Presently I am a married 55 year old man married with two grown kids. One of my term life insurance policies expires soon and they have offered me a policy that will never increase in price for the rest of my life. The premium is quite a bit higher and the amount is less than what I presently have.

I do invest pretty heavily but lately the market has been very unpredictable. Would I be better off to perhaps take those additional monies and invest it?

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    Hi Steve. What do you need to insure? Will your family be in a bad place if you die early and your income is gone? What are your motivations for having insurance. I think the answer depends on your needs. – MrChrister Jun 5 '10 at 15:38

The following is from Wikipedia - Term life insurance (with very minor editing)

Because term life insurance is a pure death benefit, its primary use is to provide coverage of financial responsibilities, for the insured. Such responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, consumer debt, dependent care, college education for dependents, funeral costs, and mortgages. Term life insurance is generally chosen in favor of permanent life insurance because it is usually much less expensive (depending on the length of the term). Many financial advisors or other experts commonly recommend term life insurance as a means to cover potential expenses until such time that there are sufficient funds available from savings to protect those whom the insurance coverage was intended to protect. For example, an individual might choose to obtain a policy whose term expires near his or her retirement age based on the premise that, by the time the individual retires, he or she would have amassed sufficient funds in retirement savings to provide financial security for their dependents.

This suggests the questions "why do you have this policy?" also "how many term life policies do you need?" or "how much insurance do you need?"

Clearly you will be better off investing the premiums in the market. Your beneficiaries may be better off either way (depends when you die and to a lesser extent on market performance).

If you are not able to retire now but expect to be able to later, you should strongly consider having sufficient insurance to provide income replacement for your spouse. This is a fairly common why.


Life insurance is not an investment -- by definition, since the companies need to take a profit out of it, the average amount paid in exceeds the amount paid out, yielding a negative rate of return.

Get life insurance if your death would cause severe financial hardship for someone. If you have sufficient savings that your wife could recover and move on with her life without hardship, and your kids are grown, you probably DO NOT need life insurance.

  • +1 - Brilliant brief answer. An insurance salesman will happily sell a policy to a single 70 year old woman with no living relatives, but your criteria for needing a policy are on target. – JoeTaxpayer Dec 16 '14 at 18:55
  • Agreed. This is pretty much exactly what my financial planner told me. If nobody is dependent on you (your money that is) then there is no point in life insurance. I wouldn't perhaps incude "severe". If someone would have to tighten their belts a bit to get over the impact of your death then get a small policy to help out. – Eric Nolan Aug 31 '18 at 15:52

If I were in your shoes, I would invest conservatively fully aware that for the next few years the stock market is going to be depressed, but then again, don't take that as advice. Every situation is different, weigh the pros and cons carefully and if required, consult a qualified professional.

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    If 'a few' is 3, the market rose just over 50% in the three year period following your post. Just the opposite of depressed, the market was downright euphoric. – JoeTaxpayer Dec 16 '14 at 20:57

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