Life insurance for seniors is an important part of overall financial planning both for new investors and seniors. As we get older, one key goal for many of us is to ensure that our family will be financially secure when the unexpected ultimately occurs.
Purchasing life insurance is often considered one of the best ways to ensure that we don’t leave our loved ones with a large amount of debt and unmanageable ongoing monthly expenses. Without proper life insurance protection, you will be putting your family in a bind if something unforeseen were to happen to you.
Many of us past the age of 55 assume we do not need life insurance, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Also, many seniors incorrectly assume that they can’t qualify for a life insurance plan; or they can’t afford it.
There are many life insurance policy options for seniors today that can provide affordable coverage to meet a wide variety of different needs. Before shopping for life insurance, seniors should have an idea of their specific needs, as well as what types of plans are available for them.
Why Seniors Need Life Insurance
Life insurance for seniors helps serve numerous needs. First, proceeds may be used to help a surviving spouse or other loved ones in paying the rent or mortgage, as well as for other critical everyday ongoing living expenses.
The benefits of life insurance for seniors can use the money to:
- Final expenses for a funeral and burial costs
- A future college fund for children or grandchildren
- Donating funds to a favorite charity
- Setting up a trust for a loved one with special needs
One of the biggest reasons that many seniors purchase life insurance is for the paying of estate taxes. These taxes are levied on the transfer of one’s “taxable estate” at death – and in some instances can be more than half the entire estate value. Having a policy can help to alleviate the burden on heirs of paying estate taxes, while providing a larger percentage of the actual estate to pass on to loved ones.
Types of Life Insurance
Term life is the “basic” type. It’s the most affordable because it expires. Term life insurance is generally offered in 10, 15, 20 and 30-year increments.
Term life insurance does not accumulate any cash value accumulation or investment component. Uses for this type of coverage typically include covering short-term debt obligations, or those debts with a specific time frame such as the payoff of a mortgage.
Permanent life insurance provides protection and cash value build-up that grows on a tax-deferred basis. These funds may be borrowed or withdrawn by the policyholder.
While the premium for permanent life insurance may initially be higher than that of term life coverage, in most cases, the amount due will not increase over time – regardless of how long the insured keeps the policy. This can provide an advantage to seniors who want to keep their coverage for many years or an indefinite length of time.
Which Type of Life Insurance is Right for Seniors?
One of the biggest questions a senior may have when shopping for life insurance is what type of policy is best for them. Therefore, it is essential to assess the length and the amount of the coverage needed before deciding upon a particular plan.
Regardless of whether term or permanent coverage is selected, it is likely that a senior will be required to answer various health-related questions on the application – and in many instances, a senior may also need to have a medical exam in order to determine whether there are any adverse health issues that may deem the applicant as uninsurable.
In addition to more traditional coverage, many seniors may also opt to purchase final expense life insurance. This type of coverage is geared to providing quick benefit payments so that beneficiaries can pay an insured’s final expenses such as funeral services, burial costs, and other related debt obligations.
Final expense policies typically provide face amounts of between $1,000 and $50,000. Applying for such coverage usually does not require taking a medical exam – and in many instances an applicant may qualify for coverage by simply answering just a few questions.
One key advantage is that you may purchase one of these plans, even if you have serious health problems. This type of policy is called Guaranteed Whole Life Insurance. There is no medical exam required or medical questions. Another terrific benefit is the premiums never increase, and coverage is for your entire lifetime. Approval is guaranteed with your Guaranteed Whole Life Insurance policy.
Another significant advantage is that you can get insurance coverage much quicker with one of these plans than you would be able to get with a traditional life insurance policy. Since there is no medical exam, you won’t have to wait for the exam appointment or for the company to review the results. With some insurance companies, you can purchase a final expense plan and have coverage in a matter of hours.
How to Decide on a Plan
The first is, how much debt and final expenses are you going to leave behind to your loved ones to pay? If you are like most seniors, you probably do not have an extra $25,000 sitting around to pay for your final expenses. A final expense life insurance policy is an affordable solution.
If you are a parent, a terrific gift to leave your children is a tax-free life insurance policy. These funds would help your children buy a home or help them set-up a college fund for your grandchildren. Often, your children will help pay for the monthly premiums to help offset the cost to you.
If you have a large estate, then you certainly want to consider a tax-free life insurance policy to help pay the estate taxes due to Uncle Sam. Without a life insurance policy, your beneficiaries will have to liquidate assets to pay taxes due to the government. Estate taxes often devastate a lifetime of earnings and savings.
Where to Buy Life Insurance for Seniors?
If you are a senior, did you know you are in the fastest growing demographic of the United States population today? Within the 78 million baby boomer segment, it is estimated that an individual turns age 65 every 10 seconds – and this trend is anticipated to continue throughout the next decade.
Life insurance for seniors can be applied for in several different ways, including through an agent in person and online. Prior to purchasing a policy, it is a good idea to compare several different options and insurance rates to determine which will provide the best benefit for your unique needs.
It’s vital that you get several quotes from various insurance companies before you make your final decision. We can find you the perfect plan at an affordable rate that will fit in your budget.
The Best Life Insurance Companies for Seniors
Gerber Life is one of the most popular insurance companies on our list. While they are famous for their insurance plans for children, they also have some good options for seniors as well. Not only do they have good plans for seniors, but they also have excellent customer service.
Gerber really shines with their final expense policies. These perfect for applicants who don’t have a massive amount of debt and doesn’t have anyone that relies on your income.
Learn more about Gerber and what they have to offer by reading our Gerber Life Insurance Company Review.
Banner Life is a company that is featured on just about every “best of” life insurance list that you will find. They continue to offer excellent rates for a lot of age groups. Banner specializes in high-risk applicants. They are going to have some of the best rates for seniors, and they have a traditional term plan and a universal life insurance policy.
Learn more about Banner and what they have to offer by reading our Banner Life Insurance Company Review.
While you may not have heard of Assurity, but they are a great place to start your senior life insurance search. They offer a whole life insurance plan for seniors that you can get up to $50,000 of coverage until you turn 65. After that, they will still sell you $25,000 worth of whole life insurance protection. When you apply, they are going to ask you a few simple health questions before they accept your application.
Learn more about Assurity and what they have to offer by reading our Review of Assurity Life Insurance Company.
Prudential is another big name on our list. More than likely you’ve seen their logo on a commercial or a piece of mail. Not only do they put a lot of money into marketing, but they also get a lot of customer through referrals. They have years of experience working excellent life insurance at an affordable rate.
One area that Prudential stands out from among the competition is with cancer survivors or anyone with diabetes. These are two high-risk categories where their rates tend to be much better. If you have any severe preexisting conditions, then Prudential is a great company for you.
Learn more about Prudential and what they have to offer by reading our Prudential Life Insurance Company Review.
Last but not least, is Transamerica. They have both term and whole policies for applicants over the age of 70. If you’re well past your prime, the Transamerica will still give you great rates. In fact, they have term life insurance for people over the age of 80, which most companies don’t offer.
Getting Affordable Life Insurance for Seniors
All of the companies are different, and they will all offer you different premiums based on their medical underwriting and rating system. Finding the right company for you could be the difference in getting cheap life insurance protection or paying for a plan that’s going to break your bank every month.
To start your life insurance process, try using our convenient quote form on this website to gather the information you need from many of the top insurance carriers.