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Though there are term life insurance policies for seniors, the majority are designed for young families with substantial financial obligations. Once you near retirement, you will likely have less debt and fewer expenses to manage. As a result, you may want to consider spending a little bit more on your monthly premiums to get whole life insurance. This way, you guarantee that your beneficiaries will get a death benefit, regardless of how long you live. Many whole life insurance plans offer extra benefits, including the ability to accrue cash value and withdraw money from your plan early.

Shopping for the best whole life insurance policy for you and your loved ones requires careful planning. We’ve researched the best whole life insurance providers for seniors to make the process a bit easier. In this guide, we rank the best whole life insurance for seniors in 2022, including what each provider offers, pricing, and the advantages and disadvantages of different policies. So, let’s get started!

How We Chose the Best Whole Life Insurance for Seniors

Finding the best whole life insurance for seniors is not just about finding the cheapest plan or the providers with the best reviews (though these are factors that we consider). Instead, we focus on the specific needs of most seniors. Many retirees live on fixed incomes and want affordable, straightforward whole life insurance policies, ensuring that their loved ones will be financially stable once they are gone. We focused our research on key factors like premiums, age limits, medical exam requirements, nationwide availability, customer service, and the variety of whole life policy add-ons.

Comparing the Best Whole Life Insurance for Seniors

Starting premiums* Age limit Additional benefits
Allstate $25 per month 80 Strong financial ratings
State Farm $15 per month 85 Excellent risk protection
USAA $15 per month 70 Great customer reviews
Progressive $16 per month 65 Fast online quotes
Farmers $20 per month 80 No coverage limits
AARP $12 per month 80 Access to AARP resources

*Premiums for term life insurance plans of 20 years, ranging between $100,000 and $250,000 in coverage (as of 2022). These are the lowest available premiums; actual premiums will vary based on age, location, health, and other factors.

What Is Whole Life Insurance?

Whole life guarantees a death benefit to beneficiaries upon the death of the insured person. Additionally, most whole life insurance policies have a savings factor, which uses a fixed interest rate to accrue cash value over time. This is one of the primary advantages whole life insurance has over term life insurance, as term life insurance does not accrue cash value.

Pro Tip: Visit our comprehensive guide to life insurance to learn more before making your decision!

While the exact terms and benefits can vary from one provider (or policy) to another, all whole life policies require you to pay monthly premiums in exchange for a specific dollar value of coverage that lasts for life. Some providers offer a cutoff age after which your death benefits will be paid out. Due to the enhanced benefits, whole life insurance is usually costlier than term life insurance.

Does Whole Life Insurance Get More Expensive as You Get Older?

The majority of whole life insurance policies get more expensive as you get older. That said, some providers do offer fixed monthly payments that start higher and never change, regardless of how long you live. Your location, gender, and overall health can also affect the price of your monthly premiums. As of the latest data, the average cost of a whole life plan for a 70-year-old nonsmoker is roughly $237 per month.1 This is more than double the cost of a term life insurance plan for the same age group.

Is Term or Whole Life Insurance Better for Seniors?

Many seniors start with a term life insurance plan and then switch to a whole life plan. This is often the best strategy (assuming that your provider allows you to convert your plan) because it lets you benefit from the lower premiums of term life insurance before switching to a plan that accrues cash value and guarantees a death benefit. That said, this may not be the best strategy for all seniors.

If you are on a fixed income (like Social Security), you may also want a low-cost, fixed payment life insurance plan. In this case, you are probably better off getting a term plan. Alternatively, if you have the funds to pay for higher premiums and you want the value of your policy to grow, a whole life insurance policy is the best option. It all depends on your budget, needs, and short- and long-term goals.

Tips for Choosing the Best Whole Life Insurance for Seniors

Here are a few tips to help you choose the best whole life insurance for you:

  • Unless you have a plan with fixed monthly payments (which is rare), you will need to budget for premium increases with each passing year; if your plan starts with high premiums, you may not be able to continue making payments five or 10 years from now.
  • Dividends are not guaranteed, so even if you have a plan with dividends, you should not depend on them as a source of income.
  • Whole life insurance policies have high lapse rates because many older adults cannot keep up with payments, but even if your plan lapses, you may still be able to reinstate your policy if you act swiftly. Make sure you read the fine print to know whether or not you can reinstate a lapsed policy.
  • It is best to research multiple policy types and get quotes from several different providers before making a decision.
  • See if the provider offers bundles for different insurance policies at a discounted rate.
  • Consider how a life insurance policy will play into your overall estate-planning goals.

Frequently Asked Questions About Whole Life Insurance

Written By

Jeff Hoyt

Editor in Chief

Since graduating from Harvard with an honors degree in Statistics, Jeff has been creating content in print, online, and on television. Much of his work has been dedicated to informing seniors on how to live better lives. As Editor-in-Chief of the personal… Learn More About Jeff Hoyt

  1. Progressive. (2022). How much does life insurance cost?