Life Insurance Reviews

Best Life Insurance Companies

Life Insurance for Families

Life Insurance for Smokers

Life Insurance for Other Shoppers

Life Insurance Company Reviews & Comparisons

The best life insurance companies for baby boomers

Baby boomers typically pay more for term life insurance, but certain companies like Principal, Pacific Life and Protective offer affordable options

Derek SilvaRebecca Shoenthal author photo

Derek Silva & Rebecca Shoenthal

Published August 5, 2020

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Life insurance is more expensive as you get older, but you can still get a term life insurance policy for a reasonable price

  • You should get life insurance if your spouse (or another dependent) relies on you to cover expenses, pay bills or to pay for final expenses

  • Seniors often don't need a huge policy; $250,000 over 10 years may be enough

Life insurance provides financial security to your loved ones should something happen to you. The most popular option is term life insurance because it’s usually the cheapest. A term life policy lasts for a certain length of time (the term) and the insurance company will pay out a death benefit if you pass away during that term. To keep your policy active, you will need to pay a certain amount through monthly (or annual) premium payments.

Baby boomers — those born between 1946 and 1964 — generally pay more for life insurance because they’re getting the policy at an older age. Term life insurance incerases by 8% to 10% every year that you put off getting it. Costs go up faster once you reach age 50 and some insurers will deny you completely once you get into your 60s, especially if you have certain health conditions. Don’t worry, though, you can still get life insurance if you need it.

If you’re in your 50s or older and have anyone who depends on your income, including a spouse who relies on you to help pay the bills, you should get life insurance. An insurance benefit can also help to cover your medical expenses if you get a serious illness, so your loved ones aren't stuck paying off medical debt. Your beneficiaries can also use a benefit to pay for end-of-life expenses, like a funeral or cremation.

policygeniusSymbolCenter

Compare the market, right here.

Policygenius saves you up to 40% by comparing the top-rated insurers in one place.

Why baby boomers should get life insurance

First of all, not all baby boomers need life insurance. In some cases, your mortgage is paid off, you have no other debts, and no one is dependent on your income anymore. However, life insurance can still have its benefits in certain situations.

The simplest reason to get insurance: to protect your income, so that your spouse or partner can continue to pay for their expenses after you pass away. The same is true if you have someone else who depends on your income, like an adult child or other family member you take care of.

The death benefit from a life insurance policy can also help cover final expenses. Funerals are expensive. If you receive a traditional funeral, the costs can reach up to $10,000. There may also be medical expenses or other unpaid debts that your loved ones need to pay after you die. A benefit payment prevents your beneficiaries from having to foot the bill.

Another reason that you may want life insurance is that you simply want money to pass down to your children or grandchildren. Some life insurance policies also pay out the benefit before you die to cover long-term care expenses.

Estate planning with life insurance

Even if you have considerable assets, the payment from a life insurance benefit can be an important part of estate planning. A life insurance policy is generally a tax-free cash payment that’s available for your heirs to spend soon after your death. As a type of payable-on-death account, life insurance usually doesn’t go through probate.

Passing assets on after your death can get costly unless you create a strong estate plan. For example, if all you have is a will, it’s possible that someone could challenge its contents and cause the probate process to drag on. This could result in probate attorney fees, accountant fees, and other fees related to proving the value of your estate. Your estate’s assets will also be frozen during this time. If someone was relying on those assets to pay for their regular expenses, they would be in trouble.

How to find a life insurance policy

In most cases, term life insurance is the best option (versus permanent life insurance). To see how much it would cost, your best bet is to start your search by just comparing life insurance quotes online. This will help you see what prices you can expect and which insurers offer more affordable life policies.

Next, you should research life insurance companies based on your health conditions. Some insurers offer better rates for customers with certain health conditions. That’s especially true as you get older. For example, some companies are more lenient towards people with high blood pressure, or toward smokers. (Read more on the best life insurance for smokers.)

It’s difficult to go to the site of each insurance company, so the best option is to use a site like Policygenius that compares quotes from multiple insurers. With some basic health information, you can get free life insurance quotes within minutes using our coverage calculator below.

How much does a life insurance policy cost?

The cost of a policy will depend directly on how much the policy is worth (the benefit amount) as well as the health and age of the policyholder. How much of a policy you should get depends on why you’re getting the policy. If your primary goal is to cover funeral expenses, you may need less than if you’re trying to replace income for a dependent.

Once you reach 60 years old, a 10-year policy worth $250,000 is a good place to start your search. That’s much a smaller policy than most younger individuals should get, but it meets the needs of most baby boomers.

The table below has some sample quotes from life insurance companies for $250,000, 10-year policies. The quotes are based on New Jersey rates for a healthy (preferred class), non-smoker male.

The best life insurance companies for baby boomers

LIFE INSURANCE COMPANYAGE 60AGE 65AGE 70
Protective$69.54/ $818.10$121.76 / $1,432.45$209.73 / $2,467.45
Pacific Life$69.89 / $822.29$123.04 / $1,447.49$211.07 / $2,483.12
AIG$75.88 / $887.47$123.761 / $1,447.48$212.31 / $2,483.10
Banner Life$72.23 / $849.74$121.76 / $1,432.44$209.73 / $2,467.44
Principal$68.80 / $799.95$123.19 / $1,432.48$212.20 / $2,467.48
Prudential$76.56 / $875.00$137.38 / $1,570.00$249.81 / $2,855.00
Mutual of Omaha$92.24 / $1,072.50$148.35 / $1,725.00$274.13 / $3,187.50
SBLI$75.61 / $907.41$129.70 / $1556.50$215.86 / $2,510.00
Lincoln$100.35 / $1,146.88$178.72 / $2,042.50$308.44 / $3,525.00

Methodology: quotes based on policies offered by Policygenius in 2020.

Life insurance riders for baby boomers to consider

Riders are additions to life insurance policies — either add-ons for an extra cost or features built into the policy — that let the policyholder tailor their policy to their needs. For example, a rider may pay your benefit early if certain conditions are met or it may even extend coverage to include other individuals. There are a couple of riders that baby boomers should consider:

Long-term care rider: This rider allows you to use the death benefit to pay for long-term care services like a stay at a nursing home or the cost of a private nurse.

Accelerated death benefit: It's common for a long-term care (LTC) rider to be coupled with an accelerated death benefit (ADB) as one item on policies. The ADB works similarly to the LTC rider with the key difference that an ADB requires a terminal illness diagnosis before being triggered. Other riders exist to pay your benefit if you are diagnosed with a chronic illness, like cancer or kidney failure.

Term conversion rider: Many term life insurance policies include a term conversion rider. If you qualify for a term life insurance policy but the insurer will only approve a short term, this turns the policy into a whole life insurance policy, meaning it stays in effect for as long as you pay the premiums. Most term life insurance policies come with a conversion feature built-in, but it’s good to be aware of so you know what options you have when the policy term ends.

We also have a complete list of life insurance riders that you can look over to better understand your options.

Compare and buy life insurance

Compare and buy life insuranceGET STARTED

Other types of life insurance to consider

Term life insurance provides the coverage that most people need and at an affordable rate. But some people in their 60s and 70s might benefit from a different type of life insurance.

Whole life insurance

Whole life insurance will cover you for the rest of your life instead of a preset number of years. Whole life sounds appealing, but it’s almost certainly way too expensive for the average baby boomer to afford. If you’re interested in whole life, here’s a breakdown of term vs whole life insurance.

No-exam life insurance

Policies that don’t require a medical exam are particularly popular with older people. Life insurance companies use the medical exam to properly set rates, but it may result in older and less healthy applicants getting denied a policy. You may pay more by forgoing the medical exam, but you’re much more likely to be accepted.

Some types of no medical exam life insurance include:

Guaranteed life insurance is an option for those who can’t qualify for other life insurance policies, usually because they wouldn’t be able to pass a medical exam. This insurance is typically very expensive for seniors — $200 or more per month — and is usually seen as a last-resort when you can't qualify for other types of life insurance.

Simplified whole life insurance is an option for people who can’t qualify for a traditional life insurance policy, but who are only at moderate health risk. You will need to fill out a detailed medical questionnaire to qualify.

Final expense life insurance is a type of life insurance where the death benefit can be used to cover medical costs and other end-of-life expenses. It is regularly used to help pay for funeral costs. Final expense life insurance doesn’t expire and your policy will stay active as long as you continue to pay the premiums.

The bottom line

People who are 55+ usually don’t need as big a life insurance policy as younger shoppers. However, if you have a spouse or other dependents (like adult children with special needs) who still rely on your income to cover expenses, getting life insurance makes sense. Life insurance can also help cover end of life expenses – including funeral costs and medical bills – in the form of an easy-to-access tax-free lump sum.

Life insurance rates increase as you age, but you can still find affordable life insurance at any age if you shop around. A 10-year term policy of $250,000 may be enough (and cheaper) to cover your loved ones in case something happens to you.

Personal Finance Expert

Derek Silva

Personal Finance Expert

Derek is a tax expert at Policygenius in New York City. He has written about multiple personal finance topics in the past, and his work has been covered by Yahoo Finance, MSN, Business Insider and CNBC.

Insurance Expert

Rebecca Shoenthal

Insurance Expert

Rebecca Shoenthal is an insurance editor at Policygenius in New York City. Previously, she worked as a nonfiction book editor. She has a B.A. in Media and Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.

Was this article helpful?

thumbsUp
thumbsDown

Compare quotes and get life insurance right

discountPill

Best Price Guarantee

tooltip

Our underwriting experts will match you with the right insurance company and ensure you get the best possible price on your policy. Got offered a lower price elsewhere? Let us try to beat it.

How does it work?

Our underwriting experts will match you with the right insurance company and ensure you get the best possible price on your policy. Got offered a lower price elsewhere? Let us try to beat it.

Life landing phone