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How life insurance can benefit seniors

Despite conventional wisdom, life insurance can benefit seniors, too. Getty Images/iStockphoto

Life insurance is generally thought to be advantageous for a wide variety of American adults.

Whether you're young and single, older and married or somewhere in the middle with children, the benefits of having a life insurance policy are multiple and significant. It's even more beneficial if you own a home, have debt or are anticipating major expenses in the future. Those benefits, however, range substantially and are often specific to the individual policyholder's personal financial situation and long-term goals.

One group that is often not thought of as benefiting from life insurance protections is senior citizens. Because of the sometimes costly price of securing a (minimal) policy at an advanced age, it's thought that life insurance isn't worthwhile.

But, just like all of the other groups mentioned above, life insurance can benefit seniors, too. It just may not be for the same reasons as those in other demographics.

If you're a senior considering life insurance then start by getting a free price quote online so you know exactly what to expect. 

How life insurance can benefit seniors

The pros of having a life insurance policy for seniors are often specific to each individual. Here are three benefits that are broadly applicable:

It can leave a nest egg for beneficiaries

If you're a senior with little to no savings to pass on or a home to leave your family, then a life insurance policy may be able to help. For a relatively inexpensive cost each month (premiums range based on age and health), you may be able to secure a policy for tens of thousands of dollars. That could then be left to your beneficiaries in the event of your death.

Granted, a policy worth $20,000-$30,000 may not sound like a lot, particularly when payouts range up to and past $1,000,000. But it's still better than nothing. If it can be locked in at a low rate then it's probably worth pursuing.

Answer a few simple questions online now to get a free price estimate

It can cover end-of-life expenses

A death in the family is already difficult to deal with. But the financial burden caused by end-of-life expenses like a wake, funeral and burial compound the issue.

Fortunately, a conservative life insurance policy in an amount that can cover these costs may be available for many seniors. Considering that the coverage amount is minimal compared to more robust, comprehensive policies, the premium tied to such a policy can potentially be affordable. 

Know what you can afford and then see if you can get coverage for that amount. It may not be a policy worth millions but that's not what you'd need for these sorts of expenses anyway.

It can help pay down debt

What will your financial situation look like after your death? If there will be significant outstanding debt left to your loved ones then you may want to get a life insurance policy to help make those payments.

Life insurance can be used for almost anything so if you get a plan now and wind up paying down the debt before you have passed you can always cancel the plan - or keep it and have your beneficiaries use it for something else.

But if you have significant debt with no clear pay-off date? It may make sense to secure a policy now so they know they won't get stuck with costly payments. Compare rates and providers now by using the table below

The bottom line

Life insurance for seniors is often thought of as expensive and not worth it. But as shown above, depending on your personal circumstances and goals, a policy may be both cost-effective and valuable.

Do the math, review your options and speak to a life insurance provider to determine if it makes sense for you. 

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