Life Insurance For Seniors | The Definitive Guide (2021)

 By Aten-Re El Published:

Life insurance is one of the most reliable ways to ensure that your family stays out of debt, this is especially important for seniors. 

Planning for your family’s financial future can ease the burden of medical and funeral costs.

And when you are trying to get life insurance for seniors protecting your family is crucial.

life insurance for seniors

There are nearly endless options when it comes to life insurance for seniors, from guaranteed universal life insurance to term life insurance, and even funeral insurance.

How do you know which one works best for your situation?

Before you commit to a life insurance plan, you should know your options and learn which one is most affordable without sacrificing the benefits you need.

What is Life Insurance for Seniors?

Life insurance for seniors comes in many forms. Most of the time, you’ll hear it referred to as term life insurance or whole life insurance, though the two are different—and there are even more choices.

Senior life insurance is something you usually purchase between ages 50 and 85. Policies vary, but the point of buying life insurance is to help your family manage medical and end of life costs after your death.

Life insurance can prevent your family from going into debt and give you peace of mind when you know you’re easing their financial burden.

Whole life insurance is a policy that protects you indefinitely. No matter how long you live, your plan won’t expire.

That said, term life insurance only protects you for a specific amount of time, usually up to age 90 or 95. If you outlive it, you no longer have that coverage.

There are advantages to both whole life and term life insurance, as well as other options that give you similar end of life coverage.

Different policies give you different types of coverage, and the one you choose depends on your needs.

To get life insurance, you usually must agree to have a medical exam, as well as answer questions about your medical history.

Some types of coverage are more willing to accept certain health conditions than others. For example, many insurance companies will not insure people with diabetes.

However, it’s rarely impossible for anyone to qualify for a policy with underwriting.

Even then, there are life insurance options for seniors that will insure you no matter what or have more relaxed underwriting rules.

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Why Seniors Need Life Insurance

If you’re financially stable and have no trouble paying off debt or regular bills, you probably should get life insurance for other reasons like leaving a legacy to your family. 

However, if you’re in a significant amount of debt or if you have dependents, you should probably put your family in a better financial situation by having coverage.

If you are the breadwinner, consider that your family may not be financially stable after you pass away.

Life insurance ensures that your family still has some income after that point. It may give them time to adjust or allow them to keep living comfortably.

If you’re in debt when you die, that debt may go to your family. If you want to make sure your loved ones don’t take on that debt, life insurance can be a good idea.

senior life insurance

It can help them pay off your debt without having to use their own funds.

Enrolling in life insurance also depends on whether your spouse and children can live adequately without your income.

If they are dependent on you, the new lack of income can impact their quality of life, especially if they are not able to earn income.

Life insurance helps fill the financial space of your pension, and it can be especially beneficial if people in your family have disabilities or illnesses that prevent them from being self-sufficient.

Even if your family is entirely self-sufficient and you don’t have debt, life insurance can improve your estate.

It can help pay for your estate taxes unless you have an estate with a high net worth, in which case you wouldn’t need life insurance.

If you want to find out whether life insurance would benefit your estate, consult with an estate planning attorney for help deciding the best course of action.

Types of Life Insurance Options for Seniors

Life insurance comes in many forms, and seniors have many options.

Not all plans are equal, so make sure you understand your situation and what will benefit your family most in the long run.

While one plan may look good on paper, it may not be the best one for you. 

The most common types of life insurance for seniors include:

  • Term life insurance
  • Whole life insurance
  • Universal life insurance
  • Final expense insurance

Each one has different types of coverage within its category, and the benefits vary based on your policy. Consider each one and how it can work for you before committing to one.

INSURANCE WHERE YOU LIVE

Life insurance by state.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance can prove an excellent option for seniors because of its lower cost for more coverage.

If you don’t have any serious health conditions, this type of insurance is ideal, as insurance companies are more likely to accept you for coverage.

The disadvantage to term life insurance for seniors is that this type of policy can expire, leaving you without coverage or having to pay more for the coverage you want.

Term life usually covers you for up to 30 years, but your coverage varies widely from one company and policy to the next.

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance is different than term life insurance because whole life doesn’t expire. This insurance may cost more, but you won’t have to worry about aging out of your policy.

Whole life policies also accrue cash value, which means they can benefit you while you’re alive, too.

You can borrow from your policy when you need to, and you receive some tax advantages based on the cash value your policy earns.

However, I don't recommend using the cash value in your insurance policy, it should really be your "SUPER" last resort.

Universal Life Insurance

Universal life insurance functions in the same way whole life policies do, but with a few crucial differences.

This type of life insurance allows you to adjust monthly premiums as needed—within specified limits.

If you pay more per month than the designated amount, that extra money goes to a cash account. You can pay premiums with this cash or save it for the future.

Many people like universal life insurance policies for their flexibility above all else but these policies can be confusing so make sure you know how it works before you purchase one.

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Guaranteed issue life insurance almost always falls under the umbrella of whole life insurance, though it works a little differently.

While most whole and term life insurance policies have underwriting and make you submit to a medical exam, guaranteed issue life insurance doesn’t.

This type of insurance will insure you no matter your medical condition.

Even if you have what most companies call “knockout” conditions, which include terminal illnesses, guaranteed issue life insurance will cover you.

But, be ready for some pretty hefty premiums and at least a 2 year waiting period before benefits kick in if you have to go this route.

Final Expense Insurance

Final expense insurance works differently than other life insurance policies.

These types of policies are also known as burial insurance, funeral insurance, memorial insurance, and similar names, though they all mean the same thing.

Final expense insurance is meant to cover your final expenses such as funeral, cremation, and burial costs.

However, these policies can also be used to cover things like credit card debt, mortgage payments or car notes. 

The coverage is usually lower than what you can expect from a traditional life insurance policy and the coverage amounts range from $5,000 to $25,000.

Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance (GUL)

Guaranteed universal life insurance is a type of life insurance that offers flexible premiums like a term life insurance policy, and lasts as long as a whole life policy.

Think of it as a compromise between the two products, you will also notice that the premiums will fall between a term policy and a whole life policy as well. 

Some of the pros of a GUL policy are: 

  • Premiums Can Be Level For Lifetime.
  • Death Benefit Guaranteed Up To Age 121
  • Interest Rate Volatility Does Not Affect Premium Payments.
  • Policies Can Be Funded By A 1035 Exchange
  • You Can Set Your Length Of Premium Payments

Some of the cons of a GUL policy are: 

  • Product May Not Have Any Cash Value
  • Premiums Generally Higher Than Term Insurance
  • A Missed Or Late Premium Payment Can Jeopardize The Guaranteed Premium Feature

Is AARP Term Life Insurance a Good Deal?

AARP term life insurance can be an excellent option for many people. After over 150 years in business, they consistently rank among the best life insurance companies available.

AARP New York Life provides term life insurance to seniors between the ages of 50 and 74. You can get small policies of $10,000 as well as larger ones up to $100,000.

The entire time you have the policy, you don’t have to worry about your death benefit changing either.

Unlike many other term life insurance companies, AARP also doesn’t make you take a medical exam before they decide to cover you.

There are a few disadvantages to AARP, though they may not be significant concerns to everyone considering a term life insurance policy with them.

For example, if you purchase a term life policy at age 50, your premium will go up every five years from that point.

That means that by the time you’re 75, if you still have the same policy, you could be paying significantly more.

Additionally, your coverage expires once you reach 80 years old.

That doesn’t mean you can’t purchase whole life coverage—they do offer that option—but you may pay a much higher rate for it.

They don’t guarantee prices on their life insurance either, so you won’t know what you pay every five years until they inform you that your premium is increasing.

Overall, they are an amazing company but there are much better options if you are looking for life insurance as a senior.

THE SIMPLY INSURANCE WAY

Life Insurance made easy.

Agents not required.

Get quotes and sign up online without talking to an agent. But, we are here if you need us. 

Unbiased, expert advice.

Get unbiased insurance education from licensed experts and also avoid dodgy sales calls.

Coverage in minutes.

You can get life insurance coverage within minutes of getting your quotes and applying.

Life Insurance Quotes Over 50

You definitely shouldn't wait until reach age 50 before you start considering life insurance.

However, if you are in your 50's and still don't have coverage you will likely get the best rates between the ages of 50 and 65.

The longer you wait, your chances of encountering health problems increase and it makes it harder to get covered.

Still, no matter your age, your premium will vary depending on your insurance company and the type of policy you have.

For example, whole life insurance often costs more than term life, and GUL may cost more than both or even be less than both.

At 50, the average healthy person will pay about $91 a month for life insurance, though the rate can go as high as $441 a month. 

This depends on factors like whether you smoke or have health problems like diabetes or a heart condition.

How much coverage you sign up for can determine the amount you pay as well. 

A $100,000 policy might cost you around $213 per month. However, a $250,000 policy can bump that number up to $380 to $645 per month.

A $500,000 policy may cost anywhere from $624 to $1,098 per month and a $1 million policy can range from $1,155 to $2,090 per month.

Can A Senior Get No Exam Life Insurance? 

Yes, a senior can get life insurance with no exam; however, before you apply for a no exam life insurance policy you should make sure you have been doing a great job at aging in place.

What I mean by that is staying active and healthy with regular exercise and healthy habits that can prevent diseases and improve mental health.

For example, a recent study found that gum disease has some type of link to getting dementia.

Just think about that, not brushing your teeth could possibly lead to dementia, which is absolutely crazy.

The reason you need to be in your best health is that the more medical conditions you have, the harder it will be for you to get covered. 

Completing Your Medical Exam as a Senior

Life insurance medical exams for seniors are straightforward and can usually happen in your home.

The exam consists of two parts:

  • Medical history questions
  • Sample collections

The medical question portion involves a medical professional sitting down with you and asking about any existing medical issues and your medical history.

You don’t need to show any medical records, but you do need to be honest about your health.

Next, the medical professional will collect blood and urine samples. Most of the time, you don’t have to go to a hospital or doctor’s office for this portion.

Not all insurance companies perform the same tests, so they should inform you of which test you will be required to complete before you meet with any medical professional.

THE SIMPLY INSURANCE WAY

Life Insurance made easy.

Agents not required.

Get quotes and sign up online without talking to an agent. But, we are here if you need us. 

Unbiased, expert advice.

Get unbiased insurance education from licensed experts and also avoid dodgy sales calls.

Coverage in minutes.

You can get life insurance coverage within minutes of getting your quotes and applying.

Affordable Life Insurance for Seniors

While life insurance helps to plan for the future, you also must think about what you can afford now.

When it comes to affordable life insurance for seniors, several companies offer reasonable rates, including Mutual of Omaha, AARP, and AIG.

If you’re on a fixed income, it may be challenging for you to pay for a more expensive policy.

Consider whether your budget allows for the type of policy you want.

It may be worth consulting with an independent insurance agent or agency who can help you shop for the right policy for you.

Insurance agencies can help you find the most affordable rates because they shop around for you.

Ideally, you should find a policy that fits the needs of your budget and leaves your family with a death benefit to cover your end of life expenses.

Taking Action

Finding life insurance for seniors doesn’t have to be stressful and there are a ton of resources out there to help you find coverage and to help you with premiums. 

If you shop online you can find affordable policies with substantial coverage to help you plan for your family’s future without worrying about your finances. 

If you need life insurance, you can get immediate quotes and coverage by clicking here or on any of the above buttons. 


Aten-Re El

About the author

Aten-Re El is a Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Simply Insurance as well as a licensed life & health insurance agent with over 11 years of experience. Aten-Re is responsible for the daily operations of Simply Insurance and building and procuring strong client relationships with our insurance partners.

Sa El is the Co-Founder of Simply Insurance and a licensed Insurance Agent with over 13 years of experience in the industry.  He specializes in Life & Health Insurance and is certified in Long Term Care Insurance in the state of Georgia. a licensed real estate agent in the state of Georgia (License #382602), an entrepreneur, insurance educator, and freelance writer.


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