Buying Life Insurance in Middle Age

I hate to admit it -- at 45, I'm middle aged. Even if I make it to 100 (and that's the plan at this point), I'm still so close to the middle that it would be splitting hairs to claim otherwise.

But here's the problem: I have a 5 year old son and a 3 month old daughter. I don't "feel" middle aged. I have more in common with a young couple in their late 20's having their first kid than I do with my own generation, many of whom are sending their kids to college.

The other place I'm out of step? Life insurance! This is the time when I should be insured to the max because of my two little ones, while most of my cohort are now able to reduce the amount of insurance that they have. They may have paid off the mortgage. They certainly aren't using daycare! But we have those 2 small kids. My husband and I both work: if one of us died, our mortgage has to be paid off; the kids would need daycare; there should be enough money for the college fees some day, and the "lost" salary should be replaced for at least a year or so. And that's the minimum.

However, we're also not as cheap to insure anymore. That creeping number that applies to our age (and perhaps our waists) is raising the risk to an insurance company. Anything which raises that risk, raises the price to us.

Are you in this boat too? Then here's the best solution to the dilemma: term life insurance. Yes, you can get your mortgage insured through your lender, but in most cases the premium is higher and you get a lesser benefit. Whole or universal life will cost a mint; you're coming out of the gate so much later, and yet you want the same benefit at the end. So, consider term life. If you are in good health (as we are) you should get the best price from term life, and if you shop around you may even find a bargain that still provides good coverage.

We're in the process of upping our insurance right now. That newest little one means we need to increase our coverage in case either one of us "checks out" early. Hopefully not, though. We both want to hang around to see the grandchildren.

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