Is the Protection Well worth the Price?

Life insurance coverage offers money to your beneficiaries after you die. It’s meant to assist change your revenue. 

However what about shopping for life insurance coverage in case you’re over age 60 or 65? Does it make sense?

In some conditions, it might make sense to spend hundreds of {dollars} a yr for a life insurance coverage coverage after you retire. Some seniors use life insurance coverage as an property planning device, a technique to cross alongside inheritance to heirs or to cowl debt and funeral bills. 

However for others, buying a brand new coverage doesn’t make monetary sense. 

Right here’s what you must think about. 

Can You Purchase Life Insurance coverage If You’re Over 65?

Individuals over age 65 can purchase life insurance coverage, however the premiums might be greater and it could be harder to cross medical underwriting necessities. 

A selected kind of life insurance coverage coverage — generally known as assured problem life — is marketed to seniors as an reasonably priced technique to cowl closing bills. However most of these insurance policies include restrictions and disadvantages. (Extra on that later). 

Your well being and age are two massive components insurance coverage corporations use to find out the price of your premiums. 

The older you might be, the dearer it’s to buy life insurance coverage protection. Likewise, the extra persistent well being situations you might have, the much less probably you might be to get a coverage — or pay dearly for it. 

Do You Want Life Insurance coverage If You’re Over 65?

Not everybody wants life insurance coverage after they retire. Typically, if nobody is determined by you financially, or your heirs can inherit different sources of revenue after you cross away, life insurance coverage isn’t crucial. 

However there’s additionally a couple of instances when shopping for life insurance coverage can assist defend your loved ones from monetary hardship after you’re gone. 

“Chances are you’ll not need medical debt or different end-of-life points being claimed towards your property, particularly in case you don’t have a excessive internet price,” stated Curtis Crossland, a licensed monetary planner at Suttle Crossland Wealth Advisors in Scottsdale, Arizona.

An property is the authorized time period for all of the property you personal whenever you die. After you cross away, the cash in your property is used to cowl your excellent money owed.

Money owed have to be paid earlier than your heirs obtain any cash. So in case you accumulate extra debt than you might have property, your youngsters or partner is likely to be left with nothing. 

“If you happen to’re wholesome and may qualify for all times insurance coverage, you may buy it as a hedge towards racking up large medical payments earlier than you cross away,” Crossland advised The Penny Hoarder. 

To be clear although, simply since you die with a ton of debt doesn’t essentially imply your survivors are caught with the invoice.

By legislation, members of the family don’t normally need to pay the money owed of a deceased relative from their very own cash, in keeping with the Federal Commerce Fee

However your beloved might nonetheless be on the hook in the event that they cosigned a mortgage with you. For instance, in case you and your partner cosigned scholar loans for a kid, your associate is answerable for paying off that debt after you die. 

Even when your loved ones isn’t drowning in debt after you’re gone, an insurance coverage coverage pays out money to assist them stay higher. 

Life insurance coverage can assist guarantee your partner can proceed making mortgage funds, cowl your funeral prices or present monetary assist to an grownup youngster with particular wants. 

For the rich, buying a life insurance coverage coverage in retirement will be an effective way to cross alongside a large inheritance, fulfill philanthropic needs or cowl property taxes. 

Think about all of the sources of revenue your partner or youngsters can entry after you cross away, like financial institution accounts, retirement accounts, actual property and different investments. 

For instance, whereas Social Safety pays a survivor profit, it received’t be as a lot as Social Safety paid whenever you had been alive. 

Likewise, in case your partner would lose most or all your pension revenue after you die, life insurance coverage can fill that hole.


Coping with estates is difficult. Pricey Penny wades in with a reader query about paying funeral bills for an estranged father.


How A lot Does Life Insurance coverage Price for Individuals 65 and Older?

Life insurance coverage will get dearer with yearly you wait to buy a coverage. Merely put, the older you might be, the upper your life insurance coverage premiums might be. 

Listed below are some examples. 

Time period Life Insurance coverage Price

A 35-year-old feminine in common well being buying a 20-year time period life insurance coverage coverage with a $250,000 demise profit can anticipate to pay about $16 a month in premiums, in keeping with information from PolicyGenuis, an internet insurance coverage market. 

Nonetheless, a 65-year-old feminine in common well being might anticipate to pay a median of $193 a month in premiums for a 20-year $250,000 time period life insurance coverage coverage. 

That’s about 12 occasions dearer. 

Time period life insurance coverage insurance policies are usually cheaper than everlasting life insurance policies. A giant disadvantage? Time period insurance policies solely final a selected period of time. 

If you are going to buy a 20-year coverage whenever you’re 65, there’s a good probability your coverage might expire earlier than you die. Meaning all the cash you paid in premiums for 20 years doesn’t result in a payout on your heirs. 

Complete Life Insurance coverage Price

Complete life insurance coverage is rather more costly, partly, as a result of your protection by no means expires. 

However the fee will be staggering. 

A 35-year-old feminine can anticipate to pay a median of $243 a month for an entire life insurance coverage coverage price $250,000, in keeping with PolicyGenuis. 

For a 65-year-old feminine, that quantity jumps to a whopping $935 a month for an entire life insurance coverage coverage price $250,000. 

That’s $11,220 a yr. Your protection won’t ever expire however you’ll pay almost 5 occasions extra for an entire life coverage at age 65 than a time period life insurance coverage coverage at age 65. 

What Else Impacts Life Insurance coverage Charges?

Your age isn’t the one factor that determines a coverage’s value. 

Different components that affect the price of life insurance coverage embody:

  • The quantity of protection: A coverage price $200,000 will value lower than a coverage price $500,000. 
  • The kind of coverage: Time period-life insurance policies are likely to have decrease premiums than everlasting life insurance coverage insurance policies, like complete or common life. 
  • Your well being: If you happen to’re a smoker or have persistent well being situations, anticipate greater premiums. 
  • Your gender: Life insurance coverage premiums are usually decrease for females than for males. 

Varieties of Life Insurance coverage: Time period Life and Everlasting Life

Life insurance coverage insurance policies are available two broad varieties: time period life and everlasting life. 

Right here’s some extra details about the several types of life insurance coverage. 

Time period Life Insurance coverage

Time period life insurance coverage usually lasts 10, 20 or 30 years. Longer lasting insurance policies cost greater month-to-month premiums. 

As soon as the time period ends, your protection expires and also you now not must pay premiums.

Most of those insurance policies require a medical examination. 

If you have already got a time period life insurance coverage coverage that’s set to run out, you could possibly convert it to a everlasting life coverage and preserve your protection in power. 

It’s best to name your insurer and ask what conversion choices can be found, stated Courtney Wilson, president and founding father of Fortify Insurance coverage Group, an impartial dealer company. 

“Most insurance policies have a conversion privilege of some kind,” Wilson advised The Penny Hoarder. “A few of them expire whenever you flip 65 or 70, others solely final the primary seven to 10 years of the coverage except you purchase an extension.”

Bypassing a medical examination is a giant advantage of changing a time period life coverage into everlasting protection, in keeping with Wilson. 

“You’re defending your insurability,” he stated. “If you happen to received most well-liked well being standing whenever you purchased your time period life coverage and you then convert your coverage sooner or later, you get most well-liked charges — no matter your well being standing whenever you convert it.”

Everlasting Life Insurance coverage

Everlasting life insurance coverage by no means expires as long as premiums are paid. These insurance policies can construct up a money worth you possibly can borrow towards later. 

Some provide accelerated demise advantages, which helps you to entry the cash earlier than you die in case you’re recognized with a terminal sickness or want money to pay for long-term care bills. 

There are a number of sorts of everlasting life insurance coverage, together with complete, common and assured life. 

Everlasting life insurance coverage insurance policies are likely to value rather more than time period life insurance policies — wherever from 5 to 10 occasions extra. 

Keep away from Medical Underwriting for Life Insurance coverage

Medical underwriting could be a main impediment for older adults trying to buy life insurance coverage. 

All life insurance coverage merchandise contain a point of underwriting to get an image of your background and decide how dangerous it’s to insure you. 

Conventional insurance policies require you to endure a full medical examination, together with a blood and urine take a look at. The insurance coverage firm may contact your basic practitioner to get a replica of your medical data. 

Simplified problem and assured problem life insurance coverage provide a technique to bypass medical exams — however you’ll pay for the privilege. 

“You’re going to be much more restricted with what you may get as an older consumer in case you don’t need to undergo the complete underwriting course of,” Wilson stated. 

Simplified Problem Life Insurance coverage

Simplified problem life insurance coverage doesn’t require lab work or a medical examination. The underwriting course of may appear like answering a couple of fundamental questions as a substitute of present process blood work, a bodily and every thing else. 

Protection quantities are usually smaller, normally not more than $100,000. 

Premiums might be dearer although. In any case, the insurance coverage firm doesn’t know as a lot about your well being or life expectancy, so that you’re riskier to insure. 

Extra insurers are providing an accelerated underwriting course of, which collects extra data from candidates and third-party sources than a simplified problem coverage. 

Insurance policies with accelerated underwriting usually provide aggressive demise advantages at reasonably priced charges — and with shorter ready intervals than insurance policies with conventional underwriting. 

Sadly, accelerated underwriting is commonly solely obtainable to folks 60 years or youthful, Wilson stated. 

Assured Problem Life Insurance coverage 

Assured problem life insurance coverage goes by many names. Remaining expense insurance coverage, burial insurance coverage, funeral insurance coverage — it’s marketed in another way, however all of them share a couple of frequent traits. 

  • You possibly can’t be denied assured problem life insurance coverage. 
  • You don’t must endure a medical examination. 
  • Protection quantities are usually small. (Suppose a most of $25,000).
  • Insurance policies are normally bought to folks between the ages of fifty and 80. 
  • The demise profit might not pay out for the primary two to a few years after buying your coverage. 

Assured problem is normally a everlasting life insurance coverage coverage with a demise profit between $5,000 and $25,000. 

That’s why it’s usually referred to as funeral insurance coverage. The payout received’t cowl a lot past closing bills and possibly some medical prices. 

You possibly can’t be turned down for one of these coverage — which is why it’s marketed to seniors, who are likely to have extra persistent well being situations. 

However there’s a catch: If you happen to cross away inside the first two or three years after buying your coverage, your beneficiaries received’t obtain the complete demise profit. 

As an alternative, in case you die throughout this era, your heirs will normally obtain a refund of the premiums you paid, plus curiosity.

“You’ll need to perceive the claims payout file for the corporate you’re trying to purchase from,” Crossland stated. “Insurance policies for elders that assure protection regardless of your well being state of affairs might have extremely restrictive language.”

Costly Lengthy-Time period Price

Low month-to-month premiums usually make closing expense insurance coverage for seniors appear extra enticing than different insurance policies. 

However because the coverage worth is so small, it’s possible you’ll find yourself shelling out more cash than the coverage is definitely price. 

Right here’s an instance. 

Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance coverage provides assured problem insurance policies to seniors. Based on its web site, a 65-year-old feminine can anticipate to pay $41 to $64 a month for a $10,000 closing expense insurance coverage coverage. 

In comparison with the price of a $250,000 time period life coverage ($194 a month) or an entire life coverage ($935 a month), this seems like a discount.

However think about this. 

If you happen to pay $50 a month for the coverage, that’s $600 a yr. In lower than 17 years, whenever you’re age 82, you’ll have paid more cash to the insurance coverage firm than the coverage is definitely price. 

Until critical well being points disqualify you from higher protection, take a look at different coverage varieties first. An impartial insurance coverage agent or monetary advisor can assist you store for the perfect quote amongst a number of corporations.

Professionals and Cons of Life Insurance coverage for Seniors

Shopping for life insurance coverage in retirement is a private choice. What is sensible for one individual will not be the perfect transfer for another person. 

Before you purchase a coverage, weigh the professionals and cons. 


  • Help with burial bills
  • Helps cowl long-term care prices
  • Replaces your revenue


  • Price
  • Medical underwriting
  • Restrictions


  • Helps cowl bills after you cross away: Proceeds from a life insurance coverage demise profit can assist cowl funeral prices, medical payments and probate courtroom charges after you die.
  • Assists with long-term care prices: Some life insurance coverage insurance policies function an accelerated rider, which helps you to entry the coverage’s worth to pay for long-term care bills or persistent sickness prices, like most cancers therapy. 
  • Replaces your revenue: In case your partner depends in your revenue to pay the mortgage or different essential money owed, life insurance coverage could make sense. 


  • Price: It prices extra to buy life insurance coverage at 65 than it does at 35. If you happen to’re on a set revenue, a high-priced coverage could also be out of attain, or your cash could also be higher spent elsewhere. 
  • Medical underwriting: Power well being situations make it harder to get reasonably priced protection whenever you’re older. You may battle to cross a medical examination or be denied for a coverage. 
  • Restrictions: Assured life insurance coverage insurance policies include restrictions. Typically, in case you die within the first two or three years, your beneficiaries received’t obtain the complete demise profit. Different everlasting life insurance coverage insurance policies impose restrictions on how and when you possibly can entry the money worth part of your coverage. 

Purchase Life Insurance coverage for Seniors

Lots of the finest life insurance coverage corporations promote insurance policies for folks of their 60s, 70s and even 80s. 

Many insurers can present you a fundamental quote in case you fill out a kind on their web site. You’ll must observe up with a consultant or agent to get a extra correct estimate of your value and protection choices. 

Store round for the perfect life insurance coverage quotes. You’ll need to evaluate the demise profit and month-to-month premiums of every coverage to make sure you’re getting what you want.

Ask every life insurance coverage firm about coverage particulars and restrictions, together with which causes of demise aren’t lined and what occurs in case you fall behind on premium funds. 

Don’t lie about your well being standing or medical historical past both. It is likely to be tempting to fib in case you’re ill however you’ll be committing insurance coverage fraud. 

If you happen to’re caught, the insurer can deny your software. That data may also be handed alongside to the Medical Data Bureau, an organization that life insurance coverage corporations use to have a look at the well being historical past of potential clients. That may make getting protection from one other insurance coverage firm harder, if not unattainable.

Lastly, if the insurer finds out you lied after you cross away, they will modify the demise profit your loved ones receives, Wilson stated. 

Consultants suggest assembly with an impartial insurance coverage agent, a licensed monetary planner or an property planning legal professional to see if buying life insurance coverage is sensible for you and your loved ones. 


Rachel Christian is a Licensed Educator in Private Finance and a senior author for The Penny Hoarder. She focuses on retirement, life insurance coverage, investing and taxes. 

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