Life Insurance for Seniors: How to Choose the Right One for You

senior man talking to a middle aged business man in an office setting

As an older adult, you have plenty of things to worry about — from keeping your mind sharp to staying independent as you age. But one thing that’s often overlooked is life insurance.


As you get older, it’s more important than ever to have life insurance.


Many older adults don’t think they need life insurance because they believe that their children will take care of them if something happens. 


While that may be true (and amazing), getting your own life insurance is also an important way to protect your loved ones financially if something happens to you. 


In fact, 66% of Americans buy life insurance to transfer wealth to other generations.


Not to mention, a lot of life insurance policies are only available to younger age groups. And those who do offer coverage for seniors charge significantly more due to the greater risk the longer you wait. Which can make it difficult to find affordable life insurance. 


But that doesn’t mean you’re out of options.


So, what’s the best life insurance for seniors? That depends on your needs and budget.


In this blog post, we discuss how to look for a life insurance policy that fits your needs.


How to Search for a Life Insurance as a Senior

While it may not be the most pleasant topic to think about, investing in life insurance is an important part of financial planning for retirement


The good news is that there are plenty of options available for seniors, and with a bit of research, you can find a life insurance policy that meets your needs.


Consider these factors when choosing life insurance for seniors:


  • The type of coverage you need — do you need a policy that covers you for your entire life, or just need a specific period of time? 
  • How much coverage you need — this will depend on things like your debts, funeral expenses, and whether or not you have beneficiaries who rely on your income
  • Your budget —  life insurance policies can be expensive, so it’s important to find one that fits your budget (here’s a handy life insurance quote calculator to get you started)


things to consider when choosing life insurance: The type of coverage you need, how much coverage you need, and your budget


The best way to find the right life insurance policy for you is to compare policies from different companies. Of course, don’t just go with the first company you come across – take the time to compare details across policies and find the one that’s right for you. 


Once you’ve narrowed down your options, get quotes from at a minimum of three companies and compare rates. Be sure to ask about discounts, too, since some companies offer discounts to seniors who purchase life insurance policies (especially if they have good credit scores).


And finally, you can work with an independent insurance agent who can help you find the best policy for your needs. By taking these steps, you can ensure that you have the coverage you need at a price you can afford.


Types of Life Insurance

#1 Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance, which means that it covers you for your entire life. 


It’s also a form of cash value life insurance, which means that the policy builds up a cash value over time. This cash value can be accessed in the event that the policyholder needs to pay for something unexpected, like a large medical bill.


When it comes to whole life insurance, there are two main types: traditional and universal. 


Traditional whole life insurance is the more common type, and it features fixed premiums and a guaranteed death benefit. Universal whole life insurance is a newer product, and it offers more flexibility when it comes to premiums and benefits.


Both traditional and universal whole life policies offer tax advantages, as the cash value of the policy grows tax-deferred. This means that you won’t have to pay taxes on the growth of the cash value until you withdraw it.


When choosing a whole life insurance policy, it’s important to compare different options to ensure that you’re getting the best possible coverage for your needs. There are a few different things to look for when shopping for whole life insurance, including the:


  • Size of the death benefit — the most important feature of any life insurance policy, and it’s what will help your loved ones financially in the event of your death. Make sure that the death benefit is large enough to cover your final expenses and any other debts or obligations that you might leave behind.
  • Cash value — the money that you can borrow against or withdraw from the policy in the event of an emergency. Make sure that the cash value is high enough to cover any unexpected larger expenses that might come up.
  • Premium — the amount of money that you’ll pay for the policy each month. Make sure that you can afford the premium without strain. You’ll be required to make payments for as long as the policy is in force.

things to consider when choosing whole life insurance: Size of the death benefit, cash value and premium


#2 Term Insurance

Term insurance is a type of life insurance policy that provides coverage for a specific period of time, or “term.”


This type of policy is typically a good option for those who need coverage for a limited period of time, such as 10 or 20 years. It can be less expensive than other types of life insurance policies. And it can be a good choice for people who want to have coverage in case of an unexpected death. 


But, keep in mind that you’ll need to undergo a medical exam to qualify.


There are several factors to consider while purchasing term life insurance, including:


  • Death benefit — the amount of money that your beneficiaries will receive if you die during the term of the policy
  • Length of the term — most policies have terms that range from five to 30 years, but you can find some that go up to 40 years
  • Premium — the amount of money you’ll pay for the policy
  • Riders — additional features that you can add to your policy for an additional cost
  • Conversion option — this allows you to convert your term life insurance policy into a permanent life insurance policy

things to consider when choosing term life insurance: death benefit, length of the term, premium, riders, conversion option


If you want to avoid the medical exam altogether, look to our last life insurance option.


#3 No Medical Exam Life Insurance

No medical exam life insurance is just what it sounds like — you can get coverage without having to undergo a medical exam. This type of policy is typically much more expensive than a policy with medical underwriting since the insurer is taking on more risk.


However, it can be a good option for seniors who are unable to qualify for traditional coverage. 


Guaranteed issue life insurance is another type of policy that doesn’t require a medical exam, but it has much more limited benefits.


These policies only provide a death benefit, and they typically have very low coverage limits. As a result, they’re much less expensive than other types of life insurance.


Should Seniors Get Life Insurance?

So, what’s the verdict — should seniors get life insurance?


Whether you invest in life insurance to save money, as a precaution to not outlive your money, or to help your loved ones, the answer is a resounding yes.


Everyone needs some form of life insurance. And for seniors, it can be especially important to have coverage in case of an unexpected death.


Not all life insurance policies are created equal. Do your research and find the right policy for you and your loved ones. Hopefully, our guide has given you a good starting point for finding the best life insurance policy for you.


Please keep in mind that this is just a starting point. You should always consult with an insurance agent or broker, to get more specific (and objective) information about the policies available. 

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