Take A New Look At Underwriting Older Age Applicants
Agents looking for an untapped and eager set of buyers for life insurance products might be surprised to find that these clients are vital, still working, running companies and raising families–and well past what we have come to consider “retirement age.”
Many older Americans well over age 65 are enjoying the demands of a second or third–or fourth–family, still at the helm of the family business, or continuing their professional pursuits. They dont want to retire, at least in the way society has come to define it.
Furthermore, many of these older age Americans are in the market for life insurance.
To work successfully with this emerging segment, agents will need to forget the “golden age” stereotypes that many older Americans have already left behind.
Healthier and more active than generations past, many older individuals, for personal and financial reasons, are working into their 70s and beyond. Continuing family commitments, college bills and ongoing home mortgages mean they may desire income protection.
And, if they own or direct a business, coverage for business continuation can be important.
These motivators are in addition to the traditional merits of life insurance as a tool for estate planning.
Interestingly, the trend of continuing to work at an older age is likely to intensify. Despite todays unemployment concerns, over the long term, the smaller number of younger workers will mean employers more and more will seek out older workers.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects workers age 55 and over will grow from 18 million in 2000 to more than 33 million in 2025.
Powered by good health and a sense that a fulfilling life includes some work, this age group is requiring that the marketplace change its thinking as well. For the life insurance industry, this change means a shift in underwriting philosophies.