Last Updated: November 2020
Life insurance at age 61 doesn’t have to be expensive. There are several tips you should know to help find the right policy for you without overpaying.
Below we’ll show you the best types of life insurance at age 61, including the best companies, and sample rates.
- Why Do 61-Year-Olds Need Life Insurance?
- Sample Term Life Insurance Rates for 61-Year-Olds
- Sample Whole Life Insurance Rates for 61-Year-Olds
- The Best Life Insurance Companies for 61-Year-Olds
- The Best Types of Life Insurance Policies at Age 61
- Tips to Get the Best Rates for Life Insurance at Age 61
Why Do 61-Year-Olds Need Life Insurance?
Your reasons for needing life insurance might be different than your neighbor’s reasons.
Most people shopping for life insurance at age 61 are looking to cover various types of end-of-life expenses. Some common reasons include:
- Making sure your family has enough cash to cover your funeral.
- Paying the expected estate taxes so it won’t come out of your heir’s inheritance.
- Taking out a term life insurance policy that will finish funding a spouse’s retirement if something should happen to you.
- Helping to pay off any other debts that would fall to the family if you passed away.
Think about any financial obligations you have. If someone you care for might be stuck paying for them, that makes them somewhat financially dependent on you. Life insurance exists to provide for financial dependents.
Sample Term Life Insurance Rates for 61-Year-Olds
Term life insurance is best at covering temporary needs. If there is a time you will no longer need life insurance (such as paying off the mortgage or retiring with your spouse), then term may be the better choice for you.
About Health Classes & How they Affect Rates
Most companies use 4 main health classes:
- preferred plus
- regular plus
You will see variations on these names in some places, like “standard” instead of “regular”. But they’re all the same.
A regular health class means you are in average health for your age. Each health class above that one has lower monthly premiums. How much lower depends on the product and the company.
Someone in preferred health is healthy for their age. Preferred plus, is reserved for people in exceptional health. If you choose to run your own quotes, then we recommend starting at regular or preferred. That way if you end up being in a better health class than you anticipated, it’ll be a pleasant surprise instead of a nasty shock at the new price.
Keep in mind, all life insurance rates listed below are on a monthly basis.
Rates for Men
Life insurance rates for men are usually more expensive than women. Below you’ll see real sample rates for 61-year-old men.
The following monthly rates are for a 61-year-old man in good health (preferred) who doesn’t smoke. 30-year terms are no longer available at age 61.
This next set of rates is also for a 61-year-old man who doesn’t smoke but in average (regular) health.
Rates for Women
Rates for women are typically lower than men, but they still vary by health class.
Preferred Rates for Females
Women’s rates are almost always lower than men’s due to living longer on average. The sample monthly rates below reflect a woman in good health (preferred) who doesn’t use tobacco products.
Standard Rates for Females
And this is the same woman in average (regular) health.
What is the Longest Term Policy You Can Get?
Typically companies do not offer policies beyond 30 years. However, at age 61, the longest policy you can get through traditional means is a 25-year term.
You might be served better by a permanent life insurance policy or a burial insurance policy. We recommend comparing numbers between the two to see which makes more sense. Don’t forget to take into account that living through your term only to discover you need life insurance at 86 will be tricky.
Sample Whole Life Insurance Rates for 61-Year-Olds
Whole life insurance is the foundation of permanent life insurance. It’s the most straightforward type out of all the permanent policies. It has the death benefit and a cash value accumulation.
Keep in mind, all life insurance rates listed below are on a monthly basis.
The rates below reflect what non-smoking 61-year-old men and women in good (preferred) health might pay each month for a whole life policy.
The rates in the following table are also for 61-year-old non-smoking men and women, but now in average (regular) health.
There is no price difference in the whole life policies with $50,000 at age 61. It may seem a little odd, but that’s how the numbers ended up after their actuaries crunched all the statistics.
Rates for Smokers
The rates below are for 61-year-old males and females who are regular smokers, but otherwise, have no health complications.
Rates for Diabetics
The rates below are for 61-year-old males and females who are diabetics, but otherwise, have no health complications.
The Best Life Insurance Companies for 61-Year-Olds
The following five companies are some of our go to’s. They have:
- Solid financial standing, which means they should be around for decades to come.
- Good customer care is an absolute must for a quality insurance company.
- Great rates – affordability is a significant contributor to our top choices.
|Company||J.D. Power Rating||Customer Satisfaction|
|Sagicor||A-||4.1 / 5|
|AIG||A||4.2 / 5|
|Prudential||A+||4.3 / 5|
|North American||A+||4.2 / 5|
|Foresters||A||4.0 / 5|
For many ages, Sagicor presents exceptionally affordable policies for lower benefit amounts. The crazy thing is they are still offering a 10-year term that doesn’t require a medical exam. Most companies stop offering no-med policies once someone hits their late 50s.
They also are well known for their burial insurance policies that are both affordable and offer great coverage.
A.M. Best gives them an “A-” for their financial stability.
AIG is one of the most competitive companies in the 20-year term range. Although they offer competitive rates across the board.
Particularly, for 61 year olds, they offer guaranteed issue life insurance which offers no medical exam whole life insurance in small face amounts which is more affordable than term or whole life at this age.
A.M. Best rates them with a solid “A” for good financial standing.
Prudential Life Insurance company is our jack-of-all-trades winner for age 61. For every term length and benefit amount, they are one of the most affordable.
Combined with an “A+” from A.M. Best, it would be hard to go wrong with them.
North American Life
We like what North American Life is doing for people who fall into the standard health class. Their rates are some of the lowest for all benefit amounts, particularly for women.
They also have an “A+” from A.M. Best.
There isn’t much to dislike about Foresters’ whole life policies. In addition to excellent customer service and competitive rates, they also offer a 20-pay option. That means only 20 years of premiums (instead of indefinite) before your policy is paid-in-full.
A.M. Best gives them an “A” for excellent financial standing with a stable outlook.
The Best Types of Life Insurance Policies at Age 61
The best type of life insurance policy in your 60’s for you will depend on your current situation and your plans for the future. Life insurance is a contingency plan.
The first thing to consider is what you are aiming to cover.
Take the common case above of making sure that even if something happens to you, your spouse will still have enough of a nest egg to retire on. A term policy would make the most sense for that. Then you will want to choose a term long enough to cover the time between now and your planned retirement age.
The other example might be a permanent policy to leave something for your children. It can help them pay off any final bills and taxes. That way their inheritance stays intact.
If you can’t decide whether your reasons for buying life insurance would work better with term or permanent life insurance, ask your insurance agent. You may need a more customized solution.
Permanent Life Insurance
Permanent life insurance is best for end-of-life reasons. As long as you pay your premiums on time, permanent life insurance will never expire. It’s yours for life.
You might consider permanent life insurance to provide for adult children or fund a trust for a family member.
Permanent life insurance is more than just a death benefit. It offers a cash value accumulation, adding an extra layer of options to your insurance policy. The cash value accumulation builds as you pay your premiums. They also accrue interest, further increasing the value of your policy.
You can borrow against the cash value. It’s a no-questions-asked loan from the insurance company with lower interest rates than you would find at most banks. Anything you haven’t paid back when you pass away is taken out of your death benefit.
We have even heard of couples using their cash value to fund annual cruises. Then they pay back the loan over the course of a year before taking it out again for next year’s vacation.
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance works best for shorter reasons. At 61, most people are focused on making sure they can retire when they planned. Term life insurance is one way of making sure that your spouse’s retirement will be more comfortable.
Term life insurance has only death benefits. There aren’t any other components to it that would make it either more expensive or more complicated.
Once the term is over, you may have some options. Although that will depend on the policy you originally bought.
- Some insurance companies allow you to roll your term policy into a permanent life insurance policy.
- Other companies will let you renew it for another term.
Both of these options will involve you paying new rates reflecting your current age.
Burial Life Insurance
Burial insurance is gaining traction across the nation. It’s an affordable alternative to stashing away enough cash to pay for your own funeral.
Many families do better with financial obligations than they do with saving money, and that’s okay. The trick is knowing that and taking advantage of the strategy. A commitment to pay your premiums every month is one way to make sure you have enough money saved up when the time comes.
Since the average funeral and cremation (or burial) is now just shy of $8,000, putting away that kind of cash is difficult. Burial insurance is one way to avoid leaving your family with any financial troubles.
Most burial insurance policies are permanent policies. Sometimes you will see term burial insurance. Since both are about the same price, we strongly recommend the permanent policy for this type of life insurance.
Tips to Get the Best Rates for Life Insurance at Age 61
There are several ways you can make sure you get the best rates on life insurance.
Compare Companies by Working with an Independent Agent
The best thing you can do to make sure you don’t pay a dime more than absolutely necessary is to contact an independent life insurance agent.
Getting the best price on anything comes down to how much comparison shopping you are willing to do to find the best price. Independent life insurance agents don’t work for one company. So they can compare dozens of companies for you.
Not only is access to dozens of life insurance companies a huge time-saver for you, but they also have experience in which companies work best for specific life scenarios.
For example, you overcame thyroid cancer 7 years ago. Some companies might charge you more for this. Other companies might look at your medical history, notice there hasn’t been any sign of relapse and not worry about it as much. Your independent agent will know which companies are likely to offer you the best deals.
Choose the Right Type of Policy
Next, knowing the right type of life insurance for your family will help. Don’t buy a permanent policy if a term will do. Don’t buy a term policy if you need burial insurance. This both makes sure you are paying a little as possible now and prevents costly changes later.
Of course, your insurance agent won’t know about your medical history unless you tell them. Which brings us to the next point.
Be Honest About Your Medical History & Stay Healthy!
Tell your insurance agent about any significant medical history you have. If you have been in the hospital for any reason in the past 5 years, tell them that too.
Discussing personal medical details will prevent your insurance agent from recommending a company that could deny your application, or increase your rates.
It will help if you can be healthy when you apply. Especially, if you have to take a medical exam. So be sure to exercise and eat healthy to get a better health class and lower rates.
Finding the right company for your family at an affordable rate is easy once you enlist the help of experts. Fill out our quote tool or give us a call to find the best life insurance for 61-year-olds and start comparing quotes now!
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