Thursday, March 15, 2012

Your Boomer Mortgage: Insurance Offers You Don't Need

On a recent episode of Financial Impact Factor Radio, we discussed the topic of insurance. If you have never tuned into this show, I think you will find it interesting and topical. We have a wide range of guests and often discuss the very questions that concern Baby Boomers, their children and their parents. Because being a Boomer is more than just being a certain age. All of our shows on Financial Impact Factor Radio can be found here.

As a Boomer, I am always intrigued by the offers that begin showing up in my inbox/mailbox. Although they don't on the surface seem to be age related, one can't help but read between the lines. Are they talking to me? Are they worried about whether I will make it to the end? That "end" involves satisfying the largest debt any of us will ever own: our mortgage.

Last week I received a letter in the mail from the bank that holds my mortgage that would make most mortgage holders think twice. It was the offer of life insurance. My bank might think there are good reasons for offering this product that is different that many of the other types of insurance offered with these types of loans. For instance, PMI is private mortgage insurance the bank makes you buy if you are putting less than 20% down on a mortgage. The sole beneficiary in this instance is the lender, who knows that if you are going to default, this riskier loan covers their interest in the transaction. Known as PMI, its cost has begun to weigh on borrowers who find their loans underwater. Once you pass 78% mark because the value of your house compared to the amount of your initial downpayment, you can cancel the policy.

There is also mortgage insurance which for some borrowers seems like a good option as well. Essentially the lure of this product is to pay-off the mortgage in the event of your death. The insurer doesn’t pay you directly instead writing a check directly to the mortgage company or lender.

The letter I received offered a term policy that would last until I turned 80 years old, which is about 26 years from now. Like all insurance policies it plays on your fears and comes at a time when the typical term policy is about to expire if you bought insurance in your thirties, which is typically the time when most folks consider coverage. But it isn’t cheap. In fact, this sort of policy has a seven year flat rate, just a few medical questions without an exam and of course the tug-on-your-heart-strings assurance that your loved ones will be taken care of.

So today I thought we’d talk about late in life insurance coverage and whether we should consider it.

Listen to Financial Impact Factor Radio with your hosts:
Paul Petillo of and Dave Kittredge and Dave Ng of