Do I need life insurance at 60?
It depends on your financial obligations at this stage of your life, and where you’re at with estate planning. While you may not have young children or dependents any more, it may be worth taking out a life insurance policy with riders that help plan for retirement. Some reasons to consider getting a policy are to:
- Plan for retirement using life insurance riders
- Leave a legacy to not only your children, but your grandchildren
- Take care of large purchases, like college tuition
- Pay off any outstanding debt, like a mortgage or credit card
- Cover your own funeral, burial and end-of-life expenses, such as medical bills
On the other hand, if you’re leaving behind other assets to your loved ones, you may not have as much of a need for coverage.
What if I’m no longer working?
It doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from life insurance. In fact, although you might not have the same financial obligations as you used to, having life insurance in place as you transition into your senior years is extremely important.
Types of life insurance policies for people over 60
As a senior, you have a few coverage options open to you:
- Term life insurance. The cheapest and most straightforward policy, term life insurance offers coverage for a set period of time — like 10 or 15 years. The premiums stay the same for the life of the policy, and your beneficiaries will receive a payout if you die within the term. However, you may need to take a medical exam, which could raise your rates if you have a serious health condition.
- Permanent life insurance. If you want to treat your life insurance policy as an investment, consider a permanent policy like whole life insurance. These provide lifelong coverage and build cash value over time at either a fixed or variable interest rate. Once you’ve accumulated enough, you can withdraw that money and use it to fund your retirement or leave a larger legacy to your family.
- Final expense insurance. Open to those over 50, final expense insurance is specifically designed to pay for end-of-life expenses, such as funeral and burial costs as well as medical bills. It aims to reduce the financial burden on your family immediately after your death, and you don’t need to take a medical exam to qualify. But it can be expensive, and coverage is capped at small amounts — like $2,000 to $10,000.
Life insurance riders to prepare for retirement
Depending on your insurer, you may be able to customize your coverage with important riders that can support you and your family and give you peace of mind. These include:
- Accelerated death benefit rider. Pays out a portion of your death benefit early if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness, and you can use the money however like — not just on medical bills.
- Critical illness rider. Pays out a lump sum if you’re diagnosed with a critical illness specified in the policy, like heart disease, cancer or stroke.
- Long-term care rider. Allows you to access money from your death benefit to cover the cost of a nursing home or similar expenses if you’re diagnosed as chronically ill.
- Disability income rider. Offers a monthly benefit if you become ill or injured and can’t work for a period of time — which is worth considering if you’re still in the workforce and have a family relying on your income.
- Spouse rider. Pays out a death benefit if your spouse passes away, and is typically limited to half of the policy’s face value.
- Estate protection rider. Usually only available on joint policies, this rider offers an additional death benefit if both policyholders die within a specified time frame.
Is it possible to get life insurance over the age of 60 with no medical exam?
Yes — though you can expect to pay a higher premium because the insurer doesn’t have a complete picture of who they’re covering. Final expense insurance policies don’t require a medical exam, and you can get term life insurance policies with accelerated underwriting. You may need to answer questions about your health and lifestyle, but you won’t need to do any blood work.
What you can expect to pay, life insurance rates for ages 60 – 70
The average cost of life insurance for a $500,000, 20 year term policy is $228.63 for a 60 year old man, and $162.88 for a 60 year old woman. This premium increases significantly depending on age, so expect to pay nearly double that average at the age of 65 and nearly triple at the age of 70. Health plays a major factor when it comes to how much you are going to pay, so keep in mind that most averages are based on healthy individuals.
Rates are provided by Quotacy based on 20 year term policy, and valid as of April 2021 in all states except Montana.To get a better idea of how costs differ per age, compare senior rates with those of different age groups.
Factors that affect life insurance costs over 60
Life insurance companies look at a range of factors when setting your rate, and unfortunately age and health are the big ones — which can lead to higher rates for seniors.
- Your age
- Current health status
- Pre-existing medical conditions
- Smoking status
- Type of policy and any riders
How to save on the cost of life insurance
There are a few ways to lower the cost of your coverage:
- Buy a policy as soon as you identify a need for it. The sooner you can lock in a rate, the better — as they’ll continue to go up over time.
- Improve your health and lifestyle. If you’re a smoker or have some health conditions, it could cost you. However, there are still a lot policies which have competitive life insurance premiums for those who smoke and have health conditions.
- Compare a handful of insurers. Shop around! Each insurer has different underwriting standards, so it pays to compare companies to get the best possible coverage at the lowest possible rate.
Pros and cons of life insurance over 60
There are plenty of reasons why you should consider buying life insurance:
- Provide for your loved ones. Allows you to provide financial support for your loved ones if illness or injury strike, or if you pass away unexpectedly. This means you can help cover medical and rehabilitation costs while your spouse maintains their current standard of living.
- Cover immediate expenses. Your death could place a significant financial burden on your family, so taking out life insurance cover can help them cope with the cost of your funeral and other immediate expenses.
- You’re still young. If you’ve just turned 60 or 65 then you shouldn’t think it’s too late to take out a policy — you could still have 20 years or more left to live. It’s important to make sure you’re protected in the years to come.
- Peace of mind. Life insurance gives you the security and peace of mind of knowing that you, your spouse and family will be protected should the worst happen.
- Pre-existing conditions. If you have an illness or there’s an illness that runs in your family medical history, you my be offered a policy, but with excluded coverage when it comes to that specific ailment.
- Insurance cost. In general, older people are seen as greater risks to life insurance providers, this means you may be paying significantly higher premiums the later in life you apply.
As a senior over 60, you may not have as much of a need for life insurance as someone in their 30s, 40s or 50s who’s in the workforce or has financial dependents. But a life insurance policy can offer peace of mind and a way to leave behind a legacy to your loved ones, while helping to ease the financial burden when you pass away.
Before committing to coverage, be sure to compare insurance companies to make sure you’re getting the best possible deal.