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How much does life insurance cost for a 50-year old?

by Mark Cluett
7 min read

Life in your fifties can be a very transformational period. While most talk of change describes young adults evolving into home ownership and parenthood, there are several life-altering events that happen as you get older that affect your financial planning and protection. With that in mind, you may be wondering how much life insurance costs for a 50-year old.

With prospects such as retirement, paying down the last of your mortgage, children entering university and starting lives their own, your financial needs can be so different from when you initially set up the tools and policies you use to ensure your loved ones are taken care of should something ever happen to you.

Whether you are looking at applying for life insurance for the first time, or want to change or update the coverage you obtained all those years ago, having some knowledge of what it may cost helps you start that process. With all that in mind, read further to find out what term life insurance costs for someone in their 50s, and why you should contemplate getting it now or making a change to your existing coverage.

Quick hits

Jump to the following sections of this article:

Why should I get life insurance in my fifties?

The reasons at this age vary. While you won’t take advantage of the low rates offered to someone in their 20s or 30s, life insurance is still relatively inexpensive for someone in their 50s who is in good health. And actually, if you find yourself not having suffered any critical or recurring illnesses yet, it might be time to secure a great rate. And if you happened have developed any health concerns, you may want to think about exercising options available within your existing coverages and/or asking an experienced insurance advisor to guide you through new plans you may want to establish. Luckily, we know someone who can help.

While you may have coverage through a group plan at your work – retirement is looming or you might find yourself in line for a final career change or promotion before you pack up the RV and live your twilight years sitting in a lawn chair in Arizona. In this case, you could find yourself with a gap in coverage or no coverage at all depending on your future plans. If you are dependent on group benefits for your life insurance at the moment, you should read why group plans can be lacking in life insurance coverage.

You may already have life insurance you purchased in your thirties or forties, but the plan, benefits, and options no longer suit your evolving needs. Be it marriage, children branching out on their own, or maturing mortgages, your financial and protection needs can change dramatically as you approach retirement age. Whether for full first-time coverage or to augment your existing insurance plans – term life insurance is simple and flexible insurance that can suit any of these situations.


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How much life insurance does a 50-year old need?

Before figuring the cost of life insurance at 50 years old and beyond, you need to know how much you should buy. Of course, the amount of life insurance you need at 50 years old depends entirely on your own personal situation – as we mentioned above.

However, there are some clear indicators of whether you need life insurance:

  • You are the main earner for your family, with dependents like your children, grandchildren, partner, or elderly parents
  • You and your partner plan on spending the rest of your life together as you approach retirement
  • You have children or grandchildren of any age
  • You are paying for their education and plan to continue to pay for some of their education costs over the next few years
  • You have a mortgage, or plan on buying or renovating your home in the near future
  • You have other forms of debt like credit cards or a line of credit
  • You are accumulating assets that you want to be able to transfer efficiently to your dependents

It makes sense that a Canadian in their fifties, with a remaining mortgage, children, and a partner also earning an income would need at least $500,000 in coverage to cover the last of the house payments, cost of living, and children’s education costs (or grandchild to spoil) in the next 20 years. However, like the Bermuda shorts you’ll need post-retirement, this isn’t one-size-fits-all. To find your specific coverage needs, try out our easy-to-use life insurance calculator

With all this considered, let’s take a look at what 20 year term life insurance costs for a 50-year old for some representative amounts.

What is the average cost of life insurance for someone in their 50s?

As we’ve explained here, insurance premiums are based on various factors such as your age, gender, smoking status, lifestyle, and overall health. Assuming everything is equal – we’ve combed over the numbers from 16 of the best Canadian life insurance companies to give you the average cost of life insurance on a 20-year term, divided by smoking status and gender.

For a male non-smoker, $500,000 worth of coverage starts at just over $123 at age fifty and rises from there. Smoking adds another $200 to your life insurance rates at fifty and keeps that trend going up to age 59.

Life Insurance Premiums – Male, Non-Smoker, 20-Year Term


Life Insurance Premiums – Male, Smoker, 20-Year Term


*Representative values, based on regular health

The story is similar for women in their fifties; initial rates are lower than men’s at this age (under $86), and smoking continues to have a meaningful impact on premiums.

Life Insurance Premiums – Female, Non-Smoker, 20-Year Term


Life Insurance Premiums – Female, Smoker, 20-Year Term


*Representative values, based on regular health

These are estimated prices based on representative data and will still vary depending on factors like health and medical exam results, smoking status (not just cigarettes), family medical history,  and more. You may also want a higher death benefit or a longer year term depending on your financial situation, life insurance coverage needs, and all the other things that accompany life in your fifties.

Only you know how much coverage you require and can reasonably afford, but these numbers give an over-arching view of what the average 50-year old might pay for such coverage.

How do I buy life insurance in my 50s?

You now have an idea of what term life insurance might cost as you approach this exciting stage of your life – but everyone’s situation is different. If you have 5 minutes to spare, you can determine your needs and get customized term life insurance quotes instantly with PolicyAdvisor’s life insurance calculator

Still need help with your coverage needs? Our licensed advisors are always here to chat.

Give us a call at 1-888-601-9980 or book some time with our licensed experts.

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