What would you do if your loved one passed tomorrow? Or what would they do if you did? It's a morose topic, we know.
But as we get on in age, we need to think about and have answers to questions like that. If you have life insurance for seniors, then you know you can provide stability from beyond the grave.
But what if you don't have life insurance yet? It's not too late! You'll need to find a senior-friendly life insurance plan that you can afford. Don't know what you're looking for?
We can help.
1. Do You Need Life Insurance?
If you're a senior shopping for yourself, you probably think "well, I've gotten this far without it" and maybe you're right. Maybe you don't need life insurance, but you'd be a rare case.
Most people don't so much as need life insurance but want it to make their passing easier on everyone. Like if you have existing debts and any dependents.
We understand that it's hard to add another bill to your already hefty pile, but you're paying this forward. Maybe, once you're gone, your life insurance policy can help your surviving family members with their own financial obligations.
Or that your spouse, who is now living on their own, can move into a high quality assisted care center.
2. Do You Have Dependents?
When deciding if you need life insurance, ask yourself if there's anyone that depends on you. That could be your spouse who can't work or the savings account you contribute to for your grandkids.
If you die suddenly, are there enough resources to get your loved ones through? Having to dive right into "what are we going to do about finances" is especially hard while people are grieving (though it's never really easy).
Don't do that to your loved ones. Make sure you have protection so that they can mourn your death and not worry about paying bills.
3. Do You Have Unpaid Debt?
Do you have credit cards outstanding or haven't finished paying off your mortgage? The same goes for not leaving dependents hanging. If you die, any co-signer or spouse is still on the hook for the money you owe.
And if the loans or cards were in your name only, that owed money doesn't just go away. Someone has to pay it and the balance will go to your next of kin.
Imagine your loved one dying and being hit with the news that you just inherited thousands of dollars of debt. Not something you want to do anyone you love.
4. Do You Have Funeral or Burial Insurance?
Speaking of immediate costs, do you know what the average funeral costs? At the time this article was written in 2019, it was $7,000. In 2022, at the time this article was updated, those costs have skyrocketed to a minimum of $10,000.
That includes the cost to put on service, prepare your body, and carry out whichever burial service you've requested. The classic burial and headstone are the most expensive, but cremation costs are still up there.
If you don't have burial insurance or life insurance, your loved ones will have to come up with those funds in a week to two weeks after your death. That's not very long to gather that much cash.
5. Can You Cover End-of-Life Medical Expenses?
Thankfully in Canada, this question is rarely asked. The reason being is that as long as end-of-life drugs are administered in hospitals, hospices, long-term care homes and even individual homes, there is no cost to the drugs or the equipment required to facilitate an end-of-life situation.
6. Do You Want to Leave a Legacy?
If you weren't as successful as you wanted to be in life, you can still leave money to important people in your life once you're gone. You do that by dividing up your life insurance payout.
You can specify how you want your life insurance funds to be spent in your living will and trust.
This includes more than just important people in your life. Is there an organization you want to leave money to? A group or a research fund that you really care about?
Knowing that you could fund future research or provide opportunities makes that extra monthly bill worth it.
7. Which Term Is Right for You?
Not to be morose, but when you're shopping for life insurance as a senior, your term is shorter than normal. While a lot of life insurance plans are fifty years or longer, yours may only be ten or twenty years.
If you're sixty, how likely is it that you're going to need a fifty-year life insurance term? You'd have to live 110 to live out your term. It's unlikely, seeing as the average lifespan right now is around 85.
Instead, maybe you get a thirty-year policy. Now you're covered until you're 90 and if you make it till then, you can usually extend the coverage.
You'll just have to speak to your insurance provider about your longer-than-planned life.
Choosing Your Life Insurance for Seniors
Once you've asked yourself the seven questions above, you should know if you need life insurance. If you don't have it and you live the classic Canadian life - you probably do.
We hope this article about life insurance for seniors answered the questions you have. If it didn't, feel free to access the resources on our website.
Or you can call and talk to an insurance expert, for more personalized advice.
Want to get straight down to the nitty-gritty numbers? You can get a free quote here.