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Often when a person gets into their 70’s, life insurance choices have to be studied more carefully. In most cases there is only one term option left, the 10 year term insurance. If that doesn’t work for you, the only other practical option is a universal life with a no lapse guarantee, a cashless permanent policy.

I was reading an article about our ever changing mortality statistics. We’ve come a long way since the day when making it into your late 70’s was considered a ripe old age. Newer studies show that if you are still healthy at 65, making it to 85 or 90 is a pretty good bet.

So, back to the choice of 10 year term. This article cited the Tillinghast Older Age Mortality Study. The conclusion it came to should put a huge asterik of concern next to any 10 year term quote for someone over 70. The primary conclusion for owners of 10 year term policies was that “mortality experience through years 11-15 was 215% of mortality in years 6-10.

This is OK if you truly planned and knew that the need for the insurance was taken care of by the end of the 10 years, but if you bought it because it was cheaper, you likely made a mistake.

Bottom line. Consider carefully when you get to your 70’s just exactly what the best direction is. Don’t bust your budget, but one thing you may want to weigh is whether having $250,000 of 10 year term is better than say, $150,000 of permanent insurance. You are weighing less benefit against the risk of outliving all of the benefit.