You are not in your twenties or thirties any longer. But, the good news is, that in your fifties life insurance rates are still very affordable and coverage fairly easy to get.
With men and women nowadays living well into their eighties, life insurance companies are not as reluctant to issue a policy to a 55 year old as they were in years past.
Ask any expert and they will tell you to pick a life insurance policy that is about ten times your annual income. If you make $50,000 a year, you need a life insurance policy worth approximately $500,000.
There are two options with life insurance: term life or whole life. Term life policies are less expensive. They last for a set number of years, usually 20, and then must be renewed at the going rate for the age you are at time of renewal. Whole life policies lock in a rate for life, but cost more. Your payment is larger because some of it goes into an account on which you can draw interest. Often, the interest rates are pathetically low, so you do not make much money on this type of policy.
All insurance policies ask you questions about your lifestyle and habits. If you smoke, that will drive the cost up. If you smoke only on special occasions, your rates will be the same as a chain smoker. To an insurance company, smoking is smoking. It's easier to give up smoking completely than pay the extra.
It is also important to be truthful. If you do smoke and lie and say you don't, the insurance company can deny payment if you die of a smoking-related illness. Common policy amounts for people in their fifties are from $100,000 to $500,000, with some special cases going over a million.
With the advent of the Internet, selecting life insurance is now easier than ever. There are sites that do all the comparison shopping for you. You answer a few basic health questions and they do the rest. No matter which company you select, it is usually common practice for a medical professional to come to your home and run a few exams - weight, blood pressure, pulse, cholesterol, drug test and liver function.
The exam will not cost you a penny and can help ensure you get the lowest price on a life insurance plan. A few minutes time can guarantee your family is protected if anything happens to you.