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Life Insurance for Seniors Over 60

Several aspects of financial planning can change as you approach retirement. One financial tool many seniors consider is a life insurance policy to help them protect their loved ones, build and preserve wealth, leave a larger legacy for their heirs, and cover final expenses. This article will explain how life insurance for seniors works and illustrate the benefits of including a life insurance policy in your financial plan.

How does life insurance for seniors work?

Life insurance for seniors operates like life insurance for other age groups. It can provide substantial financial coverage to your loved ones through a death benefit paid out if you pass away during the policy term. Loved ones can use this payout to help cover expenses and help pay off debts in your absence.

Types of life insurance for seniors over 60 

Seniors over 60 have many options for getting life insurance coverage:1

Term life insurance

Term life insurance lasts for a fixed term of 10 to 30 years, depending on your chosen policy term. It can expire if you outlive the policy, meaning you may have to get a new policy to continue coverage. However, term life insurance can come with lower premiums than other types. This can make it easier for seniors to get coverage since life insurance rates tend to rise with age.

Whole life insurance

Whole life insurance is a permanent policy type that provides lifelong coverage and a cash value growth component. Every time you pay a premium, a portion goes into the cash value and grows tax-deferred at a fixed, guaranteed rate. As the cash value grows, you can tap into it via:

  • Policy loans: You can borrow the cash value at low rates with no repayment date. The policy doesn’t lapse as long as the cash value remains larger than the loan balance.
  • Withdrawing: This may reduce your death benefit and lead to tax consequences.

You can receive your cash value minus surrender charges if you surrender the policy. Premiums can be higher than other policy types, but shopping around can help you find the best rates on coverage. Overall, whole life insurance can work well for seniors who want added peace of mind and a safe wealth-building vehicle.

Final expense insurance

Final expense insurance is a small whole life policy to help your loved ones cover your end-of-life expenses, such as medical bills and funeral costs. Final expense insurance for seniors has a small death benefit, low premiums, and a cash value growth component that operates like a whole life insurance policy’s cash value. These policies often don’t require a medical exam.

Simplified issue life insurance

Simplified issue life insurance is a small whole life policy that doesn’t require a medical exam. This shortens the application process while offering additional convenience and preserving your privacy. Death benefits are small, but premiums are low, and you can build wealth through a cash value growth component. Whether you find medical exams inconvenient or invasive or simply prefer to get coverage faster, simplified issue life insurance may be a good option.

Should seniors over 60 get life insurance with no medical exam?

Life insurance with no medical exam is a good option for seniors over 60 to consider. This is especially true if you have concerns about your health status or find the exam inconvenient or invasive. Here are some benefits of getting a no-exam policy:

  • Shorter application process: Medical exams draw out the traditional life insurance process through scheduling and taking the exam, as well as waiting for results. With no exam, getting coverage can take as little as a day.

  • Less stress: Taking medical exams can be stressful for some. Waiting for results can add to the stress, especially if you’re worried about approval. Avoiding an exam can make the process less stressful.

  • Higher approval chances: You may not have to worry about specific health matters interfering with your approval chances.

Seniors who want immediate coverage without worrying about health issues or don’t like medical exams may consider a no-exam policy. Keep in mind that premiums are higher given the coverage level since the insurer can’t fully assess your health status.

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Benefits of getting life insurance for seniors

Here are some ways life insurance can help seniors:

Provide financial security for your loved ones

The life insurance death benefit offers financial security to your loved ones in case you pass away. They can use the death benefit to replace their income and supplement their assets while paying down outstanding debts.

Enjoy reasonable premiums

Although premiums rise with age, the life insurance market has grown more competitive.2 This has caused insurers to reduce costs to attract new policyholders — even for more traditional policies. On top of that, there are plenty of policy types with reasonable premiums for seniors. For instance, smaller policies like final expense and simplified issue life insurance also have lower premiums, given their lower coverage. Furthermore, shopping around can help you find and compare quotes to get rates that fit your budget.

Customize coverage to meet your needs

Senior life insurance lets you customize many parts of your policy. You can select different types of policies and adjust the death benefit to your needs. If it’s a term life insurance policy, you can select from many term lengths as well.

Additionally, you can add riders for specific types of extra coverage that are either free or come with an extra cost. For example, an inflation rider can increase your death benefit each year to keep up with inflation and help your beneficiaries receive a bigger payout.

Enhance your estate planning

Life insurance may allow you to pass more assets down while avoiding estate taxes if you place the policy in an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) managed by a trustee of your choice. The ILIT owns the policy instead of you, so the death benefit may not be counted as part of your estate. When you pass away, the trustee you selected pays the death benefit to your chosen beneficiaries.

Keep in mind that you must avoid any incident ownership in the policy to gain the tax benefit.3 Also, you can’t undo the trust after you create it. Therefore, you must be certain that you want to use the policy for this purpose. 

Life insurance rates for seniors over 60 

Below are the average monthly premiums for a $250,000 term life insurance policy, assuming the policyholder is in good health:4

Age Gender Premiums
60 Female $62.60
Male $82.70
70 Female $173.39
Male $245.01

Here are the average rates for a whole life insurance policy for seniors in good health with a $100,000 coverage amount:

Age Gender Premiums
60 Female $324.50
Male $394.50
70 Female $580.80
Male $652.00

How seniors over 60 can get a life insurance policy 

Here’s how seniors over 60 can get life insurance coverage:

  • 1. Evaluate your coverage needs: Consider your income, expenses, and dependents to determine how much coverage you need and are willing to pay for. 
  • 2. Understand policy types: Determine whether you need lifelong coverage and an additional wealth-building vehicle via a cash value growth component. This will help you pick between term and permanent life policies. Finally, decide if you’re willing to take a medical exam or not.
  • 3. Gather quotes: Get quotes from multiple insurers to compare coverage amounts, rates, and potential terms. Review each insurer’s reputation as well.
  • 4. Begin the application: You’ll provide some personal information, such as age, occupation, and hobbies. You’ll also most likely answer some basic health questions. Finally, you’ll schedule a medical exam if needed.
  • 5. Take the medical exam if applicable: If your policy requires an exam, you may take the exam in your home or at the facility. The examiner will gather health data and take samples, such as blood tests.
  • 6. Get approved: Approval can take as little as a day for no-exam policies but may take longer for policies with an exam. Either way, the insurer will eventually present you with your policy documents.
  • 7. Review documents and sign the contract: Look over the paperwork to make sure you understand every aspect, such as premiums, death benefits, cash value, and any riders. Ask questions and bring up concerns if necessary. If everything looks right, sign the documents and pay your first premium to activate coverage.

Get a quote for Aflac life insurance

Seniors have plenty of life insurance options, whether they need simple, low-rate coverage or a lifelong policy with wealth-building potential. Premiums may be higher than for younger policyholders, but a competitive market and range of policy types make it easier to find favorable rates on coverage tailored to your needs.

Ready to explore your options for covering your loved ones and leaving a larger legacy with life insurance? Chat with an Aflac agent today to explore your options, ask any questions you may have, and get a quote.

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