Life insurance for a 65 year old actually has some advantages, believe it or not. The best one is that many life insurance companies change their build charts at 65 to allow a little more weight in the better health classes. Scientific studies indicate that having a little extra weight as you age can help improve your lifespan, so the height/weight charts are a little less strict starting now.
Steps to Saving Money on Life Insurance at 65 Years Old
Anyone can use these steps to save hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars on their life insurance. None of these are rocket science, or even particularly difficult. They’re merely methods we’ve used over the years to ensure our clients are getting the absolute best deal.
If you want to skip the money-saving advice and just see your rates, you have two options. You can use the free Instant Quotes tool on the left. It’s at the top of the page on mobile. Alternatively, you can scroll down to the rate tables about halfway down this page.
Take Advantage of a Life Insurance Needs Calculator
At 65, you’ve probably sat down with a financial planner or social security expert to take a look at your financial picture. If you haven’t yet, your life insurance research is a great place to start looking at your finances.
Instead of buying five or seven times your annual income in life insurance, calculate the exact dollar amount you need to protect your family. Use the prompts in our Life Insurance Needs Calculator to examine each category of your finances you want to protect.
This simple (and free) tool prevents you from buying more than you need, leaving you extra cash each month.
Get Quotes from an Independent Agent
We encourage you to shop the market. That’s how you get the best deal on everything from a new television set to airline tickets. It’s the same with life insurance. There are over 850 life insurance companies in the United States alone. Calling up all of them would be downright exhausting.
Independent agents are life insurance agents who can work with multiple companies. They can shop the market for you. All you have to do is talk to them once. Then they come back to you with comparison quotes from companies who will give you the best deal for your age and health.
The other type of agents are captive agents. They work for one insurance company. Captive agents are only allowed to sell the products of that one company. Which means if their company charges extra for something like high blood pressure or diabetes, then you pay extra.
Term Life Insurance Costs Less Than Permanent Life Insurance
Permanent life insurance (like whole life or indexed universal life) lasts until age 121. Which for most people, is beyond their life expectancy. That guarantees a payout for the life insurance company. Because they always have to pay, the policy will cost more.
You can outlive term insurance. Many people do, which is why it is less expensive than permanent life insurance. Because the life insurance company has the numbers crunched to know exactly how many policies they need to sell to cover someone’s passing, they can afford to charge much less.
While cost is a significant player in the life insurance decision-making process, we recommend buying the type of life insurance that covers your needs. If you are researching life insurance that will cover estate planning, permanent life insurance may make more sense. Term life insurance is better at covering temporary reasons.
Prepare for the Life Insurance Medical Exam
Once you’re in your 60s, there are less no-exam life insurance options. At 65, many companies request EKGs as part of the standard life insurance medical exam. Now, there isn’t much you can do to completely change your health class in the roughly two weeks leading up to the medical exam. But if you’re on the fence, preparing for the medical exam can give you a push to the greener side.
It’s easy. Just walk a little more, drink at least 64 ounces of water each day, and eat more vegetables. Leafy greens are best. Of course, before starting any major dietary change or exercise regimen, talk to your doctor.
It’s not like making lifestyle changes or dieting. You only have to do this up until the medical exam, usually about two weeks. If the habits stick, great. If not, then hopefully you saved yourself some money.
Tell Your Agent About Any Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
Life insurance underwriters want to know everything about your medical history. The more they know about your health, the more comfortable they feel about offering lower rates. Medical history is one of the main components affecting your premiums.
When you tell your agent upfront about a condition like hypertension or heart disease, they can automatically eliminate the companies who will overcharge you. Just like that. Then you’re left with the remaining few which will save you the most money.
This frankness means there won’t be surprises in the underwriting process. You won't have to deal with getting an offer back that’s twice what you expected to pay. Then face the tough decision of just signing the policy since you already went through all the effort or starting over with a new company.
Renew, Convert, or Reapply?
If you have a term policy that’s expiring, check your contract. You may have the ability to renew or convert the policy.
Renewing means that the insurance company gives you another term at your new age rates. No health class changes or underwriting required. Converting changes a term policy into a permanent policy. Again, you’ll pay new premiums based on your current age.
Both of these options have advantages if you aren’t quite as healthy as you were when you first got life insurance. You won’t need a medical exam or have to answer health questions.
On the other hand, if your health has improved, you might want to reapply. This means letting your term policy expire and going through the application process again. It’s a little more work but has advantages.
If you are healthier than you were, your new rates may be lower than your conversion rates. We most commonly recommend this to clients who have lost a lot of weight since they last applied. Occasionally, enough time has passed since an old medical issue that insurance underwriters no longer worry about it.
Term Life Insurance for a 65 Year Old Male
These monthly rates reflect a 65 year old man in relatively good health who doesn't smoke. Your rates may vary, but you can see what they might be by using the free Instant Quotes tool on the left. (It’s at the top of the page if you’re on mobile.)
Term Life Insurance for a 65 Year Old Female
The table below shows monthly rates for a 65 year old woman in good health who doesn’t smoke. Your prices may be higher or lower, but you can get a sense of what you might by with the free Instant Quotes tool on the left.
Permanent Life Insurance at Age 65
Most people at age 65 are looking for permanent life insurance. The reason for choosing it will determine the type. Traditional permanent life insurance is excellent for leaving something for your heirs, paying estate taxes for your family, or wiping out any debts you may have when you pass on.
Before we jump into more information about permanent life insurance, another policy type that is growing in popularity is Final Expense or Burial Insurance. Scroll down to that section for more details.
There are several subtypes of permanent life insurance. You most commonly hear about whole life insurance. It has the most stable growth of its cash value accumulation feature. Indexed universal life is the other increasingly popular option for retirees and near-retirees looking to protect their estate. The cash value accumulation on that is tied to stock market indexes, but most policies have a minimum growth, so if the market does poorly, your cash value still grows.
The cash value accumulation is a feature that allows you to borrow against your life insurance policy. It’s a loan where the life insurance company doesn’t ask any questions about why you want the money. On top of that, the interest rates are lower than virtually every bank.
This feature only comes with permanent life insurance, you won’t see this on any term policies.
Final Expense Life Insurance
Final expense life insurance is also referred to as burial insurance. This is a small, permanent life insurance policy designed to have just enough benefit to cover funeral and burial (or cremation) expenses.
With most people in the United States having less than $1,000 in their bank accounts, this type of insurance is both affordable and avoids leaving family members in debt. It’s an incredibly inexpensive alternative to permanent life insurance if you only need to cover this type of expenses.
Life Insurance with Pre-Existing Conditions
Life insurance with pre-existing medical conditions just adds another step in your search for the best life insurance for your family. We already talked about giving your insurance agent the information right away to save yourself the grief of underwriting surprises.
There are different levels of health concerns for underwriters. Some health conditions may have little to no effect on your application. Others cause table ratings or declines.
The good news is that there are always options, even if you’ve been told that you’re uninsurable.
With table ratings, you need an agent who will pre-screen your conditions with various underwriters to see which company will offer you the best rates. Don’t worry. This process is anonymous with only the pertinent medical details needed to make a tentative assessment.
If you have a health condition that may cause a decline, you can look into guaranteed issue life insurance.
What is Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance?
This type of insurance means that all applications are approved. The only condition is that you’re within the age limit. Most companies will issue guaranteed issue (GI) policies up to age 80 or 85.
A guaranteed issue life insurance policy does not ask medical questions. There also is no life insurance medical exam.
There are drawbacks. Guaranteed issue policies have low benefit limits. Most companies won’t issue more than $25,000 or $50,000 in benefits. These policies are also more expensive to make up for accepting people in every imaginable state of health. It’s a last resort option for life insurance.
The other important consideration is the graded benefits of these policies. Companies won’t pay the full benefit amount to the beneficiary if you pass away within the first two years.
They will pay a portion of the death benefits, it’s not a gamble. It just won’t be the full amount. An average graded benefits schedule looks like the table below.
Years of Policy Ownership
110% of premiums paid
110% of premiums paid
100% of death benefit
If this is the best type of policy for you, make sure to explain how the graded benefits work to your beneficiary. One exception to the graded benefit table above is if death is from an accident. If death is from an accident, the full death benefit is paid out from day 1 of the policy.
How Abrams Insurance Solutions Can Help
We are a group of independent agents who have matched thousands of people with the right insurance company for their family. It all comes down to taking the time to shop the market. We do that, so you don’t have to.
Working with over 80 top-rated insurance companies, we can find something for every unique situation. If you have any questions, give one of our friendly agents a call at (888) 905-0333. There is never any obligation to buy, and we are always here to help.