Category Archives: Personal Finance

Life Insurance with Diabetes | You Have Options!

 In today’s world of “instant information”, it’s easy to have some idea of how many people in the U.S. are dealing with diabetes. According to a report released in the summer of 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate over 10% of people living in the U.S. has some form of diabetes. That is certainly an incredible number when you consider there are about 350 million people in the U.S. So how do people get affordable life insurance with diabetes?

When we look at purchasing affordable life insurance, we have to wonder how these folks can get affordable coverage since rates are based primarily on age and health. Today we’ll take a look at life insurance for diabetics and discuss the options that are available.


Life Insurance Options for Diabetics


Certainly, it’s no secret that challenges will arise after a life-changing diagnosis like diabetes. Whether it’s type 1 or type 2 diabetes is going to complicate your approach to buying affordable life insurance.

It gets even more complicated if you need a very large death benefit to accommodate a large family and a lot of debt. But, fear not, if you are diabetic who needs affordable life insurance, there are many options to choose from. It’s all about management and control of your disease.


Controlling Your Diabetes


Once you are diagnosed with diabetes, the most important thing you can do is to work with your doctor who will develop a plan for you to start controlling your disease. When you have a plan in place and are following it as prescribed, it will increase the confidence of the insurance underwriters charged with classifying your risk to their company.

Treatment for type 1 diabetes typically consists of taking insulin, maintaining a healthy diet, regular exercise, and frequent monitoring of your blood sugar. As long as you maintain the program prescribed by your physician, your chances of living a long and normal life are substantially increased.

When you have type 2 diabetes, your body is producing the insulin it needs but just not using it effectively. The treatment for type 2 very similar to type 1 except you may or may not need to take insulin. Since most type 2 patients are overweight when diagnosed, you can generally count on weight loss being at the top of your management plan.


Other Health Issues that You Should Address


When you are shopping for life insurance with diabetes, other health issues should be considered as part of your overall plan of staying healthy. If you really want to nail down the most affordable life insurance rate, you need to address other issues that can motivate your underwriter:

  • Tobacco: Smokers automatically pay at least double for their life insurance whether diabetic or not. Giving up the cancer sticks is the most important (and usually the hardest) thing to conquer in order to receive the most favorable life insurance rates.

  • Blood Pressure: Elevated blood pressure is certainly an indicator that underwriters will be concerned about. The good news is, if you are following the plan your doctor prescribed for managing your diabetes, your blood pressure will likely get back to normal over time.

  • Weight: Most life insurers use a weight vs. height chart that spells out the minimum and maximum weight for your height. Once again, it’s likely your doctor is already addressing this and your weight should get back to normal over time.

  • Alcohol: If you are over-consuming or abusing alcohol, this can have a negative effect on your life insurance rates and in some cases result in your application being declined. Although “social drinking” is not taboo, consider cutting back on your alcohol consumption.


Options for Buying Life Insurance with Diabetes


There are policy options to consider when you are shopping for life insurance with diabetes. These options may not necessarily impact the rates you’ll pay, but they can help you get coverage quickly. One of the most popular methods is by choosing a carrier that offers life insurance without a medical exam requirement.

For many people, the option to purchase life insurance without a medical exam is very appealing. In fact, they know they will typically pay higher rates but are willing to bite that bullet so they don’t have to have a medical exam.

It’s important to note, however, even though your underwriter will be unable to confirm your health by means of a medical exam, the underwriters will still have access to your health data that may be in the Medical Information Bureau, your prescription information contained in national Rx Records, and your driving record from your state’s division of motor vehicle report.

Finally, it’s important to note that insurance companies that offer no-exam life insurance, generally put a cap on the death benefit at $250,000 to $400,000. In many cases, a working head of household will be underinsured if they select a death benefit less than $500,000.


Life Insurance with Diabetes when all Else Fails


Unfortunately, there are many people out there who have been diagnosed with diabetes and fail to follow their doctor’s prescribed management program. These folks typically will take their insulin but everything else falls by the wayside. They don’t change their diet, get very little exercise, rarely check their A1C levels, and remain overweight.

These folks can still get life insurance through Guaranteed Issue life insurance. With the guaranteed issue life policy, the insurance company does not take your health into consideration and the company will typically issue a life insurance policy if you fall within the required age limits and are alive.

Although guaranteed issue life insurance has some downsides, there are many people (especially seniors) who purchase this type of policy as a last resort. In most cases, the policy will have a two or three-year waiting period before the full death benefit is paid, the premiums are much higher than traditional insurance, and there is a very low cap on the available death benefit. As we mentioned earlier, only purchase guaranteed issue life insurance as a last resort.


Choose the Best Independent Agent


The bottom line for finding the most affordable life insurance when you have diabetes is to contact an independent insurance professional who represents all the highly-rated insurance companies and can determine the most “diabetic friendly” insurance company among them. This action alone will be your best option for buying life Insurance with diabetes.

Independent agencies like have experienced and reputable independent agents who will advocate on your behalf and find the most affordable life insurance solution for your circumstances.


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Why Buy 20-Year Term Life Insurance? A Case Study

Even though life insurance can be complicated and confusing, most consumers know a little about term life insurance. Generally, U.S. consumers understand that term life insurance is much cheaper than other kinds of insurance like whole life or universal life insurance.

Even though term life insurance is considered temporary, it is so affordable that most Americans will choose it first because it’s so affordable that you can purchase a lot of coverage at very reasonable rates. Term insurance can also be used for many purposes, even if you need coverage for a lifetime (more about that later).

What most consumers do not know about term life insurance, however, is that most policies come with a “conversion privilege” that enables a policyholder to change their policy from temporary to permanent.

The conversion privilege enables a policyholder with a less expensive 20-year term life insurance policy to convert it before the end of the term to a permanent policy like whole life or universal life. We call it a privilege because when the insured decides to convert all or some of the coverage to permanent life insurance, they do not have to prove they are healthy (proof of insurability).

If your need for a huge amount of life insurance is 20 years or less, why would you purchase a 30-year policy which costs significantly more than a 20-year policy?


Here’s an Argument for Buying 20-Year Term Life Insurance


John is married and has two children in middle school. During the early years of John’s marriage, he and his spouse have racked up significant debt due to buying a new home with a 15-year mortgage, having several credit cards, owning 2 vehicles, and taking out a personal loan to buy the family a fishing boat.

John has group term insurance through his employer but the face amount is only twice his annual salary and John understands that if he leaves his employer his insurance will not leave with him. John’s best friend is an insurance agent and has asked John to let him do a “needs analysis” so John will know if he has enough coverage.

 Here is John’s life insurance Needs Analysis for His Family:  

John’s insurance needs total $976,648 when we consider the following:

For the purpose of this example, we can round John’s insurance needs up to $1,000,000


How Much will John’s Insurance Cost?


Term Life insurance rates are based on four primary things: age of the applicant, health of the applicant, the face amount (death benefit) of the policy, and the term of the policy. In John’s case, we are going to compare the rates for a 20-year term life insurance policy with a 30-year term life insurance policy. We will also assume that John’s is a healthy non-smoker:

 Please note that from these actual quotes, John would save $35.44 per month or $18,765 over the term of the 20-year policy versus the 30-year policy. 


Shouldn’t I buy the Longest Term Possible?


This is certainly what most insurance agents will recommend since they are paid on a percentage of the life insurance premium, but practically speaking, in John’s case, the 20-year term policy makes better sense economically. Here’s why

So then, based on these statements, John’s insurance need is for a 20-year 1-million dollar policy.


What Happens when my 20-Year Policy Expires?


For policyholders who purchase a 20-year term life insurance policy, they do have choices when the policy is about to expire:

The insurer will likely offer a renewal but the rates will be based on your attained age (age at renewal) and the policy will have a term for only one year.

A policyholder who purchased a 20-year term life insurance policy that contains the conversion privilege can elect to convert their term coverage to permanent coverage before the expiration date. This means instead of renewing the term coverage for one year and then paying higher rates each year you renew it, you can elect a permanent policy like whole life or universal life and not have to worry about medical underwriting. Yes, your policy will cost more because of your attained age and the type of policy you select, but you do not have to keep the same face amount. For example, in John’s case, he would have paid off his mortgage and the kids would have gone to college and therefore he would not as much life insurance at the time of his conversion.

You can do nothing (not recommended).


What else should I know about 20-Term Life Insurance?


Most insurance companies offer several insurance riders (optional coverage) that can be added to the term policy which can broaden the coverage and offer some living benefits. For example, if your policy doesn’t have the Accelerated Death Benefit added automatically, you can typically choose to add the rider to your policy at no additional charge.

Other riders that can be advantageous are the Waiver of Premium rider, the Return of Premium rider, the Children’s Term rider, and the Accidental Death Benefit rider.


In Conclusion


If you are in your 20s or early 30s and cannot afford to cover your insurance needs with permanent insurance, consider a very affordable 20-year term life insurance policy that has a conversion privilege and then convert it down the road when you are earning more money and probably need less life insurance.





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Affordable Life Insurance for Seniors over 65

When seniors over 65 are shopping for life insurance, there are typically two reasons they need coverage at this point in their life: they have life insurance now but would like to add additional coverage or they had life insurance and had to give it up and need to replace it.

Whatever your reason is for needing life insurance at 65 or older, take a breath because you can still purchase affordable life insurance, even if you’ve developed some health issues. And, it’s important to note that your choices are not limited to an expensive guaranteed acceptance policy that you’ve likely seen advertised on TV.

Why do Seniors over 65 Need Life Insurance?

We have found over time that seniors who are over 65 have found themselves in one or more of the following situations:

The good news is you still have choices and you can shop all of the major highly-rated insurance companies online using an experienced and reputable independent agent.

How much Life Insurance do Seniors over 65 Need?

Everybody has different needs according to their circumstances. The amount of life insurance that seniors over 65 need depend on what they need their death benefit to cover. For example, many seniors over 65 still have mortgage payments and other debts that need to be paid after they die.

Today, a lot of seniors are raising their grandchildren or still have children in the home that are financially dependent, even if it’s temporary. In this case, you would want to replace your retirement income so that your dependent loved ones would not be financially devastated in the event of your death. If this sounds like you, we suggest that you and your agent complete a needs analysis so you can determine a sufficient death benefit to replace your income.

We have found over time, however, that many seniors over 65 are most concerned about getting enough life insurance to cover their final expenses when they die (hint: everyone has final expenses). Final expenses typically consist of the funeral and burial expenses, unpaid medical bills, and nursing home costs that were not paid by Medicare.

We know from published reports from the National Association of Funeral Directors that an average funeral costs about $9,000 to $12,000 depending on where you live. Certainly, funerals can get more expensive if your loved ones insist on additional services. In most cases, seniors should consider at least $15,000 to $20,000 in coverage for a final expense life insurance policy.

How much does Life Insurance for Seniors over 65 Cost?

Since life insurance rates are based on your age, your health, and the amount of insurance you need, we’ll list the rates for several types of insurance policies in this article.

 First, let’s take a look at term insurance since it is typically the cheapest insurance available: 

 Here are the rates for a $100,000 20-year Term Life Insurance policy for a healthy male and female non-smoker: 

Remember these rates are based on a healthy non-smoker so a lot of carriers may require an insurance medical exam as part of the underwriting process.

What about the Rates for Final Expense Insurance?

The good news about final expense insurance is that it is typically whole life insurance and will come with all the guarantees and benefits that permanent life insurance policies have. These benefits consist of life insurance coverage for a lifetime, level premiums that cannot be changed by the company, and cash value accumulation that can be accessed using policy loans or withdrawals.

Remember, a final expense policy is designed to cover your funeral and burial plus other final expenses so the death benefit will be much lower than if you were trying to replace your income.

 Here is an example of a $15,000 final expense policy for a healthy male and female non-smoker: 

It’s important to note that men typically pay more for life insurance than women because women generally live longer which gives the insurance company more opportunities to collect premium.

What if I don’t Qualify because of Health Issues?

If you’re like most seniors, you may have some health issues. Most seniors begin developing health issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol in their early sixties so it may be possible that you have multiple health issues and will not qualify for standard insurance rates.

If you find yourself in this situation, do not give up. You can qualify for a guaranteed issue final expense policy. With a guaranteed issue policy, the insurance company will not take your health conditions into consideration in order to issue a policy. In fact, most companies that offer guaranteed issue life insurance don’t even have medical questions on the application. This means that virtually anyone who is alive can get some amount of life insurance.

With guaranteed issue life insurance you will have a two or three-year waiting period during which the insurer will not pay the full death benefit if you die from natural causes.  Instead, they will typically pay a benefit equal to the sum of all your insurance premiums paid to the company plus 10% interest.

So then, for all you seniors out there who have passed age 65 and do not have life insurance or you need more life insurance, contact an independent agent like who represents most of the highly rated life insurance carriers that can offer a life insurance solution even up to age 85.



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Buy Affordable Life Insurance with Sleep Apnea

Ask around and you’ll likely find that many people take sleep apnea lightly. This is likely because most people are unaware of the effects of sleep apnea. Most think of sleep apnea as the cause of loud snoring and shortness of breath during the night. Unfortunately, sleep apnea can lead to a lot more than snoring. In fact, if you left untreated, sleep apnea can be responsible for other risks:

Certainly, this information should help you understand why life insurance companies are concerned about applicants who have sleep apnea, especially if it’s not being properly treated. The American Sleep Apnea Association reports that over 22 million people in the U.S. have at least one of three types of sleep apnea.

Now if you are reading this article, the chances are you have sleep apnea and certainly don’t need a lot of information about it, but you do need information about how life insurance companies look at sleep apnea.

The Types of Sleep Apnea and what Insurers are Concerned With

Before we get into the underwriting of applicants with sleep apnea, let’s first discuss the different types of sleep apnea (there are three).

Obstructive Sleep Apnea – This is a type of sleep apnea that is caused when your airway is blocked, usually when your tongue collapses against your soft palate and then your soft palate collapses against the back of your throat which causes your airway to become blocked.

Central Sleep Apnea – With central sleep apnea your airway isn’t blocked; instead, your brain doesn’t send a signal to breathe to your muscles.

Complex Sleep Apnea – With complex sleep apnea, as the name suggests, there is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea. When apnea takes place, your brain rouses you while sleeping and sends a signal for you to breathe. For people that have severe sleep apnea, this wake-up call signal from your brain can happen hundreds of times a night preventing you from getting a healthy night’s sleep. For these patients, a PAP (positive airway pressure) machine worn nightly provides a successful treatment.


When you apply for life insurance with sleep apnea, the underwriters are typically more concerned about the complications that accompany many patients with the disease. These secondary diseases typically include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, liver problems, and severe fatigue.


Getting Approved for Life Insurance with Sleep Apnea

First of all, it’s good to know that because you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, doesn’t always mean your application will be declined. What’s most important to underwriters is how you are managing your sleep apnea and the effects it has been having on your health.

The means that your underwriters are going to take a very close look at your doctor’s plan for treatment and whether you are following through with the plan and taking it seriously. Knowing this, you should expect the underwriting process to take longer than usual and do everything you can to facilitate the communication between your physician and the underwriter.

When you answer “yes” to the sleep apnea question on the health questionnaire it will likely trigger a supplemental questionnaire for the disease with the following additional questions:

Which type of sleep apnea were you diagnosed with?


How severe is your condition?


What kind of treatment has your doctor prescribed and are you following it?


Did you have to have surgery?


Is your sleep apnea under control now?


Are you taking the necessary steps to help manage the condition like losing weight, quitting smoking, and reducing your use of alcohol?


Do you have any other conditions like high blood pressure or COPD?


Also, if it has been a long while since your last sleep study, your underwriter may order a current one to confirm how severe your sleep apnea is.


The likely outcome of Getting Life Insurance with Sleep Apnea

If you are a sleep apnea patient but have taken a proactive course in managing your disease, it’s likely that qualifying for life insurance will be much easier than you anticipated. In fact, with the right independent agent, your chances of getting preferred rates are increased because most independent agents represent more than a dozen insurance carriers.

If you are denied coverage, it’s usually because you didn’t participate in managing your disease and didn’t comply with your doctor’s recommendations or didn’t make your follow-up visits.

Not everyone has mild to moderate sleep apnea and even if your condition is severe, you can still get quality life insurance coverage if you’re dealing with an independent agent who enjoys a challenge.

Having quality life insurance is in reach.

You can do this if you are willing to make some changes in your life. You can improve your chances of getting affordable quality life insurance if you are willing to take some steps necessary to reduce the complications of your disease BEFORE APPLYING FOR COVERAGE.

The three main things that you can change are losing weight, quitting smoking, and avoiding alcohol. And never take for granted that just because one insurer turned you down for coverage that all others will also.


Look to Your Advocate – Your Independent Agent


Believe it or not, independent agents that have been around for a while prefer challenges rather than just taking an order. When you partner with an independent insurance agent that specializes in taking on difficult cases, you are partnering with an advocate who will be in your corner every step of the way.

Independent agents don’t get paid unless your policy is issued. This means that your agent is going to do everything within their power to get your policy issued at a rate you can afford. Independent agents represent a lot of insurance companies and they have learned the sweet spots of every one of them. They are not going to waste your time and theirs by sending your application to an insurance company unless they are pretty sure that the outcome will be positive and your rate will be affordable.


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What is Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance | Why Should I Buy It?

Guaranteed issue life insurance, also known as guaranteed acceptance life insurance, is a whole life insurance policy where the applicant’s health status is not taken into consideration.


Breaking down Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance


Guaranteed issue life insurance (advertised as Guaranteed Acceptance by Colonial Penn) is a whole life insurance policy primarily used as funeral and burial insurance. The insurance companies that offer this type of policy generally target seniors who have preexisting medical conditions that prevent them from medically qualifying for less expense traditional whole life insurance.

There are, however, a number of insurance companies who market guaranteed issue life insurance directly to seniors through television advertising that is based on emotion. We certainly don’t consider this a bad thing but in many cases guaranteed issue life insurance is sold to seniors who may have qualified for a much cheaper level benefit policy.

Guaranteed issue life insurance should be purchased as life insurance of last resort because it is typically more expensive and includes a waiting period during which the insurer will not pay the full death benefit if the policyholder dies from natural causes.

Here’s How it Works:

Most life insurance companies that offer life insurance for seniors will have two or three types of policies available:


You mentioned Final Expense Insurance – what does that Mean?


Final expense insurance is actually a catch-all marketing term that is used to market whole life insurance policies that are designated to pay for the policyholder’s final expenses like funeral and burial costs, unpaid medical bills, and possible nursing home expenses that were not covered by health insurance.

Insurance companies that offer final expense insurance (and there are many of them), almost always use whole life insurance since the coverage will last for a lifetime, the payments remain level, and the policy will build cash value over time. Final expense is generally available for applicants between the ages of 50 and 85 and provides a death benefit between $5,000 and $35,000. Once again, different companies have different products so be sure and check with your independent agent who will generally represent most of the companies that offer guaranteed issue life insurance.


How does Level Benefit, Graded Benefit, and Guaranteed Issue differ in Price?


With most insurance companies that offer final expense whole life insurance, Level Benefit will be the cheapest, then Graded Benefit will cost a little more, and then Guaranteed issue will be the most expensive.

 Here is an example of insurance quotes for a $10,000 policy for a male non-smoker for each type of policy: 


As you can see from this rate chart, each plan becomes more expensive because with each plan the applicant’s risk to the carrier is increased.


What other Options are there Besides Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance?


Your life insurance rates will always be based on three criteria: your age, your health, and the amount of insurance you want to purchase. If you are looking for more coverage at the lowest possible rate, it’s typically never too late to consider term life insurance. We mention this because of the years we have found seniors who think they must automatically purchase whole life insurance when in fact they might qualify for term life insurance.

Although term life insurance is typically for seniors who are in good health, there are many out there who are and as such, should see if they qualify for more life insurance for less money. Yes, term insurance is temporary but most policies provide a conversion privilege that will allow the policyholder to convert the policy to permanent insurance before the policy expires.

Always Speak with an Experienced and Reputable Agent


If like most people, your intention is to purchase life insurance at the lowest possible rate from a highly-rated carrier who will be there when you need them, always speak with an independent life insurance agent like the pros at to find a solution that will meet your needs and your budget.

When you purchase your life insurance coverage directly from an insurance company or from a company agent (captured agent) you are severely limiting your choice of insurance companies and your choice of insurance products.


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How to Know When to Take Social Security

If you’re approaching retirement age, you should already be thinking about social security.

The earliest age you can receive social security benefits is 62, and many people choose to start collecting right away. But there are benefits to waiting until you’re 65 or even 70 years old.

As long as you have paid into social security for 10 years, you are eligible to receive benefits. The amount you get each month varies from person to person, based on a percentage of your average income while you were working and making contributions to the social security fund.

Today we’re breaking down the basics you need to know about collecting social security benefits.

Keep reading to learn how to estimate your retirement budget, how to calculate your benefits, and when you should start collecting.

When Can You Start Taking Social Security?

You can start receiving social security benefits as soon as you turn 62 years old. If you choose to start collecting at age 62, you will receive a reduced benefit. If you wait until your full retirement age, you will receive full benefits.

Full retirement age varies depending on the year you were born. To determine your retirement age, view this chart so you know when full benefits will kick in.

You can delay your benefits until after your full retirement age. If you do this, you will receive more per year. But, ultimately, Social Security is designed to pay out the same amount, in total, regardless of when you retire.

Estimate Your Retirement Budget

Before you decide when you should start collecting social security, create a monthly budget for your retirement. The three biggest expenses for most retirees are:

  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Healthcare

But to fully understand your budget you’ll also need to calculate your income during retirement.

The most common income sources for people during retirement are withdrawals from retirement savings (401k, IRA, etc.), pensions, and annuities.

Retirees can also consider selling their life insurance policy if they need more money during retirement.

In general, financial experts say that it’s safe to withdraw 4% of your retirement savings each year. So, if you have $1,000,000 saved, you should plan to withdrawal about $40,000 per year.

Why is 4% the magic number? Because it’s slightly lower than the average return on stock market investments. By taking 4%, you’ll protect yourself from inflation rates as well as unfavorable bear markets.

Calculate Your Benefits

Calculating your social security benefits may seem tricky thing – but it’s actually not that difficult. The Social Security Administration has published this convenient sheet that explains exactly how it’s done. In seven short steps, you can calculate what your benefits and payouts will be each month.

To calculate your benefits, the SSA averages your monthly earnings for the 35 years in which you earned the most income. They use a specific formula to calculate your basic benefit and arrive at your “primary insurance amount.”

To quote the SSA directly, on the benefits calculator worksheet:

“…you will see that you get a percentage of your average indexed monthly earnings. To be more precise, you get 90% of earnings up to $895, 32% of earnings between $895 and $5,397, and 15% of earnings over that amount. The maximum amount you can earn changes every year, but for a person retiring at full retirement age in 2018, that max amount is $2,788.”

In addition to the SSA worksheet, they also have a calculator that you can use to determine what your benefits will be. Keep in mind, it’s not an exact calculation – it’s just an estimate. But you can plug in the date you plan to retire and adjust for inflation to see what your benefits are likely to be.

Consider Your Health and Life Expectancy

For many people, health plays a big role in determining when to start collecting social security benefits. If you’re in poor health and don’t think you’ll have a lengthy lifespan, you may want to take your benefits as early as you can (at age 62).

If you’re in poor health, it’s usually best to start collecting early in order to get the maximum out of the SSA. If you wait until you’re 66 or 70 and pass away soon after, you’ll lose out on money you could have had and enjoyed before death.

Alternatively, if you expect a long and active retirement, consider delaying your benefits.

Putting it All Together

In an ideal world, you’ll have a hefty 401k and pension so that you can live a comfortable lifestyle long into your retirement years. But if you didn’t plan ahead, there’s not much you can do about it if your retirement age is quickly approaching.

To know what your financial situation will look like in your later years, calculate everything we outlined above. Figure out how much income you will have from retirement funds and pensions. Estimate your expenses to determine how much money you will need. Then calculate your social security benefits to make sure that those will fill in the gaps.

Whenever you’re estimating retirement incomes, budgets, and expenses, be sure to build in a buffer. Unexpected expenses, such as large medical bills, can pop up at any time, so be prepared to cover extra expenses if need be.

If and when unexpected medical expenses arise, there are a few things you can do. First of all, check to make sure your bill is correct. If it is correct, there may be times when you can negotiate your medical debt to pay a lower rate. And if you’re really in a bind, look into applying for an assistance program. Read more about how to handle unexpected medical bills here.

So, is it better to start collecting your benefits at age 62, 66, or 70?

The answer is different for everyone.

If you collect at 62, you’ll receive a reduced benefit. If you wait until your retirement age, which is currently at 66 years and 4 months, you’ll receive your full benefits. And if you can hold off until you’re 70, you’ll receive more money per month to account for the years that you were eligible to collect but didn’t. Retirees who collect at age 70 can receive as much as 8% more per month for waiting.

Decide if your income from annuities, pensions, and retirement plans is enough to cover your expenses from age 62 to 70.

If you’re in good health and you can cover your monthly expenses, you may want to consider waiting until age 70 to collect.


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Life Insurance for Seniors Over 70

It’s interesting that many seniors assume life insurance will no longer be available to them once they are over age 70. Most think that the cost will be prohibitive or that medical issues will disqualify them from being approved for coverage.

In this article, we’ll debunk the myth that life insurance for seniors over 70 is out of reach and even show you how affordable insurance for seniors can actually be.

Most seniors know that there are several types of insurance to consider, but are unsure of the type that will best meet their needs and budget. The type of life insurance you should purchase will always depend on your actual need for insurance. The price you pay for coverage is immaterial if the policy will not be the solution to your individual needs.


Why would a Senior over 70 Need Life Insurance?


Believe it or not, there are many people out there who believe that once you are a senior your need for life insurance is considerably reduced because of the size of your estate. They mistakenly believe the longer you’ve been alive, the bigger your estate becomes. Regretfully, that is not always the case.

Many seniors cashed in or sold their life insurance policies in order to survive the market crash in 2007 and then found that it was difficult or expensive to replace it after the market returned to normal.

Other seniors worked most of their adult lives and had group term insurance coverage that they assumed would be enough coverage for a lifetime but only to find when they retired, their group term insurance coverage wasn’t portable.

In many cases, uninsured seniors didn’t realize that their surviving loved ones would have to bear the burden of funeral costs and other final expenses when they passed away and only began to consider how this could affect their loved ones after seeing final expense insurance commercials on TV.


Which type of Life Insurance Makes Sense for Seniors over 70?


The life insurance industry is always innovating and bringing new products to the market place. They do this to respond to the needs of consumers and compete with companies who are slow to develop new products. Here are the most popular types of life insurance for seniors to choose from:

Term Life Insurance


Term life insurance is the least expensive type of life insurance but is typically not the best solution for seniors since it is not permanent and builds no cash value. Although most companies will offer renewals of a term policy, the renewal term is typically for a year only. This means that each year you renew your term insurance the rates will go up according to your age and can easily become unaffordable when you are over 70.

Universal Life Insurance


Although universal life is considered permanent insurance life insurance, the required premiums are not guaranteed since the policy uses a portion of the cash value in the later years to pay the increasing cost of the life insurance.

You can elect a Guaranteed Universal Life insurance policy which is similar to whole life but the policy does not build cash value over time since all the cash is used to cover the increasing cost of your life insurance.

Final Expense Whole Life Insurance


If your goal is to provide the funds needed for your surviving loved ones to pay for your funeral costs and other final expenses like unpaid medical bills or unpaid nursing home costs, final expense life insurance whole life insurance) is the better solution for seniors over 70. Companies that offer final expense insurance have liberal underwriting guidelines, do not require a medical exam or blood/urine tests, and will approve seniors who have typical health issues like diabetes and high blood pressure without requiring a waiting period.


What if I have Health Issues?


Although there are many seniors who are blessed to have great health in their seventies, most seniors have to deal with health issues as they age. Some of the more common health issues that seniors deal with are:

Even though most of these diseases can become chronic, they may not necessarily prevent seniors from buying life insurance when they are over 70. Knowing that seniors frequently must deal with these diseases, many life insurance companies are offering graded benefit or guaranteed issue policies which allows the company to accept seniors with high-risk medical conditions.


How much Life Insurance do Seniors over 70 Need?

If you are considering a final expense life insurance policy, the death benefit should be at least sufficient to cover funeral and burial expenses that would be passed on to surviving loved ones. If your budget will support additional death benefit, then, by all means, consider additional benefit for taking care of unpaid medical expenses or nursing home costs that weren’t covered by Medicare.

Funeral and burial expenses are based various things like where you live, the type of funeral you want, the memorial service, and other bells and whistles that funeral directors use to fatten the funeral and burial invoice. According to national funeral services like,, and the NFDA (National Funeral Directors Association) you can expect an average funeral to cost between $9,000 and $12,000 per year. It’s also important to note that the longer you live, the more it will cost to bury you when your time comes.


How much does Final Expense Life Insurance for Seniors over 70 Cost?


Just like traditional life insurance, final expense insurance rates are based on three primary things; your age at the time of application, your current health and health history, and the amount of coverage you want to purchase. Although most final expense insurance companies offer death benefits of $5,000 to $30,000, the most popular policy amounts are $10,000, $15,000, and $20,000.

 Here are actual rates for a $10,000 policy for a male and female non-smoker: 

 Here are actual rates for a $15,000 policy for a male and female non-smoker: 

 Here are actual rates for a $20,000 policy for a male and female non-smoker: 

Please click here for accurate rates for your actual age.


What if I don’t Qualify because of Health Issues?


Seniors who have severe or multiple health issues can still purchase life insurance even if you don’t medically qualify for a standard final expense insurance plan. As we mentioned earlier, there are companies that offer guaranteed issue (guaranteed acceptance) life insurance for anyone who is alive and under age 86. This means that you can get the final expense insurance coverage you need and not have to worry about serious or multiple medical conditions.

Companies that offer guaranteed issue life insurance do charge more and typically have a two or three-year waiting period before they will pay the full death benefit if your death is the result of natural causes. Typically, if the insured dies from natural causes during the waiting period, the insurance company will pay the sum of all premiums paid in plus an additional 5 or 10 percent.

If, however, your death is the result an accident, the company will pay the full death benefit from the first day of coverage. This means virtually any person under the age of 86-years old can buy final expense life insurance.


Now that you understand that Life Insurance for Seniors over 70 is not out of reach, don’t delay in getting covered because your life insurance rates will never be less than they are today.


For more information about Life Insurance for Seniors over 70 and to get a free and confidential quote, call the insurance professionals at

(866) 691-0100 during normal business hours or contact us through our website.



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How to File a Life Insurance Claim

Talking about a life insurance policy can be a little awkward. Maybe you’re trying to figure out how much coverage you need, or if you or your spouse should get a policy. But it’s an important conversation to have – especially if you’re a listed beneficiary on someone’s policy. While it can be morbid to think about having to actually file a life insurance claim, you should know how to, so you can avoid any frustrating delays. Billions of dollars are left unclaimed by life insurance beneficiaries because people are unaware of policies or don’t know that they’re beneficiaries. Having the right information and the right documents available will help keep the process as simple as possible.

What Do You Need to File a Claim?

There are a few documents to have and steps to take before you can start the process of filing a life insurance death claim.

Make sure you know your beneficiary status. In order to file a life insurance claim and receive the policy benefit, you have to be a beneficiary of the policy. Your loved one who has the policy has to make that decision in advance, for you to be listed.

Know the who the insurance provider is and the policy number. This is pretty straightforward, but you’ll need to know the right insurance provider to contact and what the policy number to reference is. Having this information up front will help cut down the time spent calling different insurance companies or trying to figure out the policy number. If you can’t find the insurance provider—perhaps they rebranded or combined with another company—call your state’s Department of Insurance for information.

Talk to an agent to answer any initial questions you have. Once you know the insurance provider, you may want to call before making the claim to ask an agent how to best prepare the documentation needed. You may also want to ask about what the company’s process looks like, and who the right person to talk to is who can help you.

Have a copy of the death certificate from the funeral home. It’s a good idea to have a few copies of several different documents – like a death certificate or closed bank account – because a variety of claims will require these.

How Do You File a Claim?

Step 1: Prepare the documents

Now that you know which documents you need, get them organized and readily available for when you contact the insurance provider to make the claim.

Step 2: Contact an Agent/Producer

You’ll want to first contact the policy’s agent/broker to discuss documents and information needed to file a claim. However, now you’ll want to ask:

  1. If you need to submit a death claim form along with the death certificate
  2. If there are any other forms necessary to fill out
  3. Where to send these forms when they’re completed, or if the company requires you to submit the claim online
  4. What the claim payment options are (including payment frequency, amounts and timing)

If you’re having a hard time with the passing of your loved one and are having difficulty getting the paperwork sorted, ask the insurance agent to help you.

Step 3: Submit required information and documentation

Once you’ve submitted all of the required information and documentation to the insurance provider, it may take some time for them to review everything. Make sure to ask for a timeline when speaking with an agent. That way, you have a clear understanding of when you’ll hear back about your claim.

How Do You Know if a Claim Will Go Through?

There are terms and conditions for a life insurance claim to be approved. First and foremost, the policy holder’s death must occur while the policy is still in force. The cause of death matters, too, as some policies have specific terms around what’s covered.  Most life insurance policies won’t provide the payout in cases of suicide within the first two years of the policy.

How Do the Payments Work?

There are typically two different ways to receive a life insurance death claim: through a lump sum payment or through installments over time. Make sure to ask the insurance provider in your initial conversation about payment options available.

Lump sum payment: The insurance provider will issue you a check or they may offer you a draft account. Similar to a checking account, a draft account allows you to withdraw money from it until the funds are gone.

Installments: The insurance provider may hold onto the funds and distribute them to you over time. It depends on the company, but there are typically a few different options for installment plans. You may be able to convert the payout into an annuity that provides regular payments for the rest of your life. Or, you may be able to set a fixed amount that’s distributed at regular intervals until the policy payout amount is gone.

You also want to keep in mind whether your loved one may have had more than one policy in their name. For example, many employers offer group life insurance policies as an extra benefit. If your loved one was working before they passed, check with their employer’s Human Resources department to see whether there’s a policy in place, and what next steps you need to take if there is.

Knowing how to file a death claim for a life insurance policy is important. Hopefully, you’ll never have to do it. However, should the time come, the last thing you’ll want is to get caught up in frustrating processes with an insurance provider. If you’ve just started having the conversation about which life insurance policy is best for you or your loved one, learn about the differences between Term and Whole Life Insurance.

Caroline Gillard is a PR Specialist and a current board member of Women in Listed Derivatives (WILD). WILD is a non-profit organization that’s mission is to promote networking and relationship-building among women in the listed and over-the-counter derivatives industry through social and educational events.

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Preparing for a Life Insurance Medical Exam

At, our purpose is to provide you with great service and find you the most competitive prices. Your satisfaction is our goal. We Represent many of the top rated insurance companies in the United States.

Upon review of this site, you will find information that will help you gain an understanding of life insurance. Using our quote engine, you can compare a large number of highly rated companies, allowing you to find an affordable term life insurance or universal life insurance policy.

Competitive Prices from the Top Life Insurance Companies

Insurance companies establish their life insurance rates so every person of the same age and health would get the same rate from the same company. It’s not like buying a car where you negotiate.  You get to see how all the companies in the life insurance database would rate someone of a certain age, for a certain amount of life insurance. The difference is you don’t have to call the various insurance companies or agents. You just enter your information and the life insurance market search appears instantly. Ultimately, the insurance company’s underwriting process (where they review your medical history and other factors) determine your final rate.

Even though the life insurance rates are set, we will do everything we can do get you a low-cost policy that fits your needs. We do that with our real-time quoting engine and our experience with the insurance companies at no extra cost to you.

You can contact us to clarify any of this and speak with one of our experienced life insurance agents.

Disclaimer: Our quote engine displays the quoted class as determined by you on the input page. The complete underwriting process is needed to determine whether you qualify for a rate class and what your actual premium will be. The quotes are shown for comparison purposes only and are subject to change during the underwriting process.

2. The Application

After you have reviewed the life insurance quotes and decided which policy you would like to apply for, you submit an application request from the quote engine.  One of our licensed representatives will call you to complete the application over the phone (you will also have the opportunity to schedule a convenient time to do so after you submit the request).

The application is typically two parts – we take a very short application and then we will either transfer you to the insurance company’s application center, at which time you will complete the rest of the application or we will schedule your follow-up interview for you.  Your medical exam will also be scheduled, if needed, at that time.

Each insurance company has its own application that includes a series of medical and financial questions. The answers you provide to these questions will be used to underwrite your coverage. The interview will last 25-30 minutes depending on the information required for the coverage you have selected.

Premium Payment

Premium payment is not required with your application.  However, you may be given the option of submitting payment with your application in order to get temporary coverage during the underwriting period.  Each insurance company has their own guidelines concerning temporary coverage, so please read the instructions carefully in your application packet.

3. The Medical Exam

Life Insurance Medical Exam
Applications for most life insurance policies require a paramedical exam from a registered nurse. The exam can be done at your home or place of work or local office, if available. These nurses are contracted with one of the paramedical exam companies approved by most major insurance companies.

The exam takes approximately a half hour and can be done Monday through Saturday between 8:00 A.M. and 8:00 P.M. The exam typically includes blood and urine samples, blood pressure readings, height and weight measurements and questionnaire (additional tests, such as EKG, might be required due to age or insurance amount applied for). As it is recommended that you fast for eight hours prior to the exam, we usually suggest you get your exam first thing in the morning, if possible.

In order to get the best possible results from your exam, please follow the tips below:

Following these tips can help you attain the most favorable and accurate medical exam results:

  • Fast for 4-8 hours prior to the exam and try to schedule the exam for first thing in the morning, prior to eating.
  • Avoid stimulants (caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes).
  • Limit salt and high-cholesterol foods 24 hours prior to the exam.
  • Refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages for at least 24 hours prior to the exam (can increase fat in blood and liver functions).
  • Limit caffeine and nicotine 24 hours prior to the exam (can increase blood pressure, cholesterol).
  • Smokers should not smoke 30 minutes prior to exam (tends to constrict artery walls and elevate blood pressure).
  • Drink a glass of water one hour prior to the exam.
  • Get a good night of sleep prior to the exam.

Helpful reminders

  • Be prepared with a photo ID at the time of the medical exam.
  • Provide names and dosages of current medications
  • Provide any history of problems associated with providing a blood sample.
  • Have available names, addresses and phone numbers of any doctors or clinics visited in the last five years.
  • Tell the examiner if exercise is a regular activity.
  • Tell the examiner if vitamins or aspirin are taken on a daily basis.If you are overweight or have large muscular arms, ask the paramed examiner to use a large blood pressure cuff.

If you have experienced one of the following impairments, you should follow these additional guidelines:


  • Avoid stimulants (caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes).
  • Schedule a morning exam.
  • Have the examiner take your blood pressure after you have had a chance to relax — three attempts at 10 minute intervals.
  • Take usual medications.


  • Schedule the exam for 2½ hours after a meal (no sweets or sugars after the meal), but if blood is being drawn, fast for 4-8 hours prior to the exam.
  • Empty bladder right after meal.
  • Drink 1-2 glasses of water before the exam.
  • Drink 2-3 glasses of water before the exam.
  • Avoid sweets or foods with sugar content before the exam.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise, such as running, for 24 hours prior to the exam.

URINARY SPECIMEN PROBLEMS (albumin, Red Blood Cells [RBCs], sugar, etc.)

  • Empty bladder right after meal.
  • Drink 1-2 glasses of water before the exam.
  • Drink 2-3 glasses of water before the exam.
  • Avoid sweets or foods with sugar content before the exam.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise, such as running, for 24 hours prior to the exam.


  • Avoid stimulants (caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes).


  • Do not try to hide any health issues or medical history – be completely candid with your answers on your application and with your medical examiner.

Following these tips will ensure a speedy exam and best results. However, if you would prefer to apply for a policy without having a medical exam, there are some options. These types of policies are typically more expensive, but for those who prefer not to get an exam, they present another option.

4. The Underwriting Process

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Life Insurance for Children

You’ve no doubt seen commercials for child life insurance policies and may be wondering whether or not it is useful or appropriate to purchase one. We understand that mortality is a delicate issue, made even more sensitive when we bring our children into the discussion. Buying a child life insurance policy may be a wise financial decision, but you should base your choice on your family’s needs.


Consider the Purpose


If you are considering life insurance for your children, you should first ask yourself what you think the purpose of the life insurance is. Would it be to cover funeral expenses if the absolute worst thing should happen? If so, you may want to consider adding a child protection rider onto your own life insurance policy. Coverage can be purchased in units usually at a nominal price. But remember, a child term rider on your policy will be temporary coverage and most carriers cap this rider at about $10,000 which would likely fall short of paying for a child’s funeral.

What about buying a cash value policy that can double as a college fund?  These policies will build cash value over time and can be surrendered over time in order to use the funds to help with college expenses, buying a car, or even a cash graduation gift. There are other strategies like a 529 plan that may be more effective but they typically can only be used for one predetermined purpose. The cash value in a whole life policy can be used for any purpose you’d like, and it would be your decision as the owner of the policy.

Transferring Ownership of the Policy


Many parents and grandparents purchase life insurance on their children or grandchildren when they are born and then at some point in time, they transfer the policy to the child so they can keep the policy for a lifetime. For example, let’s say you have two young children that are a couple of years apart and you decide to buy a cash value life insurance policy on them at an early age. You may have also decided to start a 529 college plan for each child since the life insurance is so inexpensive.

When your children reach college age, you can fund their education using the 529 plan and then transfer the insurance policy to them as well. Your children can then decide to cash the policy in to buy a car or for some other large purchase or they can decide to keep the policy in force for final expenses if they should die unexpectedly.


Future Insurability Options

Another important reason why it may be a good idea to purchase life insurance for children is if there is a chance that they will not qualify for a policy as adults. If you have a family history of illnesses like hypertension or diabetes, it may be difficult for your child to find an affordable life insurance policy as he or she gets older. 

In fact, some life insurance plans for children will include an option to increase the face amount at certain intervals without proof of insurability. This option could be a lifesaver for a child that develops a serious medical condition and cannot purchase insurance at affordable rates when they are older and need additional coverage.

The topic of health is relevant to the subject of insurance, as your health has a direct effect on your risk of mortality and, therefore, on your life insurance premiums.

Two of the biggest factors in determining health class are tobacco use and build (height/weight ratio).  Smokers pay significantly more for their life insurance because it is proven that smoking directly (and indirectly) impacts your mortality.  Overweight people have a higher risk of heart disease, some types of cancer and diabetes, which all impact your mortality.

So, if your child who is now an adult, takes up smoking, and also becomes overweight cannot qualify for affordable life insurance, that policy you purchased for your child when he or she was three years old will start looking like their only option to have affordable life insurance.


While we’re on the subject of Smoking and Weight

It’s easy to tell people to quit smoking and/or lose weight when you’ve never smoked or put on some additional weight.  And by the way, talking about another person’s weight is never an easy subject to broach.

Since we, as individuals, can’t seem to handle these problems ourselves, the government (both Federal and Local) are stepping in to save the day.  The City of San Francisco (as well as the County of Santa Clara, CA) is helping to ensure the future health of your children (and, consequently ensuring better insurance health classes for them).  The S.F. Board of Supervisors has voted (8-3) to prohibit restaurants from giving away toys with meals that don’t meet certain nutritional standards for calories, sodium, and fat.  This idea is spreading to other local governments, so get ready to bid a fond adieu to, I’m happy to say, the Happy Meal.

The federal government, under the guise of the FDA, has decided that tobacco use has become an epidemic, especially with school-age children.  As we apparently can’t stop ourselves (or our children), the FDA has devised a plan to scare us out of the habit.  By placing pictures of diseased lungs and smokers with holes in their throats, and other graphic images of smokers with diseased body parts, the Feds are going to scare us straight (or nicotine-free).  Then, they’ll probably approve a drug for all the freaked-out nicotine-craving addicts, but maybe that should be a subject for another article.


Life Insurance for Children – Pros and Cons


You would think that buying an inexpensive cash value life insurance policy for your children would be a no-brainer but many parents and grandparents balk at the idea and some are even unwilling to even discuss it. And, insuring your children may not be the best investment under certain circumstances. As with any life insurance product, there are pros and cons depending on your circumstances.


Cash value life insurance can serve two purposes. It can be a resource for the funds needed to pay for funeral and burial expenses. And, since the policy builds cash value over time, it acts as a savings vehicle that normally earns more interest than a savings account. In fact, the minimum interest paid is stated in the contract and guaranteed as long as the policy remains in force.


Some financial advisors believe that the fees associated with a life insurance policy considerably diminish the returns and a policyholder could likely earn more if they invested the premium that is over and above the cost of insurance elsewhere. This sounds a lot like “by term and invest the rest.”


In the event your child dies unexpectedly, the life insurance policy would provide the funds needed to pay funeral expenses, counseling for surviving loved ones, and income for a parent who must take time off from work to grieve their loss.


Statistically, it’s very unlikely to lose a child before age 21. It may make more sense to regularly deposit money in a savings account that charge minimal or no fees.


Purchasing whole life insurance when a child is very young guarantees that they will have at least some coverage if they become ill in later years and cannot medically qualify for affordable life insurance.


Some financial advisors believe the risk to be far too remote and the parent or grandparent has other options that require no fees to mitigate this risk.


The Bottom Line


So there you have it. We’ve presented a very good argument for insuring your children or grandchildren along with the benefits a life insurance policy on the children can provide. We also presented the other side of the equation provided by legitimate financial planners. Now it’s up to you to decide.




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