It may be a stereotype, but for many men, and increasingly women, your middle years are synonymous with going through some kind of crisis. Faced with the prospect of getting older and impending mortality, people start to question why they didn't ever do all those things they dreamed of when they were younger. As industry experts know, this results in increased ownership of fancy sports cars that most drivers wouldn't ever consider under other circumstances - and lots more money for insurance companies.
There's nothing wrong with buying a few new toys, and you definitely ought to avoid regret when it’s too late. But when midlife crisis purchases keep costing you money long after you initially make them, you'll soon experience a crisis of an entirely different nature.
How Midlife Crises Affect Insurance Premiums
Drivers over 50 usually have way lower rates than anyone else. Car insurance companies have run the numbers: Although common public misconceptions put forward the idea that older individuals are higher-risk drivers, insurance firms know that they have fewer overall accidents than teens and other groups do. As a result, they charge less as driver experience increases. Unfortunately for you, that trend starts to take a sudden turn as soon as you add a fancy new convertible into the equation.
Well-known sports cars are costlier to insure regardless of how old their drivers are. New vehicles that rarely see anything but showroom floors because they're too expensive for most people to afford are horrible investments anyway. After you sink a significant chunk of your savings into some flashy vehicle that James Bond would be proud of, you'll end up sinking even more into insurance fees for it even if you've got an utterly impeccable driving history.
Midlife-crisis car purchases are so common that auto magazines and insurance industry publications even release literature about the phenomenon. Top-ten lists of performance autos purchased during midlife crises are commonly the subject of online articles. Make no mistake; your local car dealer isn't the only one who wants to profit off the collective crises. Insurance companies know your age, and they can tell when you're making a midlife emergency car purchase. There's no way to escape paying higher premiums for it.
Debunking the Midlife Myths
For many individuals, however, higher insurance premiums aren't really a deterrent, Of course, their feelings change after they actually see how drastic the increases actually are, but it's probably best not to let things get that far.
Many of you will swallow the dealer's line that a new car will let you redefine yourself, and paying more for it won't seem like too much of a sacrifice for that. Unfortunately, you have to remember that buying a new car won't make you a newer, younger person. You'll just be the same person in a new car. If you're smart, on the other hand, you'll be the same old person with a car that works and a whole lot more money in your pockets to enjoy yourself with. That’s not to say you haven’t earned yourself some luxury and comfort – but you don’t need a show pony to get a smooth ride.
In the end, you just have to think about what matters more. Many drivers who make big midlife purchases do so because they can't see a reason not to. They know they can't take their wealth with them, so they might as well enjoy it while they can.
Surprisingly, sensible older drivers feel the same way. The only difference is that they enjoy their wealth by spending their money on things they've never done before, like taking exotic vacations and exploring the world using their current, serviceable vehicles. Those who cripple their checking accounts with expensive performance vehicle purchases and the insurance nightmares that ensue sort of eliminate such grand options.
If you're not convinced, there's a really easy way to gauge the effects of your midlife crisis before you actually commit to buying a new car. Just compare car insurance prices online. Use an Internet-based insurance evaluation tool to see how much a specific new vehicle will cost you each month. Also take a look at other related expenses like roadside assistance and fuel costs. You're likely to find that there are more life-defining things to spend money on.