Seniors: Compare Our Life Insurance to Your AARP Coverage!

How do you choose the right senior life insurance policy for yourself?

Whether you’re a senior who needs life insurance or helping your parents decide if AARP life insurance is the right choice, this guide is for you.

If you’re new to life insurance, our life insurance 101 article will be helpful.

What is the best life insurance for seniors over 70?

The best type of life insurance policy for seniors is the policy that does what you need it to do.

And while there are many reasons to consider life insurance, we break it down based on your needs.

The statistics show that many wrongly assume their only option will be a smaller final expense policy like AARP (which is great for some).

Term Life Insurance for Seniors

If you have a mortgage or are still working, term life insurance may suit you.

  • 70-year-olds – 20-year term life insurance is available from 8 companies.
  • 75-year-olds – 15-year term life insurance is available from 15 companies.
  • 80-year-olds – 10-year term life insurance is available from 13 companies.

If you’re looking for a 40-year term life, it’s too late, as those policies are only available for ages 45 or younger.

Most term policies include a conversion privilege for at least five years.

Are you a Costco member? You can even buy life insurance there.

For the right situation, a term life policy is a great option.

Universal Life Insurance for Seniors

While universal life is more expensive than the term policies, sometimes the premiums are close enough in price that universal life is worth considering.

We recommend a guaranteed universal life (GUL) policy for most seniors.

The reason is that as long as you pay the premiums, the death benefit lasts to age 110-120.

GUL is an excellent option for retirees considering taking the single-life pension option. The GUL policy provides a death benefit to your spouse if you die.

Many policies now include life insurance riders for chronic and critical illnesses that may appeal to you. Accidental death riders are not available for most seniors.

Whole Life Insurance for Seniors

Whole life insurance policies are another option that is available to you.

Many of the guaranteed issue/final expense policies are whole-life products.

Tip – Don’t automatically assume that a guaranteed issue life insurance policy is your only and best option. Let’s discuss your situation and determine which policy is best for you!

Long-Term Care Insurance

In addition to life insurance, we have long-term care insurance available that may interest you.

AARP Life Insurance Policies

Many clients ask us how our policies compare to AARP life insurance policies.

So, we put this section together to give you a quick comparison so you can make an informed decision.

The AARP life insurance program with New York Life offers three policies.

  1. Level Benefit Term Life
  2. Permanent Life
  3. Guaranteed Acceptance Life

Level Benefit Term Life

AARP-level benefit term life is a group policy offering coverage from $10,000 to $150,000.

Highlights include:

  • Issue Ages – 50-74 (45-74 for spouses)
  • Coverage amounts – $50,000 – $150,000
  • Premiums increase over time as you enter each new five-year age band.
  • No medical exam
  • Premiums are not guaranteed – Your rates may change if they are changed for all others in the same class of insureds.
  • Your policy is renewable to age 80.
  • Tobacco users pay more.

No exam is required, but that convenience comes at a price.

Acceptance is based on your answers to New York Life’s health questions and other information you provide, or they are obtained through background checks, MIB, and prescription databases.

Keep in mind that the policy is still underwritten.

Therefore, the AARP may not be the best option if you have a health condition.

If you use marijuana, smoke cigars, pipe tobacco, or chew tobacco, we have companies that give you non-smoker rates that will be far less expensive than the AARP tobacco rate.

Cigarette smokers are more difficult to insure as you get older.

Policies are contestible for two years for suicide or material misrepresentations you make on the application.

Since AARP term life rates are level for 5-year windows, renewable to age 80, I thought the best way to offer comparisons was to provide level term comparisons to age 80.

Sample AARP Level Benefit Term Pricing

Here’s a comparison of the $150,000 AARP Level Benefit Term vs. Banner Life Level Term.

AgeAARP(1)Preferred +(2)Standard (2)
50$107$51 – 30 year term$89 – 30 year term
60$233$75 – 20 year term$132 – 20 year term
70$469$125 – 10 year term$217 – 10 year term
74$469$195 – 10 year term$343 – 10 year term
Monthly rates as of 8-20-2022 for male, non-smoker – $150,000 of coverage – Term life insurance

(1) – AARP – Premiums increase as you enter 5-year age bands

(2) Rates are with Banner Life – Underwriting is required and most likely a paramed exam.

Banner Life has some of the best-priced term life insurance in the country and offers far more than AARP term life.

AARP Permanent Life Insurance

AARP permanent life insurance is a group life insurance policy available to members.

Highlights include:

  • Issue ages 50-80 (45-80 for spouses)
  • Coverage amounts – $5,000 – $50,000
  • Rates never increase
  • No medical exam
  • The policy builds cash value
  • No premiums are required after age 95
  • Accelerated death benefit for terminal illness
  • 30-day free look period

Acceptance is based on your answers to health questions and information you provide or the company obtains through other sources like background checks, prescription database checks, and the MIB.

AgeAARP(1)Preferred +(2)Preferred (2)Standard (2)
Monthly rates as of 8-20-2022 for male, non-smoker – $50,000 of coverage – permanent life insurance

(1) – AARP – Premiums are not required after age 95

(2) Rates are with Pacific Life – Underwriting is required and most likely a paramed exam.

The Pacific Life Insurance Company policy quoted above is a universal life insurance policy with a no-lapse guaranteed death benefit to age 120.

Guaranteed Acceptance Life

AARP guaranteed acceptance life insurance offers $5,000 – $25,000.

Highlights include:

  • Issue ages 50-80
  • Coverage amounts – $5,000 – $25,000
  • Rates never increase
  • No medical exam
  • No premiums are required after age 95
  • Accelerated death benefit available after two years

There is a two-year limited benefit period. Full death benefits are paid for accidental death from day one.

However, in the first two years, death from natural causes will pay a limited benefit of 110% of premiums paid in most states, while residents of PA, MO, MN, and MT have more specific rules in place for benefits during the first two years.

Monthly rates as of 8-20-2022 for male, non-smoker – $25,000 of coverage – guaranteed acceptance

(1) – AARP – Premiums are not required after age 95

(2) AIG – Age 50 premiums stop at 81, Age 60 premiums stop at 83, Age 70 premiums stop at 85, Age 80 premiums stop at 89.

As you can see, there are instances where AARP-guaranteed acceptance is the best option.

With any policy, you should always get comparisons to see which company is best for you.

Reasons Why Seniors Need Life Insurance

The following are some of the most common reasons you may want a life insurance policy as a senior.

There are many reasons, but here are some of our most common situations.

Final Expenses for Seniors

A final expense life insurance policy is a great option if you’re just looking for a policy covering your final expenses, funeral costs, etc.

These policies offer up to $25,000 coverage and require little medical underwriting to get approved.

These no-exam life insurance policies are easy to qualify for and can be finalized in about a week.

Drawbacks of guaranteed acceptance policies are the price (expensive) and graded benefits (during the first few years). Compare that to a fully underwritten policy that provides a death benefit from day 1.

For example, we offer AIG a guaranteed issue whole life insurance policy to some clients. A maximum of $25,000 is available. Compare that to Pacific Life’s fully underwritten guaranteed universal life policy.

If you’re healthy, getting a better policy for a lower price than guaranteed issue coverage may be possible.

Sample Price Comparisons

Male Rates by CompanyAge 701Age 752Age 803
AIG – Male Monthly Rates$291$410$520
Pacific Life – Male Monthly Rates$187$262$354
Female Rates by CompanyAge 704Age 754Age 804
AIG – Female Monthly Rates$221$317$513
Pacific Life – Female Monthly Rates$146$204$330
Quote comparison – California rates as of 5-17-2022. Pacific Life rates are based on standard non-tobacco rates with premium payments as follows: (1) premiums to age 85, (2) premiums to age 86, (3) premiums to age 90, (4) Premiums to age 89

If you have health issues, the final expense may be the best option, but sometimes that’s not the case. Consider this example:

We used “standard table 4 rates” for the Pacific Life policy. A Table 4 rating adds 100% to standard rates to cover health issues such as diabetes, sleep apnea, heart conditions, blood pressure, and more.

Male Rates by CompanyAge 701Age 752Age 803
AIG – Male Monthly Rates$291$410$520
Pacific Life – Male Monthly Rates$233$323$435
Female Rates by CompanyAge 704Age 754Age 804
AIG – Female Monthly Rates$221$317$513
Pacific Life – Female Monthly Rates$183$253$400
Quote comparison – California rates as of 5-17-2022. Pacific Life rates are based on standard table 4 non-tobacco rates with premium payments as follows: (1) premiums to age 85, (2) premiums to age 86, (3) premiums to age 90, (4) Premiums to age 89

As you can see, the potential savings with fully underwritten life insurance is tremendous if you qualify.

With today’s underwriting programs, most companies use services such as Human API to speed up the process.

Mortgages for Seniors

Every year, more seniors 65 or older seek life insurance to cover a mortgage.

If you have debt, term life insurance is a great option.

Income Replacement

If you’re still working and need to replace that income if you die, a life insurance policy will do that for you.

Again, a term life insurance policy may address your family’s needs while working.

You may also be behind on your retirement plans and need the policy to pay a death benefit.

Something to consider is how your death benefit will pay out.

While the lump sum death benefit option is the most common, other choices may be worth considering.

Other life insurance settlement options include a lifetime income option, fixed payments over a period of time, etc.

If you have a pension from your days as a police officer, you probably have a choice of benefits.

A maximum benefit for you, but nothing for your spouse if you die,


You may choose a reduced benefit that would continue paying to your spouse.

To maximize your pension, you can now take the greater pension benefit and buy life insurance to cover the loss if you die.

We can help you work through the calculation for how much life insurance you need.

If you started a business and need life insurance for an SBA loan or key person coverage, we can help.

Legacy Planning

Legacy planning provides a death benefit that is more significant than the assets you would have otherwise left to beneficiaries.

For instance, if you have money for your offspring or grandchildren.

Instead of leaving money for them, you purchase a life insurance policy. If you and your spouse are living, a survivorship life insurance policy may be the best option.

The life insurance policy would then provide a death benefit that is more significant than the money you would have left.

You can assign a life insurance policy to a trust and set up the terms of the trust to pay your beneficiaries according to your wishes.

You may also use legacy planning to transfer assets such as a vacation home to your family. In this instance, a policy may help with estate taxes, maintenance, and upkeep.

Universal life or whole life insurance policies are the types to consider for legacy planning.

Estate Planning

Life insurance offsets estate taxes if you have a multi-million dollar estate.

However, estate planning is also commonly used by small business owners.

If one of your kids wants the business, but the other kids aren’t interested in the business, life insurance is perfect.

A life insurance policy can benefit the other kids or the ex-spouse, giving them an equal inheritance from you.

We can work with you and your CPA to determine the proper amount of coverage.

Make sure you revisit the coverage amounts occasionally, as your coverage may not keep up with a growing business.

What to Expect from Underwriting

Some policies require full underwriting and a paramed exam for life insurance underwriting.

Other policies are guaranteed acceptance.

Some people assume incorrectly that a guaranteed issue policy is the only option if they have a health problem.

Cognitive Screening

Several insurance companies have introduced cognitive screening as part of the underwriting process.

After the examiner checks your height and weight, the screening questions begin.

You may be asked to complete one of these tests if you are 70 or older.

Cognitive Tests Used by Life Insurers

Landmark Drawing Copy Test – The medical examiner will give you a sheet of paper with a clock picture.

The time will be indicated on the clock. 

The examiner will ask you to draw the clock on a separate paper.

Trail Marking Test

You’ll be given a piece of paper with circles, numbers, and letters.

The object is to draw a continuous line from circle to circle until it is complete without lifting your pencil.

The directions will tell you to connect the letters and numbers in order or pattern.

For example, A,1, B,2, C,3, D,4, etc. 

Delayed Word Recall Test

The examiner will show you ten words on a flash card.

The examiner will ask you to use each word in a sentence.

Then, they will have you repeat the ten words in sentences again. 

Later on, during your paramed exam, the examiner will ask you to recall as many of the ten words as possible.

Companies are looking to see if the senior has any evidence of cognitive impairments.

Final Words

Life insurance is available for seniors.

Once we know why you want life insurance, we’ll show you the options available and explain the pros and cons.

We’ll then help you find the best-priced life insurance policy that meets your needs.

 At, our service is a no-pressure, no-obligation service.

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