How much is life insurance for a 55 year old male?
Life insurance for a 55 year old male is dependent on a number of factors, including your age, health, the term length, coverage amount, and type of policy.
What factors affect life insurance premiums?
There are a number of factors that can affect life insurance premiums for a 55 year old male—some surprising and some not so surprising.
Age is the largest contributing factor and probably the one everyone is most aware of. Quite simply, the older you are, the more expensive your life insurance premiums will be. Unfortunately, because most people don't think about life insurance until they're married or have kids or other dependents, they may not purchase life insurance until it becomes quite expensive. On the other hand, there's usually not a good reason to purchase life insurance if you're young and single because other people aren't depending on your income. If you're single and you die, people will hopefully be sad, but they won't be sad because you were providing for them and lost their source of income.
You can think about age this way: if you're 20 years old, your premium will be lower because the insurance company isn't anticipating paying out your policy for potentially many decades. Therefore, they're not taking on as much risk as insuring someone who is 50 and is much more likely to die sooner into the policy than the 20 year old.
This one might surprise people. Gender is one of the larger contributing factors to life insurance premiums. Unfortunately, life expectancy for men is shorter than women everywhere in the world, so if you're a man you can expect to pay more. If you're a woman, not only are you expected to live longer, but you'll also likely save some money on your life insurance policy compared to your male counterparts. Lucky you!
Put another way, if you're a 55 year old male, you can expect to pay more than a 55 year old female.
Most people are aware that smoking is a huge warning sign to insurers and will make your life insurance premiums skyrocket. Why? Because smoking can quite literally kill you, and the life insurance company is more likely to be on the hook for your policy payout sooner rather than later. Even if you've quit smoking, you can expect a higher premium, especially if you've quit in the previous 5 or 10 years.
That life insurance companies take your health into account probably isn't surprising, but did you know most companies require a physical exam as part of their approval process? You can't just fill out a form saying that you're in tip-top shape and that they should trust you to be healthy and live forever.
If your medical exam shows that you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, or even that you're overweight, your rates will be higher than if you were in good health.
This applies to other, more serious health conditions as well. If you have cancer, Parkinson's disease, or liver disease, your rates will be higher.
And yes, some companies do offer "no exam" policies, but your rates will be higher because they must make the assumption that you may have some underlying conditions and therefore charge more in case you die sooner rather than later. It's better to just be honest, take the medical exam, and get your health under control if possible. It will not only help you live longer, but it can lower your life insurance rates too.
Keep in mind that if, for example, you're obese or have high cholesterol, you could potentially lose weight or lower your cholesterol and apply for a reconsideration or re-rating process in order to try to get a lower rate. Hey, it couldn't hurt to get healthy and ask!
This is a fun one. Most people don't think about it, but if you have a dangerous hobby like skydiving or bungee jumping, your rates will be higher.
Dangerous professions can also raise your rates. For example, if you're a miner, logger, or roofer, which are all considered some of the most dangerous jobs, you can expect to pay life insurance. Most people won't change their career just to save on life insurance rates, but it's worth being aware of how your job can affect your premiums.
Family medical history
Did your dad have cancer? Brother had a heart attack at 55? Your life insurance company will want to know, and all of this information will affect your policy.
This might be the most surprising one on the list. Insurance companies can ask about your driving record as part of the application process, but even if they don't they can access state records to find out if you've had DUIs or even traffic or moving violations. Drive safely and your rates will be better!
Type of policy
While there are a handful of types of life insurance, the two most popular are term life and whole life, and the one you choose will have an affect on how much you'll pay.
For term life, your policy will cover you for a fixed amount of time. Common lengths are 10, 20, and 30 years. The longer your term lasts, the more expensive it will be. Pretty simple, right?
Whole life covers you for your entire life and provides a cash-value account that you can access later in life.
It's probably obvious but term life is cheaper than whole life because it doesn't last as long.
This one is pretty easy. A insurance policy that pays out a death benefit of $100,000 will be cheaper than one that pays out $500,000. The more coverage you have, the more you will pay.
How much life insurance do I need?
The amount of life insurance you need depends on a number of factors, but a common estimate is 10 times your annual income. For example, if you're 55 years old and make $75,000 a year, your policy should be 10 times that, or $750,000. However, this doesn't take into account your specific financial situation.
Let's say you make $75,000 a year but your partner makes $250,000 a year. If you're living well below your means and you anticipate that your future expenses will be smaller than they are currently, maybe you don't need a $750,000 policy. However, if you make $75,000 a year, your spouse doesn't work, and you have two kids that will be in college in 10 years, maybe you need a larger policy. It all comes down to what your personal financial situation looks like.
Pre-existing conditions that may affect life insurance premiums for a 55 year old male
If you have a pre-existing condition, life insurance rates could be significantly higher because the insurer is taking on more risk. The following is a list of common pre-existing conditions with links to information about life insurance for each:
- Alzheimer's disease
- Bipolar disorder
- Breast cancer
- Cancer in remission
- Cerebral palsy
- Chronic disease
- Colon cancer
- Crohn's disease
- Cystic fibrosis
- Former smoker
- Former tobacco user
- Heart disease
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Hodgkin lymphoma
- Liver disease
- Lung cancer
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- Pancreatic cancer
- Parkinson's disease
- Prostate cancer
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Skin cancer
- Sleep apnea
- Testicular cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Tobacco user
- Tourette syndrome
- Traumatic brain injury
- Type 1 diabetes
- Type 2 diabetes
The information on this page is intended to be an educational reference and is not to be taken as medical advice. If you think you're having a medical emergency, please call 911 immediately.