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Something made me burst out laughing last week.

I was testing our new quoting tool dashboard’s amazing ability to store multiple term life insurance rates. Entered my birthdate, gender, zip code…voilá…got my pricing for a John Hancock life insurance policy. Logged in to my Quotacy dashboard and saved those insurance quotes. Went to lunch. Came back to run and compare more term life insurance rates. When I logged back in to my Quotacy dashboard, I noticed it had recorded my age as 48.

Scratched my head. 48? But, I’m 49 years old!

Went over to Quotacy’s dev team and said: “Dashboard is not working. It’s calculating ages wrong.” Went back to work.

Dev team came over to my desk and asked me to Google “calculate your age.”

“Just pick any one, Kate. Yeah, enter your birthdate.”

What? Well, wha-yadda know! I am 48 years old…because Google told me so.

I had genuinely somehow lost track (due to the stress of a divorce, I think) and was completely convinced I was 49, and soon to turn 50.

Well, I was wrong. The weird thing is that I feel like dev team just gave me an extra year—like a bonus year—a new lease on life.

So, what would you do with an extra year of life? How would you make it meaningful?

So, that’s why I burst out laughing last week.

Who is a senior? Are seniors age 50, 60, 70, or 80?

And, since this week, I’m writing about (whole or term) life insurance rates for seniors, I want you to know I have one extra year before I fall into the age category of “senior life insurance” which is by our industry standards for people ages 50 to 80.

Now, I know some of you 50-year-olds may have just spit your coffee out.

But, yes, if you’re getting close to age 50 like I am, you’re going to be hearing from AARP soon and we will officially be able to offer you “seniors” great term life insurance rates and guaranteed whole life insurance, a life insurance product that can only be purchased once your 40s have become a memory you may treasure (or not).

Fun fact: The names for life insurance policies can be confusing! If you’re looking for a way to provide money for your family to pay for your final expenses (medical bills, burial, cremation, debt, or any other end-of-life costs), you can use a guaranteed issue (a.k.a: guaranteed acceptance) life insurance policy. The product we sell at Quotacy is called: guaranteed whole life insurance. With no medical exam, you can be insured today (if you’re age 50 to 80).

» Compare: Guaranteed whole life insurance quotes

Where is Walter Cronkite when you need him?

We’re living in a time period when many of our seniors don’t even seem like they have finished adulting yet. I don’t mean that in a snarky way, but sometimes I feel like we are lacking elders to look up to. There seems to be no Walter Cronkite of our era.

I think this has a lot to do with the reality TV mindset that plagues our media culture, where looking good and sound bites mean more than shouldering responsibility for the welfare of others.

It also has to do that a lot of our 20- to 30-somethings can’t afford to move out of their parent’s house, so many can’t start a family or buy their first house as prior generations did.

What all of this is pointing to is that the traditional definition of age and who “seniors” are, especially according to life insurance standards, seems a bit bizarre according to our shifting cultural norms and experiences.

My father’s generation, for example, could think about retirement in their 60s, whereas for my generation, there will be no retirement as there are no pensions and not enough jobs with 401K benefits. All of this means that the typical financial life cycle often doesn’t apply for generations following the Generation X-ers.

» Learn more: Term Life Insurance for Seniors & Your Options for Policy Riders

Still, even if you reject the “seniors” label, you may still have a family or loved ones who rely on your financial contributions, in addition to your sparkling personality and overall swell-ness. So, if there is someone who depends on you financially, you might consider buying a term life insurance policy (or guaranteed whole life insurance policy), if you’re celebrating a birthday that falls between age 50 to 80 now or in the near future.

Why? Term life insurance rates for seniors do increase as you get older, so it’s a good idea to pull the trigger sooner rather than later.

What can life insurance do for seniors? For you?

What is life insurance in essence?

The purpose of a life insurance policy whether you’re a senior (or not) is to provide money to those you love when you die. Our industry refers to this life insurance money as “income replacement.” That may mean that it replaces income that you are still earning, if you’re not retired (or never will), or it may replace the Social Security check that your adult kids depend on.

Also, many people buy life insurance (from newlyweds to seniors) to ensure that their loved ones won’t have to move from a beloved family home or undergo an extreme lifestyle change upon their death.

Your goals for your life insurance policy may vary from these scenarios, but our life insurance needs calculator can help you plan how much life insurance coverage to buy to cover your family. You can also get your term life insurance rates for seniors instantly after doing your policy needs calculations.

End-of-life planning with life insurance…it’s not just for seniors.

Not many of us willingly face our mortality. But, inevitably, someone in our family (or our close friendship circle) dies. Then, we face by extension our own inevitable death, as well as grieving the death of our loved one.

How can we plan for the end of our life or for the end of someone else’s? Start simply by being willing to honestly reflect about it for a minute.

If you were to die today, who would be impacted by your death?

What could your family overcome after your death? What would negatively impact them forever?

Have an open discussion with your family. See what they think themselves. You may have radically different ideas. For example, some parents may think they need to pay for their kid’s college education. Others may see support after high school graduation to be nice, but optional. It all depends on the family.

Since a life insurance policy for seniors (or anyone else) provides in essence a “big suitcase of money” after the insured person dies, it will vary by family what that money is used for.

Some people will use it to pay for a funeral, burial, cremation, or final medical expenses. Others will use it to pay off the home mortgage, credit cards, or student loan debt. Some wish to ensure their surviving spouse will have enough money to retire.

What is true for all people (no matter your age) is that you need to plan what type of life insurance policy to buy while you have options open to you that suit your wishes, your budget, and your health conditions. So, let’s go over the types of life insurance available for seniors and others.

» Calculate: Life insurance needs calculator

What types of life insurance are there for seniors (ages 50 to 80)?

Since we’re talking about how much life insurance you might need, let’s clarify the available coverage amounts for each type of policy we sell at Quotacy:

  • Guaranteed whole life insurance (no medical exam required) with coverage from $1,000 to $15,000;
  • Whole life insurance (medical exam required) with coverage from $25,000 to $65 million+; and
  • Term life insurance (medical exam required or no medical exam with accelerated underwriting) with coverage from $50,000 to $65 million+.

Since a life insurance policy for seniors (or anyone else) provides in essence a “big suitcase of money” after the insured person dies, it will vary by family what that money is used for. Quotacy offers three types of policies for seniors: term life, whole life, and final expense life insurance.

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Whole Life vs. Term Life Insurance (ages 50 to 80)

Whole lifeTerm life
Intended DurationLifetime5, 10, 15, 20, 30, or 35 years*
Cash value?YesNo
Interest earned?YesNo
Cancellation Penalty?YesNo
Loans against policy?YesNo
Premium CostHighLow
Choice of policy length?NoYes
Death benefit amount guaranteed?Yes (may increase)Yes (if policy owner dies during term)
May pay dividends?YesNo

*Your age determines how long your term life policy may last.

Term life insurance provides coverage for a specific time period (a term)—usually in increments of 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35 years. A whole life policy provides coverage for your entire life. So, the first question to ask yourself is how long do you need your life insurance policy to last?

If you have 20 years of a 30-year mortgage left to pay, you may wish to just purchase a 20-year term life policy to cover the remaining years of your mortgage payments. This is an affordable way to ensure your family would not have to move if you would prematurely die.

The second question is how much can I afford to pay for my life insurance policy? Whole (or permanent) life insurance premiums are 5 to 10 times higher than term life insurance rates for seniors due to the permanent policy’s coverage lasting your entire life.

If you have, for example, a special needs child who will rely on the life insurance payout to be able to live comfortably beyond your death, then your whole life insurance policy’s higher premium is worth it to accomplish your goal and to have peace of mind.

If you have maxed out other investment options, such as your 401(k) or IRA contributions, and seek a tax-free way to distribute money to your beneficiaries, a whole life insurance policy is an option to investigate.

If you are in the process of building up your emergency savings fund and have not maxed out your retirement contribution options, then the lower term life insurance rates for seniors will be a better way to secure your family’s future.

The face value ($500,000 or another amount, for example) of a term life policy is set at the time you purchase your policy and it won’t change. Whether you die on day two or 19 years into owning your term life policy, it will pay out the full value of the policy upon your death to your loved ones.

To get life insurance rates for seniors by age:

  1. See sample rates for ages 50 to 65+ tied to different stages of retirement in our blog: Financial Opportunities as You Age,
  2. Run your hassle-free term life insurance quotes without sharing your contact info on Quotacy now, or
  3. Contact us to consult with an agent about your whole life insurance needs.

 

The Estimated Monthly Cost of a 10-Year Term Policy for a Healthy, Non-Smoking 65-Year-Old
Coverage AmountGender
$100,000Male = $53
Female = $34
$250,000Male = $107
Female = $68
$300,000Male = $124
Female = $80
$500,000Male = $202
Female = $125
$750,000Male = $299
Female = $188
$1,000,000Male = $373
Female = $278

Guaranteed Whole Life Insurance (ages 50 to 80)

If you don’t believe that you can get accepted for a term life or whole life insurance policy due to poor health, then a very good option to get insured is to buy a whole life insurance policy where your approval is guaranteed without a medical exam. As we mentioned earlier in this blog, this type of life insurance for seniors is called by many names.

What is final expense insurance?
What is burial insurance?
What is guaranteed approval whole life insurance?

Final expense insurance, burial insurance, or guaranteed acceptance (or approval) whole life insurance are all different names for a small whole life insurance policy that covers your final expenses.

You may use this type of policy to help pay for your funeral costs, end-of-life medical bills, memorial service, or anything else that you choose. The policy is not tied to the services of a funeral home, so your family will have flexibility regarding how the life insurance money may be used.

Guaranteed whole life insurance is the name of the one such “final expense” policy that Quotacy can offer you to help you get insured today.

This policy can pay up to $15,000 to your family after your death. Coverage lasts your entire life, but you only pay premiums until age 95. The policy builds cash value over time that you may borrow against. This is a great option for those whose health will not allow them to buy a term life or traditional whole life insurance policy that requires a medical exam for approval.

Final Expense Life Insurance Monthly Premiums - Male, Non-Smoker
Age$5,000$10,000$12,000$15,000
50$26.49$51.98$72.19$89.98
55$30.99$60.98$80.19$99.98
60$33.49$65.98$87.39$108.98
65$40.99$80.97$108.99$135.98
70$49.99$98.97$136.18$169.98
75$65.49$129.97$185.78$231.98
80$96.48$185.97$260.18$324.97

Benefits of talking to your family about life insurance

While it’s not easy to plan for death, it is a very loving thing to do. Talking openly about your wishes is a great idea; it will ease your family’s mind as they deal with your passing. Policyholders who worked with Quotacy to buy their life insurance are offered a free subscription to LegacyShield, a secure online vault to store their life insurance policy. Talk to your family about where you have stored your life insurance policy, whether you choose to store it online or not, as they will need to know the details of it to claim your death benefit.

Our goal is for you to be an informed buyer of life insurance for seniors. If you ever need assistance, we’re happy to help.

» Compare: Term life insurance quotes

About the writer

Headshot of Kate Thomas, Director of Inbound Marketing, at Quotacy, Inc.

Kate Thomas

Director of Inbound Marketing

Kate is Director of Inbound Marketing working on business strategy, SEO, and writing for QuotacyLife. Kate's gift is explaining complex financial planning and life insurance topics in a simple and direct way to help families become more financially savvy and empower themselves to make wise choices. She works with Quotacy's underwriters to ensure the financial tips shared in her blogs are spot-on and truly helpful to anyone researching the ins and outs of life insurance online. If you would like a topic to be covered in our blog, leave Kate a comment below or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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