,
I’m happy to do so. For which company and how much are you applying for?


Michelle July 31, 2013 at 12:23 am

Hi Chris. I just read your advice above. Can a 50 year old female ( Great Health , Thank God!) still get Universal life insurance?


Chris Huntley July 31, 2013 at 11:46 am

Hey Michelle,
Yes, assuming you can qualify health wise. I’ll send you an email.


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