What Is the Best Age to Buy Life Insurance (For Men)?
We hear a lot of excuses for putting off life insurance:
“I know I need life insurance for my family, but I’m not going to die anytime soon.”
“Why should I spend money on life insurance now when I can just wait until I really need it?”
“I do not want to wait until the insurance is too expensive to buy, and I know that it is best to buy insurance when I am healthy, but I don’t want to waste money if I don’t have to.”
Even though everyone wants to protect their family, they also want to get a great deal. You want to know that you get the best value for your investment. We understand, we do too.
Because of these concerns, it is probably no surprise that the most common question we get is:
“When is the cut off and the best age for life insurance when a man can still get a good deal on life insurance?”
The right time to buy life insurance should not be based on your age… it should be based on your need.
In the guide below, you will learn how to maximize your money for the best life insurance investment. Timing is important as you will learn below, but thinking through your needs is the most important decision when it comes to life insurance. The guide will help you do this.
Quick Article Guide
Here’s what we'll cover in this post:
- Plan Ahead When Buying Life Insurance
- Explanation of Life Insurance Rates for Men
- Buy Life Insurance While You are Still Young, and Pay Less
- Getting Coverage Past Retirement Age
- Life Insurance Cut Off Ages for Males – 30 Year Terms
- Buying Insurance While You Are Healthy
- Life Insurance Income Qualifications Revealed
- We Shop the ENTIRE Market to save you Money
- So, When is the Best Age to Buy Life Insurance for Men?
Plan Ahead When Buying Life Insurance
By planning ahead, you can set yourself up to save the right amount of money in life insurance coverage. Some people, regardless of their age, do not need life insurance - but this does not occur very often.
However, if you are like most Americans with a mortgage, a family, and bills, then your need for insurance should be based around these factors, not your age.
Consider this example:
You have a $250,000 mortgage and two kids you’d like to help with their college. You also earn $60,000/year and you know your wife can’t replace that income if you die.
If you are the sole income earner for your family, or you make a majority of the income, chances are if you were to pass away, your family could not maintain the same standard of living without your wages.
On top of that, they may face future expenses, such as:
- Paying off the mortgage
- Sending children to college
- Retirement for your spouse
- Medical bills
- And much more...
So, the formula is not as simple as selecting a coverage amount, and hoping it is enough. You buy life insurance hoping that it never has to be used. BUT you want to have the peace of mind knowing that if it were to be used, it would be enough to provide for your family when you are gone.
This is why sitting with an experienced independent life insurance agent is essential to purchasing the right amount of coverage. Our agents can help you think of everything your family may need in the event of your death, and find an affordable life insurance policy which will keep them safe.
For more information on how to determine your life insurance needs, we created these helpful guides:
Explanation of Life Insurance Rates for Men
Let’s take a look at insurance rates for healthy males at different age bands to see the changes in price with age. Please note, the rates for a healthy female are typically about half of the price of the rates for a healthy male.
Each of these rates for males are for the top health or “preferred plus”category. Please note only 5- 8% of Americans are in the top health category and health tends to decline with age.
Each of these rates are guaranteed to stay level for 30 years and are based on monthly cost.
The rates listed are from companies that are rated A (Excellent) or better by A.M. Best. Learn more about A.M. Best here.
30-Year Term Rates for a Healthy Male
*Rates are accurate as of 06/15/2022, and are provided for illustrative purposes only.
After the age of 59, a 30-year level term policy is no longer available. Please note there are 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30-year options available from our trusted carriers.
These rates below for healthy males are guaranteed to stay level for 20 years and are based on monthly cost. The rates listed are from companies that are rated A (Excellent) or better by A.M. Best.
20-Year Term Rates for a Healthy Male
*Rates are accurate as of 06/15/2022, and are provided for illustrative purposes only.
The rates below are for only a 10-Year term. These rates are for healthy males and are guaranteed monthly rates throughout the life of the term.
10-Year Term Rates for a Healthy Male
Rates are accurate as of 06/15/2022, and are provided for illustrative purposes only.
Even with smaller term policies, you can see that buying when younger generates much more in savings. Remember you are buying for need.
What Affects Life Insurance Rates for Men?
Life insurance rates are affected by a number of factors, the most common including:
- Family Health
Obviously, what company you choose from, and what policy you choose also affects rates.
If you have pre-existing health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, COPD, etc... your life insurance rates will also be higher, and your coverage options may decrease.
Typically, however, there are still plenty of life insurance options for men who have pre-existing health conditions, as long as they are well managed and your overall health is good.
Have a pre-existing health condition that may affect your life insurance rates? These resources will help you to learn more about your coverage options, what to expect for rates, and what steps to take next:
- How Health Conditions Affect Life Insurance Rates
- 13 Serious Health Problems That Are Still Insurable
- Tips for Getting the Best Rates With Pre-Existing Conditions
- Free Life Insurance Quotes for Men With Health Conditions
For men with dangerous occupations, such as garbage collectors, pilots, nuclear scientists, etc... your life insurance rates will be higher than average. For extremely high risk occupations, you may only be allowed to get very specific types of coverage.
Do you work at a high risk occupation? This can put you and your family at even more risk, and make rates expensive. BUT, there are still plenty of options for men in this position. These resources will help you learn more:
- Life Insurance for Men With High Risk Occupations: Guide
- Finding Affordable Coverage With a High Risk Occupation
Family health also plays a large role in your life insurance rates. For instance, if your father or grandfather was diagnosed with heart problems at a certain age, life insurance companies may classify you as a higher risk for said disease.
Have a family with a health history? Here is what you need to know about how it will affect your life insurance rates, and what you can do to get the best coverage at affordable prices:
Why is Life Insurance More Expensive for Men Than Women?
The main reason that life insurance is more expensive for men is because we have a lower life expectancy. On average, men in America live until age 76, while women live until age 81.
Other factors also come into this discrepancy in price, such as the fact that men are more likely to engage in dangerous hobbies like rock climbing, skiing, or sky diving.
Another thing to take into consideration is the fact that on average, men are in more fatal car crashes than women. There are also a number of studies that show men are more susceptible to cardiovascular problems such as heart disease and high blood pressure later in life.
All of these factors contribute to higher life insurance rates for men. Interestingly enough, if you and your spouse are looking to get life insurance, there are policies which cover both spouses at the same time. This can help you lower your life insurance rates significantly, and provide easy coverage for both of you.
Is Getting Life Insurance With My Spouse Worth It?
Yes. Life insurance for married couples is very common, and is often chosen because of its key benefits:
- Securing coverage for both spouses under one policy
- Reducing male life insurance rates
- Planning for long term care
- Tons of options
- Planning for asset distribution
One thing not many people consider when purchasing life insurance coverage is the potential need for Long Term Care in the future. While it is not something pleasant to think about, 70% of Americans will need some form of Long Term Care one day.
Without proper planning, expensive monthly costs can really drain your family financially, and put them in a tough spot. Joint life insurance policies can help you and your spouse plan for these needs, and also know that both of your incomes are accounted for if you were to pass away.
There are two major types of joint life insurance for spouses:
- Survivorship - Pays out when the remaining spouse dies
- First-to-Die - Pays out when the first spouse dies
Depending on your needs, one policy may make more sense than the other. Typically, the couples we help select First-to-Die policies, as they are the most practical for replacing lost income. Survivorship policies are more designed to help couples establish estates and distribute wealth to their heirs.
Term vs. Permanent Life Insurance Policies - Which is Best for Men?
When it comes to finding the right coverage for your family, you also want to consider the length of time that you will need coverage for.
Are you just looking for coverage that will last the rest of your working life? Or perhaps until the kids are out of college? Or will you always want some sort of coverage, even in retirement in order to protect your spouse?
Asking these questions will help you figure out which type of policy is best for you. There are many types of permanent life insurance, depending on your needs and wants. Many of them insure through age 101, or 121, so they provide coverage for life. Permanent coverage lasts a lifetime, but it comes at a much more expensive cost, often time being 2-4 times more expensive than term coverage.
To show this discrepancy in cost, here’s some sample rates for a Guaranteed Universal Life Policy (type of permanent policy) from age 25-75:
Guaranteed Universal Life Rates to Age 100 for a Healthy Male
Rates are accurate as of 06/15/2022, and are provided for illustrative purposes only.
As you can see, permanent policies are much more expensive than term. One amazing thing about term life insurance is that you can convert most policies into permanent coverage down the road. So, if you are not sure if permanent is right for you, or you just don't have the money for it now, you can always convert later when the time is right.
Want to learn more about permanent life insurance to determine if it is right for your family? These resources have all the information you need:
- Type of Permanent Life Insurance and How They Work
- Is Permanent Life Coverage Right for Me?
- Converting Term Life Insurance: Complete Guide
Buy Life Insurance While You are Still Young, and Pay Less
As you can see from the rate charts, the sooner you buy the policy for your needs, the less expensive it will be. In fact, the rates practically double every five years past 40-years-old.
If you need a policy to take you to retirement age, the difference between buying $500,000 of coverage at age 45 vs. a healthy 50 yr old is still about $250 a year. That’s 30% more for only being 5 years older.Over 20 years, it is a difference of $5,000 dollars. That money could be earning interest in a 401k fund, paying down a mortgage, or even starting an account for your children’s college tuition.
The other reason to “buy young” is not just because pricing is better, but there is more at stake when you are young. Usually debt is higher, and more people are dependent upon your income.
Your family is growing and it will be years before expenses settle back down - this usually happens in your mid 40's. During those times, your family is heavily reliant on your income. You are in a prime spot for the best value for life insurance. You need more than you may ever will, and it’s more affordable than it ever will be as well.
Getting Coverage Past Retirement Age
One question we get often is “How many years should you get life insurance for?”.
Think about when you might retire. The vast majority of American men want to lock in coverage at least until they reach retirement age, most a few years longer.
For most men, the retirement age is between 65 and 70, however, in the last 20 years, this number has increased dramatically. According to Emily Brandon of US News, the average age most men 40 and older expect to retire is at age 68.
With number increasing every decade, it is important to consider coverage at least until the age of 70 or longer if you are considering pension maximization. Everyone’s need for insurance is different and we can help you assess how long you need coverage for if you are not sure.
Let’s say you want to lock in coverage until you’re 80-years-old because the average American man lives to be 77. We can compare the difference in cost using the chart above.
If you buy a 30-year level term for $500,000 of coverage when you are 50 years old, and you’re in excellent health; you will end up paying $1,486.20 per year for coverage, or $126.33 monthly.
If you decide to wait until you are 60 to buy the same amount of insurance, your rates could quadruple, or more.
It is also important to note that life insurance can be used as a tool in retirement for a multitude of reasons, including:
- Pension Maximization
- Long Term Care Planning
- Establishing a Trust
- Creating an Estate
- Planning for Burial Expenses
Each of the links above will take you to guides that explain each topic more in depth, and help you understand the different ways you can plan for life insurance needs in retirement.
Life Insurance Cut Off Ages for Males – 30 Year Terms
Is there an age limit for life insurance?
At the age of 60, the option for a 30-year term is no longer available. You can still lock in coverage until you reach your 80th birthday by purchasing a level 20 year, $500,000 policy. At the age of 60 however, the annual cost is almost 50% more at a rate of $2,125.00 per year, or $183.81 per month.
You may say to yourself, “But if I wait to buy my insurance until I’m 60, I won’t pay any premiums from the age of 50 to 60.”
That is completely correct, however; even when we add in the additional 10 years of premiums, the person who bought the policy when he was 60 will only save about $1,000 over the course of the policy. A small price to pay for a decade of protection.
And if you are considering universal life, time can really be your friend. The longer you hold the policy, the greater your investment. As the premiums grow, the policy allows you to do many creative financial moves that you can use while you are still living.
Still not convinced that you should purchase life insurance at a young age? These resources go in depth about life insurance rates and options for people in their 60's and beyond. Note the differences between the options and rates available for young men.
Buying Insurance While You Are Healthy
Saving money is not the only reason we recommend you buy coverage sooner though. You also want to consider health.
Health can change dramatically, especially if you have a family history of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or stokes. Even with a favorable family history, as we get older we tend to have more health issues, and any health issue may affect your rates.
Health issues rarely come on gradually, and strike when we least expect it. We all know the vegan friend who runs marathon yet still contracts a deadly disease. Time is not usually kind either when it comes to health. The older we get the greater the chances of developing problems that make life insurance prohibitively expensive or worse, disqualifies you from coverage.
Or, if you are insurable, you may have to pay a lot more. The difference between being overweight at the age of 45 vs. 55 can affect the cost of your life insurance by as much as double, resulting in thousands of dollars you could have saved.
Even if you avoid cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc, we tend to pack on pounds, raise our cholesterol, and blood pressure as we age. All these “smaller” factors impact pricing, and keep you from preferred rates.
These rates above are actual rates for the excellent or “preferred plus” category from top-rated life insurance companies. Just remember, if your health declines between the ages of 50 and 60, you might not be insurable.
Life Insurance Income Qualifications Revealed
In addition to saving money by locking in your insurance and locking in a better health category, you also want to consider income multipliers.
Believe it or not, the amount of insurance you can qualify for is directly proportional to your earned income or your household income.
Reason being, insurance companies do not want you to be worth more dead than alive.
In other words, the insurance company will not allow someone to buy an insurance policy unless it makes financial sense to the insurance company. Life insurance is designed to replace income or serve as a safety net.
If you make $50,000 dollars a year and you are in your 40s, it’s completely reasonable to have a million dollars of life insurance. The reason behind this logic is that you have about 20 working years left, and you make about $50,000 a year.
$50,000 (your current income) x 20 (working years left until retirement age) = $1,000,000. If you passed away today, your family would be out roughly $1,000,000 of income. If you were applying for a $5,000,000 dollar policy in this scenario, the insurance company would want to see at least $200,000-$250,000 of gross income each year to consider.
There are exceptions to this rule, factors like a high net worth may allow you to qualify for more insurance coverage. Please call us if you have specific questions and we can find the best company for you.
If you make about $50,000 a year and you wait until you are in your mid to late 50s, with only 10 years of “income earning” years left, you might not qualify for more than $500,000 of coverage. In fact, most clients past 70-years-old have a hard time qualifying for more than $100,000 of coverage.
However, in some cases, we can get the insurance company to make an exception if it is reasonable or if the coverage is needed for a business or estate protection.
We Shop the ENTIRE Market to save you Money
Everyone’s need for insurance and health category are different, but some companies are much better with some issues than others.
Here at JRC we work with over 50 of the best life insurance companies directly (most call centers work with less than 10) and this allows us to find the company that is the best for you. We focus on life insurance only and we will not try to get you to buy auto insurance or sell your information to solicitors.
By working with such a vast majority of carriers, we are always able to find you the best match. Some companies are more lenient with “income multipliers” other companies are more lenient with travel, family history, tobacco use, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.
So, When is the Best Age to Buy Life Insurance for Men?
As soon as you have a need for life insurance. We are here to help you assess your needs and find the most affordable policy on the market for you. If your needs change over time because of additions to your family, a new mortgage, etc., we are here to help you.
We reach out to our clients every year to make sure they are still getting the best deal on their life insurance and to make sure they still have the amount of insurance they need.
Our company is owner operated so you know you’ll get the best customer service in the industry.
Our agents have multiple years of experience with thousands of happy clients. Do you still have questions or want to see what your rates would be? Please feel free to call us at 855-247-9555, or send us a quote request and we’ll call you.
Chris is a co-founder of JRC Insurance Group. Prior to founding JRC, he owned his own agency, and he has been a licensed life insurance agent since 2014. Chris is a die-hard San Diego Padres fan, and in his spare time he enjoys reading, ping pong, poker, and spending time with his wife and three daughters.