Kiplinger

What to Do When Your Term Life Insurance Is Expiring

In an ideal world, you buy life insurance when your kids are young or you've purchased your first home, and you need the coverage only for about 20 years. By the time your policy nears the end of its term, your kids are on their own, your house is mostly paid off, and you've accumulated enough money in retirement savings for your spouse to pay the bills if anything happened to you.

But these days, many people in their fifties are still supporting grown kids who graduated with student-loan debt, or they've refinanced their mortgage and locked in a new 30-year term. They may have been divorced and are now supporting a new set of kids. Or they still haven't saved enough to retire comfortably. Their coverage is about to end, but they still need the security that term insurance provides.

"This is happening to thousands of people because 20-year term insurance first became popular about 20 years ago," says John Ryan, CEO of Ryan Insurance Strategy Consultants in Greenwood Village, Colo., who works with fee-only financial advisers. Even though you can keep your policy beyond the initial term, the premiums

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