Finding Low Cost Term Life Insurance

If you’ve been considering life insurance, you’ve most likely heard financial planners and advisors tout the benefits of term life insurance. Term life insurance is known as the cheapest and most popular type of policy available. This is because there are dozens of different kinds of term life insurance policies addressing every life situation you may be facing, not to mention the fact that it is typically the most affordable coverage for a person of any age. Determining the best type of term life insurance for you depends on multiple factors, including your age, health, present and future income, assets and liabilities.

Term Life Policies

There are many types of term life insurance policies, among them level term, increasing and decreasing term, high risk, survivorship, group, guaranteed, no exam, and mortgage life insurance. Level term offers a low, fixed premium and stable death benefit for a term of 5, 10, 20, or 30 years. With decreasing or mortgage term life insurance, the death benefit and premiums decrease each year based on the insured person’s age or the principal owed on the mortgage, allowing the cost of the policy to adjust as your income increases year after year.

Decreasing term life insurance, similar to mortgage life insurance or credit life insurance, is usually used to cover a debt like a mortgage loan and both the death benefit and premiums decrease over time as you pay down the liabilities. Banks, lenders, or financing companies may sometimes require life insurance as collateral for a business or personal loan, too.


Some term life policies may be renewable at the end of the term. It is important to check the policy provisions to see if a medical exam or physical is required at the time of the policy renewal. Generally, renewable life insurance offers more benefits to young individuals or parents since rates of renewal policies are not as cheap as an insured person grows older. Renewable policies are a low cost alternative to permanent life insurance policies – whole and universal.


Young people may want the benefits of whole or universal life insurance, but not be able to afford the premiums in their budgets. Convertible term life insurance allows the policyholder to change or convert the type of policy from term to whole or universal life when their budget permits.

With convertible life insurance, families and seniors still have the protection of affordable term life with the option to purchase additional coverage with options at a later date. This is a good low cost option for individuals who intend to use life insurance as part of financial planning.

No Exam

If, for any reason, you think you would be ineligible for or denied coverage by the insurance company, you can apply for a no medical exam policy. Although the premiums will be higher, this type of life insurance exempts you from the usually physical exam and blood tests required for underwriting. Instead, you will be asked to answer questions regarding your current state of health as well as offer a full medical history. The death benefit is typically limited, but older applicants or ones with pre-existing health conditions are able to get enough protection to cover final expenses. Other terms and conditions or exclusions may apply, such as no payout or claims covered for the first 2 years after issuance, so read the fine print when considering no exam life insurance.

Who Should Buy Term Life?

Since rates are largely based on the age and health of the insured person, a term life policy offers the cheapest premiums and greatest advantage to young individuals in good health because they can lock in the cheapest premiums for 20 to 30 years.

Beyond the probable fact that most Americans need life insurance, protection is most essential if you fall into the following categories:

  • you’re married
  • you have kids or dependents
  • you’re single but have financial dependents or loan co-signors (i.e. your parents for student loans)
  • you have grown children and want to leave them an inheritance, and need a policy to cover estate taxes

The bottom line is – any time you have someone financially dependent on you, you likely need to buy life insurance.

All Is Not Lost

I can’t tell you the number of times that, in our seemingly never-ending struggle with debt, that I’ve seriously contemplated just giving up.  Just throwing in the towel and saying f-it.  You know it’s bad when you catch yourself fantasizing about it.  About how much easier your life would be without the struggle.  Just declaring bankruptcy, taking the hit on your credit score, and moving on with your life.

Even now, after having written about personal finance for over five years, I still find myself in that place occasionally.  We let our budgeting lapse, and inevitably our spending gets out of whack again.  Something happens, and the emergency fund just doesn’t seem to cover it all.  Or, worse, doesn’t seem to replenish itself as quickly as it should. - I can't believe I work this hard to be this poor.I can try and lay the blame somewhere.  That always helps, right?  If it isn’t my fault, then I can’t be blamed for it.  I can’t be the one that everyone points to as the failure.  I can deflect that attention to someone or something else.  That helps.  Until it doesn’t.

Every single time, it’s really me that deserves the blame.  It wasn’t the boss that refused to give me a raise.  It wasn’t the heater in the car that needed to be fixed.  And it certainly wasn’t the kids that needed to eat.  It was me.  Every.  Single. Time.

I failed to negotiate the raise.  I failed to have enough saved up to make that repair.  I failed to budget properly to make sure that we wouldn’t have to cut corners at the grocery store.  Me.  I did that.

I could just give up.  I could miss having to work harder to be paid appropriately.  I could miss having to pay attention to my budget to save money for car repairs, or to pay for groceries.  I could do that.  Giving up would be so easy.

Until it isn’t.

Stock the Freezer with Frugal Meat Through Hunting

My wife really enjoys eating healthy, and prefers the taste of organic, grass fed meats to the traditional pasture raised and corn finished variety that is far less expensive. My wife usually does the shopping, but last time I went with her she bought a pound of ground buffalo for $9.99, and that was on sale! I absolutely couldn’t believe it! We try and keep our grocery tab under 65-75 dollars per week for the two of us, and she was spending more than 10% of it on one item!

That’s a lot of money, and more of the same in this department would put us in the poor house in no time flat. Thankfully though, we very rarely buy meat from the store. It’s not that we are vegetarians or vegans, but we prefer to get our meat from other sources. The main sources that we use to get meat these days is hunting and fishing. I’ve found that this is a great way to get high quality meat for a great price. Not only that, but you get to be outside all the time while you do it.

I started hunting right out of college with my dad and my uncle, and I went with them because it was what they always did. Hunting didnt seem that abnormal to me at the time, and neither did securing your own food. It was just something we did because we didnt have a lot of money to spend on anything, especially food.

Goes Hunting Gets a freezer full of frugal meat

Now though, I’m hard pressed to find someone that is under the age of 30 that hunts, and I cant figure out why. Every time I go to the store I see people filling up their carts with organic, free range and grass fed meat, and they are paying a pretty penny for it! When I go deer hunting I usually yield about 35 pounds of raw meat, and I pay $20 for my hunting tag, which equates to about $1.75 per pound. This isn’t just some regular old factory farmed meat either, it’s high quality, grass fed, free range organic stuff that people are paying an arm and a leg for. It’s good, frugal meat.

This poundage that I get is all venison as well, it’s before I combine it with a little beef fat for hamburger or before mixing with pork for venison sausage. Typically, when you make sausages or ground venison, you want to add some fat because venison is so lean that it dries out pretty quickly, further increasing your actual yield.

The same can be said for fishing. I know not everyone likes fish that much (and the ones that are more popular like salmon are nowhere to be found where I come from) but you can get a great source of protein with them as well. Your yield isnt as high in terms of poundage, but you still get some great healthy food for cheap. Fishing tags are also a lot cheaper where I come from (about $25 for the season) and can be a great source of food as well.

What if You Dont Hunt or Aren’t Interested?

To this I say that is just fine! To each their own. You don’t need to hunt or fish to enjoy wild game meat. All you have to do is befriend a hunter. Last year, I had quite a few friends express interest in any leftover meat that I had, so I simply purchased an extra tag and harvested an extra animal. Once I was finished processing it, I gave 4 of my friends about 10 lbs each of multiple cuts of venison. They each got some sausages, steaks, roasts and ground venison. Everyone was so thankful they offered to pay me – I couldn’t believe it, I had a great time out there and was happy to do it for free.

The next question I got was how do I cook this – which is also a simple solution. I explained the cuts of meat that each person got, and they went and searched for venison tenderloin recipes or whatever the cut was, and found a great recipe online. Lots of them shared the recipes with me, so it was nice to get some new stuff to try as well.

If you’re looking for one great way to save on food costs, stay healthy and “beat broke”, I encourage you to take up hunting or befriend someone that is a hunter. They can help you save a lot of money while they have fun outdoors!

Readers: Have you ever hunted before? If no, Are you interested? Why or Why not? Do you know any friendly hunters that may share with you?

Original image credit: Hunting Face, by Kristacher, on Flickr