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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 2023, including what each provider offers, pricing, and the advantages and disadvantages of different policies. So, let’s get started!

  • 1. Allstate


    Allstate has whole, term, and universal life insurance policies, but its whole life plans are among the company’s best offerings. These policies are specifically designed to grow in value over time, with minimum guaranteed interest rates and withdrawable cash value. In addition to a lump sum death benefit, you can rest easy knowing that your insurance policy could help pay for a large, unexpected expense (if you’re willing to take away from your beneficiary’s death benefit).

    Did You Know: A portion of every premium you pay toward an Allstate life insurance policy accrues as cash value that you can withdraw at your discretion.

    While whole life insurance is typically more expensive than other options (particularly term life insurance), Allstate offers competitive premiums. You can acquire a new whole term policy up until your 80th birthday. The primary downside to Allstate’s life insurance policies is that they are underwritten by one of Allstate’s partners. This means that you may be working with an affiliated company to manage your plan.

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    • Tax-advantaged growth fund
    • Life insurance bundling options
    • Minimum guaranteed interest rate
    • No Guaranteed Issue policies
    • Cannot get quotes online
    • Life insurance only offered through Allstate partners

    Final Thoughts

    If you want a whole life insurance policy that is guaranteed to grow in value and provide a sizable death benefit, Allstate is a great provider. You can get large coverage for affordable rates, while still accruing cash value with each and every payment. However, if you have existing health problems, you may find it difficult to get a plan through Allstate, as they do not offer Guaranteed Issue on any of their policies.

  • 2. State Farm


    State Farm is a large provider that offers various types of life insurance. They currently have two basic forms of whole life insurance: Ordinary Life and Limited-Payment Life. Ordinary Life requires you to pay premiums until your death or your 100th birthday (whichever comes first). At this point, your death benefit will be paid out. The Limited-Payment Life plan assumes that all payments will be made over a specific period (up to 30 years), so it combines the benefits of a whole and term life plan. The premiums are generally higher on a Limited-Payment Life plan.

    Did You Know: State Farm is one of the few major life insurance providers that offers new whole life insurance plans to customers up to 85 years old!

    State Farm is also known for helping to protect the insured against unexpected life events. Many of State Farm’s whole life policies allow you to take out a loan against your death benefit to pay for expenses or get part of your premiums back through growth dividends. State Farm also has special protections like the premium waiver for people who become disabled and can no longer make payments, double- or triple-death benefits in the event of an accidental death, and accelerated death benefits if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness.

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    • Benefits to reduce risk for the insured
    • Multiple whole life plans
    • High age limit on whole life policies
    • Not available in all 50 states
    • Whole life loans have high interest rates
    • Can only purchase plans over the phone through a State Farm agent

    Final Thoughts

    State Farm goes to great lengths to protect seniors who want to mitigate risk in their lives with a whole life insurance plan. Not only are the plans designed to pay out death benefits, they also give certain protections against unexpected events like accidental deaths or illness. While getting a whole life plan through State Farm may not be as easy as it is with some other providers (you cannot apply online), it is still one of the best options for seniors who want to build security for their family’s future.

  • 3. USAA


    USAA provides life insurance policies for members of the military, veterans, and their families. While this limits the number of people who qualify for USAA whole life insurance, it does not change the fact that USAA offers low-cost policies and top-notch customer service. In fact, it is one of the best-reviewed insurance providers among American consumers.

    Did You Know: In addition to life insurance, USAA offers resources, assistance programs, and discounts to those who have served.

    USAA’s cutoff age for whole life insurance is 70, which is relatively low, especially if you decide to purchase a life insurance policy well into your retirement. Fortunately, USAA offers varied payment structures. If you do purchase a plan in time, you can pay your premiums over a 20-year period, until you turn 65, or for the rest of your life. This gives you more freedom to manage your monthly budget for life insurance costs.

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    • Fixed monthly payments
    • Tax-deferred cash value
    • Positive customer reviews
    • Relatively low age limit
    • Only available to service members, veterans, and their families
    • Some policies aren’t available in all states

    Final Thoughts

    USAA may only be available to military personnel and their direct family members, but it still outperforms many of the largest insurance providers in the country. USAA has competitive rates, flexible plan options, plenty of growth potential through tax-deferred cash value plans, and fixed monthly payments. On top of those benefits, you get some of the best customer service in the business. This makes the process of choosing and maintaining a whole life insurance plan even easier for older adults.

  • 4. Progressive


    Progressive is one of the largest insurance providers in the United States, with strong financial credentials and stellar reviews from both consumers and independent rating agencies. Like Allstate, Progressive does not underwrite its own whole life insurance policies, which may not appeal to some seniors. Nonetheless, Progressive offers the lowest premiums of any provider that also guarantees fixed monthly payments for life.

    Did You Know: Progressive has some of the lowest life insurance rates, which means that if you can get a policy before the cutoff age, you could end up paying extremely affordable premiums for life.

    Despite the low cost of Progressive whole life insurance, you have to purchase a whole life plan before the age of 65. Unfortunately, if you have already passed the 65-year cutoff, you will need to go with another provider.

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    • Strong financial credentials
    • Competitive pricing
    • Fixed monthly payments for life
    • Low age restrictions on all policies
    • Life insurance is not underwritten by Progressive
    • Some confusion about who to call for customer service

    Final Thoughts

    Progressive tries to make it as easy as possible for anyone, including seniors, to get an affordable whole life insurance policy. Though the age limit is low, you can still get a whole life plan at a good price if you apply before you turn 65. You can even get a quote and apply online in a matter of minutes.

  • 5. Farmers


    Farmers has become an increasingly popular insurance provider in recent years, due in large part to its diversity of life insurance options. The company offers useful online tools that can help older adults pick the best plan to fit their needs. Farmers also allows anyone under the age of 80 to apply for a new whole life policy with no limits on the amount of coverage. This is among the highest age limits in the industry, and one of the few whole life insurance providers that does not set maximum coverage limits on its policies. This makes it a very convenient option for seniors.

    Money-saving Tip: Want to save even more money on life insurance? Visit our list of the best cheap life insurance for seniors to find out how to get the best deal on your whole life policy.

    Farmers stands out for its low premiums and flexible plans. However, only a few riders are available, which means that if you want to get the most out of your plan, you have very few ways to pay for add-ons. Fortunately, most seniors just want a simple, straightforward, and reliable plan, so the lack of riders is not a major inconvenience. Plus, Farmers makes it possible to get a new whole life insurance policy in as little as 24 hours.

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    • High age limit
    • Easy application process
    • No coverage limit
    • Not available in New York
    • Few customer service options
    • Very few riders (policy add-ons)

    Final Thoughts

    Farmers makes it easy for older adults to find a plan that matches their budget and long-term goals. Even if you have been retired for years, Farmers allows anyone up to the age of 80 to apply for a plan with no limits on coverage. Whether you need $150,000 or $5 million as a death benefit for your beneficiaries, Farmers can provide a reliable, accessible plan for you.

  • 6. AARP


    AARP has some of the lowest premiums of any insurance provider, but the company offers far more than insurance. Fee-paying AARP members get access to some of the best solutions and resources for American seniors. If you are worried about the cost of becoming a member, the monthly fee is equivalent to a cup of coffee (about $1.33 per month).

    Did You Know: You can get an AARP membership for as low as $12 per year when you choose a plan with automatic renewal.

    Since AARP is specifically for older adults, no one under the age of 50 is eligible to apply for membership or insurance. This means that the whole life insurance policies (and the rest of AARP’s offerings) are developed to meet the needs of seniors. AARP whole life insurance has low premiums, no prerequisite medical exams, and a high age limit.

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    • Low premiums for seniors
    • Guaranteed Issue plans
    • High age limit (80)
    • Must be an AARP member to apply
    • AARP membership fees can increase over time
    • $100,000 coverage maximum

    Final Thoughts

    AARP ranks among the best life insurance for seniors, assuming that you are willing to pay a little extra for an AARP membership. The Guaranteed Issue means that you won’t have to take any medical exams or worry about getting denied due to preexisting conditions. However, if you are looking for a whole life insurance policy with a large death benefit, AARP may not be the best choice, as there are currently no plans available that offer more than $100,000.

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?