A resident couple have an insurance meeting at an outdoor picnic table.

Do I Need Life Insurance As A Senior?


You’ve been planning for your retirement for years, making sure to be financially prepared for this new stage in your life. With retirement comes many questions — what will I do if I have to go back to work? What do I have in my 401(k)? Will I have enough money?

When you begin to ask these questions, you start to consider life insurance as a solution. Life insurance will be paid out upon your death, helping to offset any costs that you could have otherwise paid if you were alive. Last year, around 60% of Americans said they were currently covered by some kind of life insurance, though one in five of those insured were concerned that they did not have enough insurance.

Let’s learn more about the difference between the two main types of life insurance and discover whether or not you’ll need it.

What is the difference between term vs whole life insurance?

There are two main types of life insurance that you will choose from:

  • Term life. Term life insurance covers you for a period of time, usually from 10-30 years. If you die during the policy, your survivors will receive a benefit, but if you outlive your policy you will not receive anything. Since it expires, you will typically find that term insurance is the more affordable life insurance policy.
  • Whole life. Whole life insurance ensures that you are paid a benefit no matter when you die, whether that’s in two years or in thirty. Your monthly fixed payment will be higher, but this is due to the fact that your benefit is guaranteed. Rates may be higher depending on when you choose to buy whole life insurance.

Who needs life insurance?

Simply put, getting life insurance can be difficult as a senior due to its usually higher cost. However, there are some circumstances where it may be necessary:

  • You own a business. If you intend on passing along a family business, you may want to protect your assets by providing a cash payout through life insurance. This can help your family to offset some of the initial expenses of the business while they get started.
  • You have younger children or other dependents. If you still have people who are reliant on your income, there may be a need to cover the income you would have provided if you were alive.
  • You still have debts. If you don’t want to leave debts to your children, you can use life insurance as a way to offset those costs. If it is possible for you to pay off your debts in your lifetime, you can get an affordable term life insurance policy that will end during the year you expect to pay your debts. That way, you won’t be stuck with an expensive policy that you may not end up needing.
  • You want to keep a large estate. Alternatively, if you are someone who wants to give money to your heirs, you may have to pay taxes on what you have. This can cut deeply into your estate depending on the tax rate. Life insurance can make it easier to pay those high tax bills and keep money in your inheritance.

If you fit into any of these cases, you may be wondering how you can afford life insurance. Fortunately, there are tips you can use to help you to get the lowest rate:

  • Shop around for good rates. Don’t go with the first place you find!
  • If you are in good health, consider getting a health exam to lower your rates.
  • Don’t buy more than you need. If you only need a short term policy, don’t get whole life insurance.
  • Don’t engage in risky health behaviors. Don’t smoke or drink heavily, both for the benefit of your health and your life insurance rates.


Are you looking for information about how to prepare for your golden years?

Contact Culpepper Place. Our assisted living facility can provide you support as you relax and enjoy your retirement years.

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