Whole life insurance for seniors


Whole life insurance can ensure your family is financially secure after you are gone. Even if you are already at retirement age or older, there are options for you.



Older couple hugging and enjoying nature.

Can you get guaranteed whole life insurance for seniors?

As you enter retirement, you may find yourself thinking more about the future of your family. Whether you already have a policy in place or you’re shopping for your first plan, whole life insurance for seniors over 60 is available and can help give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your family will not be left with bills after you pass. While many plans do not grant the same coverage as the fully underwritten policies you can purchase when you are younger, they still offer significant benefits. The guarantees of life insurance are based solely on the claims-paying ability of the issuer. Guarantees remain in place as long as all premiums are paid.

Related: Shop for whole life policies

Will I need a medical exam?

That depends on the particular plan you are shopping for. Some may offer limited coverage without medical underwriting, but those plans may not always be your best solution. If you can qualify for a plan that does includes a medical exam, that could provide you with more options or higher coverage.

How much coverage can you get?

Most life insurance options for seniors cover a smaller amount than plans you can get when you are younger. They can range widely, but anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 is common. Some companies may have a minimum amount of coverage, and most will require a medical exam for higher amounts. 

Whole life insurance rates for seniors

Since the life insurance benefit of plans for seniors tends to be smaller, the rates are often more affordable. Whatever your budget, New York Life can help you design a plan that will meet your needs.

Can I outlive my insurance?

While it is unlikely, even “permanent” life insurance plans can expire if you reach a certain age. It’s called maturing, and depending on your policy, that could happen at age 95, 100, or even 121. When a plan matures, you receive all the cash value (usually equal to the coverage amount) the plan has built, and it ends. Since you’ve already received the full value, there isn’t an additional life insurance benefit when you pass. Be sure to consult an agent to see when your plan matures if you are worried about outliving it. 

Why should I consider whole life insurance for seniors?

As you enter your golden years, you may no longer have a need for a large amount of life insurance. Your kids are likely grown and independent, and your spouse won’t be relying on your income. Life insurance is still important, though. Smaller whole life policies for seniors can help your family with several common end-of-life costs. Here are a few reasons you should consider one:

Term life is unavailable or too expensive

If you do have a need for short-term coverage, term life may be unavailable to you. As you get older, the costs of starting a new life insurance policy goes up significantly. Because health risks increase as you age, term life insurance becomes unaffordable quickly. Some companies may disqualify you entirely. This often makes smaller whole life insurance for seniors a better option.

Related: Compare whole life and term life benefits

Cover funeral expenses

The average funeral today costs $8,000 - $10,000 or more. A small whole life plan, often called final expense insurance can ensure that your family does not have to worry about how to cover these costs during a time of mourning. 

Pay off debt or mortgage

It’s not uncommon for a family to need to sell off assets, like a cherished family home, because they cannot afford the additional cost of a second mortgage. Putting a life insurance policy in place to pay off a mortgage or other debts can help your family tremendously.

Plan for medical bills 

It’s an unfortunate truth that many seniors receive high medical bills when they pass that can affect their inheritance. This can cause extra stress and a significant financial burden during a difficult time. In order to avoid dealing with a financial crisis, a whole life insurance policy for seniors can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your family can take care of any medical bills you leave behind.

Other options to protect your future

Whole life insurance is not the only way to ensure a healthy retirement and make sure that your family is taken care of when you pass. New York Life offers a full range of products that, when combined smartly, can create a financial safety net throughout your golden years.

Immediate income annuities

Annuities are one way to guarantee that you won’t outlive your retirement savings. In exchange for a lump sum (often from a 401(k) or other retirement savings vehicle), you can get guaranteed income for life, no matter how long that is. You can start receiving payments immediately and enjoy a predictable budget throughout retirement.

Long-term care insurance

If you’re still fit and healthy, you may qualify for long-term care insurance, which can help down the road if you need assistance with everyday activities.

Proper estate planning

Regardless of your level of wealth, everyone should have a well-thought-out will and estate plan. Making it clear how you would like your assets and savings split among your beneficiaries will help avoid complications and delays, and for some smart planning can significantly reduce the tax burden for your family after you pass.

If you’re already at retirement age and you’d like to explore whole life insurance options, our agents can help you find something that you can fit into your budget and that delivers the peace of mind you’re looking for. Let us help you make sure your family is taken care of.

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Want to learn more about life insurance?

A New York Life financial professional can help determine what’s right for you. 


Investments are offered through NYLIFE Securities LLC (member FINRA/SIPC), a Licensed Insurance Agency and a New York Life company.

New York Life Insurance Company is the issuer of New York Life Whole Life. In Oregon, the Whole Life policy form number is ICC18217-50P (4/18).