Buying Life Insurance in Your 60s

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Updated: May 22, 2024

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The decision to purchase life insurance in your 60s depends mainly on your individual circumstances. Although there are compelling reasons to invest in a policy, it's not a clear-cut choice for everyone. It may make sense if you have financial dependents or a lot of debt that will need to be paid off if you pass away.

Keep in mind that premiums rise significantly with age and health conditions, but comparing quotes can help you find affordable policies for people in their 60s.

Reasons to Buy Life Insurance in Your 60s

Life insurance in your 60s can serve several purposes:

  • Dependents: If people still rely on your income, such as a younger spouse or dependent children, life insurance ensures their financial protection if you pass away.
  • Funeral Expenses: Life insurance can provide the funds to cover burial costs and final medical bills, preventing these expenses from burdening your family.
  • Legacy or Gift: If you want to leave a financial legacy or gift to your children, grandchildren or a charitable organization, a life insurance policy can facilitate this.
  • Estate Planning: Life insurance can be used to cover estate taxes, avoiding the need to liquidate other assets.
  • Business Planning: For those who own a business, life insurance after 60 can be integral for business succession planning, covering business loans or funding a buy-sell agreement.
  • Debts: Life insurance after retirement can be used to pay off remaining debts, such as mortgages, auto loans and credit card debt, so they don't fall on your loved ones.

It's helpful to assess the cost of life insurance for people over 60 against these needs and to consider various policy options. Securing a life insurance policy is about more than just coverage; it's about financial assurance for you and your loved ones.

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Buying life insurance in your 60s can be beneficial if you have dependents, significant debts or business responsibilities requiring financial protection. However, additional life insurance may be unnecessary if your children are financially independent and you have ample retirement savings to cover future expenses.

Reasons Not to Buy Life Insurance in Your 60s

On the other hand, several factors may indicate you don't require life insurance in your 60s:

  • Financially Independent Children: If your children have moved out and are self-sufficient, life insurance for parents over 60 may not be necessary.
  • Sufficient Retirement Savings: If you've accumulated sufficient savings or assets to cover your spouse's living expenses, final expenses and any legacies you wish to leave, you may not need life insurance.
  • Limited Debt: If you only have small debts or are completely debt-free, the need for life insurance after 60 significantly reduces.
  • Existing Coverage: If you have existing life insurance coverage that meets all your needs, buying additional coverage may not be cost-effective.
  • Post-Retirement Income Streams: If you have post-retirement income streams, like a pension or annuity, they may provide enough financial security without the need for life insurance after retirement.

Consider your financial situation and any outstanding needs you foresee to determine if purchasing a life insurance policy after 60 makes sense.

Pros and Cons of Life Insurance in Your 60s

Evaluating the pros and cons of purchasing life insurance in your 60s can be a critical step toward making a well-informed decision that aligns with your needs and financial goals.

Pros and Cons

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  • Financial Protection for Final Expenses: Life insurance ensures coverage for funerals and other end-of-life expenses, alleviating the financial burden on your family during a difficult time.
  • Estate Tax Mitigation: Life insurance policies assist in managing potential estate taxes, providing a smoother transition of assets to your heirs.
  • Charitable Contributions: Life insurance allows you to leave a legacy by designating a portion of the policy to a charity of your choice.
  • Business Protection: If you're a business owner, life insurance can safeguard your business's future, ensuring continuity or aiding in a smooth succession.
  • Long-Term Care Benefits: Policies often include options like an accelerated death benefit rider, which allows you to access funds for medical bills in cases of terminal or chronic illness, thereby supplementing your retirement savings.
  • Supplemental Retirement Income: Certain life insurance policies offer the flexibility to borrow against the cash value, providing an additional source of income during retirement.
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  • Higher Premium Costs: Premiums are typically more expensive due to increased age and associated health risks.
  • Limited Policy Choices: Policy options may be reduced with age, and some may not offer the desired coverage.
  • Retirement Income Impact: Regular premium payments could be challenging for a fixed retirement income.
  • Decreased Necessity: The need for life insurance may diminish as financial obligations lessen with age.
  • Medical Examination Requirements: Obtaining a policy may involve a health assessment. Results that indicate medical issues could lead to higher premiums or policy denial.

Available Policy Types for 60-Year-Olds

Life insurance premiums increase with age and are influenced by the policyholder's health status and lifestyle choices. For a healthy, nonsmoking 60-year-old, a 10-year term life policy with a coverage amount of $250,000 could cost approximately $76 per month. A 20-year term life insurance with the same coverage amount costs about $150. For smokers or individuals with health issues, these costs can be significantly higher.

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Consider selecting a policy with a guaranteed level premium in your 60s. This locks in your rate for the duration of the policy, preventing increases as you age or if your health status changes, providing a cost-effective strategy for long-term financial protection.

The types of policies generally available for individuals in their 60s include:

  • Term Life Insurance: Provides coverage for a specific term (e.g., 10 or 20 years). If you pass away during the term, the death benefit is paid to your beneficiaries. Explore the best term life policies.
  • Whole Life Insurance: Offers coverage for a lifetime and has a cash value component that grows over time. Find the best whole life policies.
  • Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance: This type of whole life insurance doesn't require a medical exam and has guaranteed approval but comes with higher premiums.
  • Final Expense Insurance: Specifically designed to cover funeral costs and other final expenses. Final expense life insurance typically has easier approval and lower coverage amounts.

For more information on available policies, see our ranking of the best life insurance for seniors or our guide to the best life insurance for those over 60.

Life Insurance Quotes for 60-Year-Olds

Life insurance rates for individuals in their 60s can vary significantly among providers. It's helpful to compare quotes to find a plan that fits your budget and coverage needs.

When evaluating 10-year term life insurance for 60-year-olds, consider that policy costs differ based on gender, coverage amounts and companies. The table below shows rates for an average healthy, nonsmoking male policyholder.

Allstate$250K Coverage$59$500K Coverage$109$1M Coverage$207
GEICO$250K Coverage$62$500K Coverage$113$1M Coverage$217
Transamerica$250K Coverage$65$500K Coverage$113$1M Coverage$207
Protective$250K Coverage$65$500K Coverage$120$1M Coverage$233
Prudential$250K Coverage$69$500K Coverage$136$1M Coverage$270
Mutual of Omaha$250K Coverage$74$500K Coverage$140$1M Coverage$275
State Farm$250K Coverage$83$500K Coverage$143$1M Coverage$273
Nationwide$250K Coverage$84$500K Coverage$144$1M Coverage$273
AAA$250K Coverage$86$500K Coverage$164$1M Coverage$309
Haven$250K Coverage$117$500K Coverage$229$1M Coverage$447

For 60-year-old women, life insurance policy costs for a 10-year term also vary with different coverage levels and companies. The following table provides a detailed view of rates for healthy, nonsmoking female policyholders.

Nationwide$250K Coverage$24$500K Coverage$40$1M Coverage$70
Allstate$250K Coverage$41$500K Coverage$73$1M Coverage$136
Protective$250K Coverage$44$500K Coverage$80$1M Coverage$150
Prudential$250K Coverage$47$500K Coverage$92$1M Coverage$183
Mutual of Omaha$250K Coverage$52$500K Coverage$96$1M Coverage$186
Transamerica$250K Coverage$57$500K Coverage$95$1M Coverage$168
AAA$250K Coverage$59$500K Coverage$107$1M Coverage$205
GEICO$250K Coverage$62$500K Coverage$113$1M Coverage$217
State Farm$250K Coverage$65$500K Coverage$107$1M Coverage$206
Haven$250K Coverage$93$500K Coverage$177$1M Coverage$348

Determining Coverage Amounts in Your 60s

The amount of life insurance coverage someone in their 60s needs will vary. Here are a few factors to consider:

  1. Outstanding Debts: If you have any outstanding debts, such as a mortgage or personal loans, your life insurance should ideally cover these to prevent burdening your loved ones.
  2. Income Replacement: If you're still working, consider your income and how many years you plan to continue working. Your life insurance coverage should replace your income for those years, especially if your spouse or dependents rely on it.
  3. Final Expenses: The average cost of a funeral and other final expenses can range between $7,000 and $12,000. To avoid burdening your loved ones, you may want a policy that covers these costs.
  4. Estate Taxes: If your estate is large enough to incur estate taxes, life insurance can be used to cover these costs.
  5. Legacy/Inheritance Goals: If you want to leave financial gifts to your children, grandchildren or a charitable cause, calculate this into your coverage amount.

If you need help determining how much life insurance coverage to purchase, consider seeking professional advice from a financial advisor or insurance professional.

How to Extend a Term Policy

If you currently have a term life policy, many life insurance companies allow you to extend it at the end of the term through a feature called "term conversion." This enables policyholders to convert their term life policy to a permanent policy (like whole life or universal life) without having to go through the underwriting process again.

However, it's important to note that this feature may not be available with all term policies or only for a specific period within the term. Additionally, while you won't have to go through medical underwriting again, the premiums for the new permanent policy will be based on your age at the time of conversion, which means they will be significantly higher than your term life premiums.

Before making changes, consider obtaining a life insurance quote to understand the premiums for a converted policy, keeping in mind the whole life insurance age limit. This step ensures the life insurance policy aligns with your long-term financial goals post-retirement.

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Most insurance companies have age cutoffs for term policies. Typically, a 20-year term policy may not be available to individuals over 65, although this varies among insurers. Some companies — including Protective, Prudential and Lincoln Financial — will issue a 20-year term policy to individuals in their early 60s, especially if they are in good health.

Consider these age-related cutoffs and terms when planning for life insurance after retirement.

FAQ About Life Insurance in Your 60s

Navigating life insurance options in your 60s can raise questions. We answered some common consumer questions below to help you make informed decisions.

Why might you need life insurance in your 60s?
How much does life insurance cost in your 60s?
Can you extend your term life insurance policy at the end of the term?
What type of life insurance policy is best for someone in their 60s?
How much coverage do you need in your 60s?
Do you need to take a medical exam to get life insurance in your 60s?
Should you keep life insurance after you retire?
When do you no longer need life insurance?
What is the age limit for life insurance?

About Mark Fitzpatrick

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Mark Fitzpatrick has analyzed the property and casualty insurance market for over five years, conducting original research and creating personalized content for every kind of buyer. Currently, he leads P&C insurance content production at MoneyGeek. Fitzpatrick has been quoted in several insurance-related publications, including CNBC, NBC News and Mashable.

Fitzpatrick earned a master’s degree in economics and international relations from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. He is passionate about using his knowledge of economics and insurance to bring transparency around financial topics and help others feel confident in their money moves.