35-Year Term Life Insurance

We'll cover everything you need to know about 35-year term life insurance, including why you may need this type of term and how much life insurance you should purchase.

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Tim is a licensed life insurance agent with 23 years of experience helping people protect their families and businesses with term life insurance. He writes and creates stuff for QuickQuote and other insurance and financial websites.

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Written by Tim Bain
Founder & Life Insurance Agent Tim Bain

Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent Benji Carr

UPDATED: May 24, 2022

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Quick Facts

  • A 35-year term life insurance policy is one of the longest available
  • These policies work just like other term insurance policies
  • This type of policy may be suitable for those under 50 years old who want a life insurance policy with a fixed rate, though the cost may be a drawback for some

If you’re under the age of 50 and looking for a fixed-rate life insurance plan, finding one that might last longer than you can be challenging. Though one company offers a 40-year policy, the 35-year term life insurance is the longest term life policy available from multiple insurance companies.

Term life insurance is typically available with limits of five, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 years. However, some companies are beginning to offer policies with an extended term to meet the needs of a population living longer. Here, we give you the information you need to determine if a 35-year policy is right for you.

What is a 35-year term life insurance policy?

Term life insurance is a policy that pays out benefits to designated beneficiaries when the policyholder passes away. These are different from permanent life insurance policies in that the terms of the coverage only last a specified period. 

For example, if the insured dies within the term, the company pays death benefits. But the coverage expires with no cost recovery if a policyholder outlasts the policy.

According to the CDC, the average life expectancy in the U.S. is 77 years, with many working and paying mortgages into their later years. A shorter-term policy may not offer the security you are looking for to provide for your family’s expenses should you pass away. If not, a longer 35-year term life insurance policy may be a good option.

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How much does a 35-year term life policy cost?

Numerous factors contribute to determining how much an individual pays for a policy. The table below shows how age, gender, and smoking habits will impact your monthly 35-year term life insurance quotes:

Sample Rates: 35-Year Term Life Insurance
AgeMale - Non-SmokerFemale - Non-SmokerMale - SmokerFemale - Smoker
30$25.30$21.28$53.77$43.51
35$26.07$22.90$62.83$51.63
40$34.87$27.69$91.39$69.33
45$63.21$37.78$130.20$100.62
50$79.98$56.42$165$136
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Overall, life insurance companies will consider your gender, age, medical history, current health, family health history, smoking habits, alcohol consumption habits, credit history, and hobbies when determining rates. The amount of coverage you choose also affects your rates, so compare multiple policy types with different companies to find the right level of coverage for your family. 

How does a 35-year term life insurance policy work?

As with other fixed-term policies, 35-year term life insurance requires you to complete an application for coverage. Upon approval, your annual rates are locked in for the policy duration. The insurance company can’t raise your rates or cancel your policy as long as you continue to pay, even if your health declines.

On the other hand, you can cancel your policy before the end of the term without penalty. However, you won’t get any of the money back you paid into the coverage. Likewise, if the plan expires while you are still alive, you lose the money you put into it unless you renew, purchase a return of premium life insurance, or convert the term policy into a permanent life insurance plan.

What causes of death does term life cover?

As with term life insurance purchased in other increments, a 35-year policy covers most types of death. If you die in an accident or from natural causes, your company will pay your beneficiaries. 

However, term life insurance will not cover:

  • Suicide. Most insurance companies have a suicide clause that states it won’t pay benefits if the policyholder commits suicide in the first two years of a 35-year term life insurance policy.
  • Risky activities. An insurance company may not pay out death benefits if the insured dies participating in dangerous activities, such as rock climbing or skydiving. The policy should indicate this type of exclusion.
  • Fraud. If you fail to disclose medical conditions, risky hobbies, or a history of family health concerns, the insurance company will likely withhold payment of the death benefit.

It’s always a good idea to review your policy for exclusions and conditions. If you need coverage that includes hobbies that come with inherent risks, you may be able to purchase a policy that covers them for an additional fee.

Who qualifies for 35-year term life insurance?

Most companies that offer the longest term life insurance won’t provide these policies to anyone over the age of 50. If you are over 50, you may want to consider a permanent life insurance policy, which lasts for the policyholder’s lifetime.

This type of term life insurance coverage may be appealing if the loss of your income would place your family members in a vulnerable position. For example, if you still have young children at home and are the sole provider in your partnership, term life may provide you with peace of mind.

Term life typically replaces lost income when the policyholder dies. If you retire in 20 years and have a retirement plan or estate that would provide for your spouse, you may not need the longer 35-year term.

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How much insurance should you purchase?

The amount of coverage you should purchase depends on your reasons for getting a 35-year term life insurance policy. Many companies offer coverage as high as $500,000. When selecting how much you want to purchase, consider what you want the policy to cover if you pass away. Typically, people obtain life insurance to:

  • Pay for the mortgage
  • Cover educational expenses for their children
  • Pay off debts
  • Cover living expenses for loved ones
  • Include as part of an inheritance or legacy

Your policy should be able to pay for current expenses and anticipated future expenses that you don’t want your beneficiaries to worry about when you’re gone.

The Bottom Line: Is 35-year term life insurance a good choice?

If you like the idea of paying a fixed rate on a life insurance plan, but you are at an age where the standard insurance terms don’t seem long enough, you may need a different option — consider 35-year term life insurance, the longest term life insurance available from multiple companies.

It may be a good fit for you if you are 50 or younger, won’t retire for at least 35 years, and losing your income would create a financial hardship for your loved one.

Term life insurance is generally more affordable than most people realize, but it gets costlier for those at a higher risk. The most significant concerns with the 35-year term are the higher rates and the potential to lose the investment if the policyholder outlives the policy.

Insurance companies charge more for each increasing increment. The 10-year plans are the least expensive, and the 35-year plans would be the most costly. To find the most affordable term life insurance rates, shop around with at least three local companies to find the best option for you and your family. 

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