What Is the Best Age to Buy Life Insurance?

what's the best age to buy life insuranceWe 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?”

“When is the cut off and the best age for life insurance when a man can still get a good deal on life insurance?”

See Sample Life Insurance Rates by Age

“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.”

The right time to buy life insurance should not be based on your age… it should be based on your need.

Quick Article Guide

  1. Planning Ahead
  2. Rates for Young Males
  3. Retirement Age Coverage
  4. Cut-Off Age for 30 Year Term
  5. Life Insurance When Healthy
  6. Income Qualifications
  7. The JRC Advanatage

Plan Ahead When Buying Life Insurance

By planning ahead you can set yourself up to save a substantial amount of money in the future. Some people regardless of their age do not need life insurance.

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.

Let’s face it, we don’t know when our time is going to come, and we don’t know what our health will look like in the future. If we did, life insurance probably wouldn’t exist.

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 03/01/2019, 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. We also offered guaranteed Universal Life policies.

Read more about the different types of life insurance available from MSN Money here.

Each of 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 03/01/2019, and are provided for illustrative purposes only.

Buy Life Insurance When You Are Young Male, Pay Less

As you can see from these 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 the age of 45 vs. 50 in excellent health is about $350 a year. That’s 36% more for only being 5 years older.

Over 20 years, that a difference of $7,000 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.

Getting Coverage Past Retirement Age

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, 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. Read the full article here.

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 $1549.00 per year for coverage, or $129.02 monthly.

If you decide to wait until you are 60 to buy the same amount of insurance, you’ll see a completely different picture.

Life Insurance Cut Off Ages for Males  – 30 Year Terms

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 40% more at a rate of $2,429.00 per year, or $202.41 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 50 will still save about $2,100 over the course of the policy.

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.

These rates are illustrative, but they are actual competitive rates for the excellent or “preferred plus” category from top-rated life insurance companies. If your health declines between the ages of 50 and 60, you might not be insurable.

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.

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 you 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 45 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?

As soon as you have a need for life insurance. We are here to help you assess you 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.

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6 comments… add one
  • Martha Pack July 13, 2015, 9:18 am

    I just purchased term life insurance and want to know if it’s a good deal

    • Randy McClintick July 15, 2015, 9:54 am


      Thanks for visiting our site. We’re glad to help you determine if you have a good value. If you have your policy available, call us at (855) 247-9555 and we’ll gather the information needed, including the “risk class” your underwriter approved. If you don’t have the policy, call your agent or the company and ask for the death benefit amount, term (rate guarantee period), and your approved risk class.

      Underwriting varies from company to company. Our agents have done pre-qualification underwriting for many years, and can tell you if you received a fair “rating”. If we believe you may do better with another insurance carrier, we’ll let you know the cost differential, and process for reapplying. You’ll likely need to do a new physical, however, there’s no cost to you. If you are approved for a better rate, we’ll help coordinate the replacement of your current policy with a new one to avoid any double payments.

  • David September 20, 2015, 8:34 pm

    My big family is fighting over the money and assets my grandparents left. Such a shame :(. I think it is not just my family. Other would too. It is the money we are talking about. Everyone has greed. But some have more than the other. Anyway, an insurance agent has approached me and offer me to take whole life insurance while I am still young because it will be cheaper. But I refused it because I still need the money for my own expenses. People will usually think about purchasing a life insurance policy when they have someone that needs to be taken care of when thing get messy. Spouse or a child might be the reason to purchased a life insurance and not because of investment matter. That is what I think Chris.

    • Randy McClintick September 21, 2015, 9:44 am

      We agree. In its purest and most common application, life insurance is designed to replace income and provide for those who are financially dependent upon a family’s breadwinner. JRC recommends keeping life insurance separate from investments.

  • Mirlyne Montrosiers June 29, 2016, 1:09 pm

    I am going to be 30 years old next month I would to have life insurance is it possible or am I too young can someone let me know please

    • Randy McClintick July 5, 2016, 10:36 am


      Thanks for your email and request for help and congratulations for thinking ahead! Buying life insurance in your 30’s is the most popular time to do so. It’s the age when most people are buying homes and having children…the time when others are most dependent on you and your income.

      Most people your age buy a 30-year term policy, which gets you your lowest price, and pretty much covers the years to retirement. The “term” is the amount of years your price is guaranteed not to change. A $250,000 death benefit policy will likely cost you around $20 a month, and $500,000 around $30 per month. $500,000 death benefit policies are the most commonly purchased by men and women in their 30’s, so generally offer the most competitive prices.

      Give us a call at (855) 247-9555 and we’ll determine your best priced options from over 40 highly rated life insurance companies. We’ll get you pre-qualified over the phone, email the quotes to you, and explain the free application process. Thanks in advance the opportunity to help and for contacting JRC Life Insurance Services.

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