How Men’s Increasing Longevity Affects Life Insurance

As we age a lot of things change. Parts of our bodies start to sag, our portfolios start to grow (hopefully) and our insurance needs are altered. Life insurance is something that has to transform as we age to stay up-to-date.

coupleonbenchFor men, aging must now be considered more than it has in the past. A recent study from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation found that men are living longer and starting to close the age gap between themselves and women. They are also increasing their longevity at a faster pace than women. Between the years of 1989 and 2009, the IHME found that men added 4.6 years to their life expectancy while women only added 2.7 years in the same time period.

The reasons behind the increasing life expectancy in men are that they are living healthier lifestyles than in years past and are less likely to be obese than women. With these added years come new considerations and the need to plan for them. One such consideration is life insurance. Below are the factors likely to come into play with life insurance as a man ages.

The Possibility of Passing After Your Spouse

Many men name their spouse as the beneficiary of their life insurance policy, especially if they have children that are still minors. But now that men are beginning to narrow the life expectancy gap, they need to start planning for the possibility that their spouse may be the first to pass away. It’s always important to have a contingency plan for beneficiaries no matter what age you are, but as you get older this becomes increasingly more important.

Keeping Healthy to Keep the Cost of Insurance Low

If you haven’t gotten a life insurance policy yet or you have term life insurance that you intend to renew, your age will factor into the cost. The best thing you can do to offset the age increase is improve your health. It’s especially important to focus on heart health, exercise, eating right and kicking bad habits like smoking.

Naming Grandchildren as Benefactors

The older you get the more descendants you’re likely to have and the older they will be when you pass away. Many people who live to the average life expectancy and beyond have adult grandchildren that are a big part of their lives. It’s becoming more common for people to name their grandchildren as the beneficiaries of their life insurance policy.

Just keep in mind that naming your grandchildren as beneficiaries could come with additional taxes, like the Generation Skipping Tax. If the grandchildren are still minors when the life insurance policy is initiated, you’ll want to set up a trust in their name as well.

Budgeting for Life Insurance

Many people are having to reevaluate their budgets to reflect a longer lifespan. Life insurance is a budget item that has to be factored in. Depending on how your policy is written you may need to make monthly premiums for the entirety of your life so it doesn’t lapse. Consider the long-term costs and plan accordingly. You may be able to increase your premiums now while you’re still working so you can stop making payments at a later date or deposit a large lump sum to cover you well into retirement.

There are also tax incentives for certain types of life insurance policies, so speak with an insurance agent or financial adviser to understand all the ins and outs of how different options help you save during tax season. Our life insurance experts at Biscoe Insurance Group are happy to answer any questions about planning for life insurance as you age.


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