Best Life Insurance for 61 Year Olds – Approval & Free Quote

Life insurance at age 61 doesn’t have to be expensive. There are several tips and tricks you can use to make the right policy for you is also the right policy for your wallet.

In this article, we will discuss:

  • Why 61 year olds need life insurance 
  • What types of life insurance are best for 61 year olds
  • What you can expect for rates
  • Tips for getting the best rates
  • The best life insurance companies for 61 year olds
  • How to get the best rates and policies

Why a 61-Year-Olds Need Life Insurance

Life insurance is a way to take care of your family after you’ve gone. It’s one last gift you can give to contribute to their future.

Your reasons for needing life insurance might be different than your neighbor’s or colleagues’ reasons. Most people shopping for life insurance at 61 are looking to cover various types of end-of-life expenses. That could be anything from just enough cash to cover your funeral to paying the expected estate taxes so it won’t come out of your heir’s inheritance.

Another common reason is taking out a term policy that will finish funding a spouse’s retirement if something should happen to you.

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.

Best Types of Life Insurance for 61 Year Olds

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 the 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-question-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.

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 funeral and 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.

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.

Most companies use 4 main health classes: preferred plus, preferred, regular plus, and regular. You will see variations on these names in some places, like standard instead of regular. But they all boil down the same.

A regular health class means you are in average health for your age. Each health class above that one drops your monthly premiums. How much it falls 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.

Preferred Males

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.

$50,000 $100,000 $250,000 $500,000 $1,000,000
10-Year $32 $41 $86 $165 $304
20-Year $56 $80 $171 $325 $621

Standard Males

This next set of rates is also for a 61-year-old man who doesn’t smoke but in average (regular) health.

$50,000 $100,000 $250,000 $500,000 $1,000,000
10-Year $45 $67 $145 $253 $488
20-Year $71 $120 $264 $509 $963

Male Smokers

$50,000 $100,000 $250,000 $500,000 $1,000,000
10-Year $62 $127 $345 $496 $876
20-Year $93 $196 $489 $801 $1,451

Male Diabetics 

$50,000 $100,000 $250,000 $500,000 $1,000,000
10-Year $34 $72 $198 $256 $534
20-Year $58 $116 $379 $498 $1,106

Preferred 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.

$50,000 $100,000 $250,000 $500,000 $1,000,000
10-Year $23 $35 $62 $112 $210
20-Year $39 $56 $120 $223 $419

Preferred Females

And this is the same woman in average (regular) health.

$50,000 $100,000 $250,000 $500,000 $1,000,000
10-Year $30 $46 $91 $163 $309
20-Year $54 $81 $189 $341 $646

Female Smokers

$50,000 $100,000 $250,000 $500,000 $1,000,000
10-Year $46 $93 $207 $371 $640
20-Year $73 $154 $421 $593 $1,152

Female Diabetics 

$50,000 $100,000 $250,000 $500,000 $1,000,000
10-Year $25 $53 $151 $256 $487
20-Year $38 $81 $236 $501 $913

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.

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 benefits and a cash value accumulation.

You might also consider one of the types of universal life insurance policies if you are researching permanent life insurance. They are more customizable, but their cash value accumulation tends to be more volatile.

The cash value is an amount that builds up within your policy as you pay your premiums, similar to equity in your house. You can borrow against your life insurance policy up to its cash value. The interest rates are low. Plus, few (if any) questions are asked.

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.

Keep in mind, all life insurance rates listed below are on a monthly basis.


The rates below reflect what non-smoking men and women in good (preferred) health might pay each month for a whole life policy.

$50,000 $100,000 $250,000 $500,000 $1,000,000
Men $194 $375 $928 $1,830 $3,653
Women $176 $320 $779 $1,552 $3,098


The rates in the following table are also for 61-year-old non-smoking men and women, but now in average (regular) health.

$50,000 $100,000 $250,000 $500,000 $1,000,000
Men $194 $378 $934 $1,844 $3,680
Women $176 $345 $853 $1,683 $3,358

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 the numbers ended up after their actuaries crunched all the statistics.


The rates below are for 61 year old males and females who are regular smokers, but otherwise, have no health complications.

$50,000 $100,000 $250,000 $500,000 $1,000,000
Men $685 $1,416 $3,216 $5,724 $10,248
Women $463 $1,020 $2,472 $3,912 $7,344


The rates below are for 61 year old males and females who are diabetics, but otherwise, have no health complications.

$50,000 $100,000 $250,000 $500,000 $1,000,000
Men $ $780 $1,920 $2,772 $5,304
Women $ $588 $1,382 $1,800 $3,396

Tips on Getting the Best Rates for Life Insurance at Age 61

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 any one company. So they can compare dozens of companies for you.

Not only is the 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.

Say, 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 a relapse and not worry about it as much. Your independent agent will know which companies are likely to offer you the best deals.

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. 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.

Overcoming this social hurdle about discussing personal medical details will prevent your insurance agent from recommending a company who will ding you later.

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. Customer care is an absolute must for a quality insurance company. When someone calls in a claim, it’s important to remember that they are in grief and treat them with the dignity they deserve.

Finally, there is no point in having the best life insurance policy in the world if nobody can afford it. 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.

AM 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.

Oarticularly, 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.

AM 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 AM 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 AM 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.

AM Best gives them an A for excellent financial standing with a stable outlook.

Finding the Best Life Insurance for 61 Year Olds

Shop around, you’ll save money. If you have an independent life insurance agent do the shopping for you, then you will also save time.

Finding the right company for your family at an affordable rate is easy once you enlist the help of experts. They just need you to point them in a direction to get started.

To speak with a professional today who can offer you assistance in selecting the best life insurance policy for you from a myriad of different insurers, give us a call today.

Or, you can always get started online using our quick and easy life insurance quoting tool.

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About Jeff Root

is the owner of He's an independent life insurance agent who has helped 1,000's of consumers purchase life insurance online and over the phone.

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sherry armitage

I just bought a house for my son and his family….if something happens to me , bank would get house. I’m in good health but want house to be paid off if I’m gone. Is that possible ?

October 7, 2016 at 3:30 pm
    Jeff Root

    Smart move to buy life insurance and a great selfless way to take care of your family. Any questions, let us know.

    October 16, 2016 at 4:58 pm
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