The age charts below show actual whole life insurance premiums based on your age group.

The cost of life insurance varies based on your age, gender, health, tobacco usage, how much coverage you buy, and even your state of residence.

Also, learn which companies are best for whole life, how cash value works, and much more.

 

How Does Whole Life Insurance Work?

A whole life insurance policy is a type of permanent life insurance that builds cash value.

Unlike term life insurance, whole life will never expire at any age.

Additionally, this type of insurance comes with iron-clad guarantees.

The premiums never increase, the death benefits will never decrease, and the policy will never terminate due to age.

Ultimately, the policy will pay the face amount to your beneficiaries as a tax-free check.

Remember, life insurance proceeds can be spent on anything with no restrictions.

That means your loved ones can use the money to pay for your funeral, medical bills, outstanding debts, or any other matter.

 

40-49 Whole Life Insurance Rates Chart By Age (Monthly Premiums)

Gender & Plan TypeDeath Benefit Amount
$10,000$15,000$20,000$25,000
Female No Waiting Period$20 - $24$27 - $34$35 - $44$43 - $54
Female Tobacco User & No Waiting Period$24 - $30$33 - $44$43 - $57$53 - $70
Female Guaranteed Acceptance$27 - $29$41 - $44$54 - $58$68- $73
Male No Waiting Period$24 - $29$34 - $43$44 - $55$53 - $68
Male Tobacco No Waiting Period$32 - $38$47 - $56$61 - $73$75 - $90
Male Guaranteed Acceptance$36 - $38$54 - $57$71 - $76$89 - $95

 

50-59 Whole Life Insurance Rates Chart By Age (Monthly Premiums)

Gender & Plan TypeDeath Benefit Amount
$10,000$15,000$20,000$25,000
Female No Waiting Period$24 - $31$34 - $45$44 - $59$55 - $73
Female Tobacco User & No Waiting Period$31 - $43$45 - $63$58 - $84$72 - $104
Female Guaranteed Acceptance$34 - $50$51 - $74$68 - $99$84 - $123
Male No Waiting Period$30 - $41$43 - $61$56 - $80$69 - $99
Male Tobacco No Waiting Period$38 - $56$55 - $83$73 - $110$90 - $136
Male Guaranteed Acceptance$44 - $63$65 - $94$87 - $125$108 - $156

 

60-69 Whole Life Insurance Rates Chart By Age (Monthly Premiums)

Gender & Plan TypeDeath Benefit Amount
$10,000$15,000$20,000$25,000
Female No Waiting Period$32 - $50$47 - $74$61 - $97$76 - $120
Female Tobacco User & No Waiting Period$45 - $70$66 - $104$87 - $137$108 - $171
Female Guaranteed Acceptance$51 - $73$76- $109$101 - $145$126 - $181
Male No Waiting Period$43 - $66$63 - $98$83 - $129$103 - $161
Male Tobacco No Waiting Period$59 - $94$87 - $140$116 - $186$144 - $232
Male Guaranteed Acceptance$63 - $96$95 - $145$126 - $193$158 - $241

 

70-79 Whole Life Insurance Rates Chart By Age (Monthly Premiums)

Gender & Plan TypeDeath Benefit Amount
$10,000$15,000$20,000$25,000
Female No Waiting Period$52 - $93$77 - $138$102 - $183$126 - $228
Female Tobacco User & No Waiting Period$72 - $124$106 - $184$141 - $244$176 - $303
Female Guaranteed Acceptance$75 - $165$112 - $247$150 - $329$187 - $411
Male No Waiting Period$69 - $129$102 - $192$135 - $255$169 - $319
Male Tobacco No Waiting Period$98 - $171$146 - $255$194 - $339$241 - $486
Male Guaranteed Acceptance$99 - $204$148 - $305$197 - $406$246 - $507

 

80-89 Whole Life Insurance Rates Chart By Age (Monthly Premiums)

Gender & Plan TypeDeath Benefit Amount
$10,000$15,000$20,000$25,000
Female No Waiting Period$98 - $275$146 - $411$193 - $547$241 - $682
Female Tobacco User & No Waiting Period$128 - $383$190 - $573$251 - $763$313 - $953
Male No Waiting Period$136 - $357$202 - $534$269 - $711$335 - $888
Male Tobacco No Waiting Period$181 - $572$271 - $856$360 - $1141$510 - $1425

 

How Does Cash Value Work?

All forms of permanent life insurance build cash value.

The cash value in a life policy is similar to a behind-the-scenes investment account.

Every time you make a payment, a small portion is credited to the cash value account.

In addition, it typically earns interest.

As time goes on, the monies in this account will continue to increase.

There are a few ways policyholders can utilize the cash value with these types of life insurance.

  • Withdraw the funds: You can take a loan from the cash value. You can use the money you withdraw in any way you desire. Please note that outstanding policy loans will reduce the death benefit payout. For example, let’s assume you have a $50,000 death benefit and a $1,000 outstanding loan. If you died, only $49,000 would pay out.
  • Reduced paid-up: This nonforfeiture provision would transform your policy into a permanent paid-up policy with a lower death benefit. A paid-up policy does not require any further premium payments. How much of a death benefit it would be reduced to depends on the cash value total when you exercise this option. You need to call the carrier to ask them for the precise values.
  • Extended term insurance: This nonforfeiture provision provides temporary life insurance after the policy’s lapse point due to non-payment. How long the extended-term insurance lasts depends on the carrier and your cash value total when this provision is activated.

Please note that a term life insurance policy will never build cash value. Only permanent coverage does.

Also, some policies may not offer extended-term insurance.

 

Whole Life Insurance Cash Value Chart

The cash value accrual rate varies based on the following factors:

  • Insurance company
  • Annual premium of the contract
  • Amount of coverage
  • Type of policy
  • Health
  • Gender
  • Whether a medical exam is completed as part of the application

As a basic example, A $10,000 whole life policy will accrue less cash value than a policy worth $50,000.

Lower monthly rates will result in less cash buildup.

Another example would be the difference in accrual between a 40-year-old compared to a 50-year-old.

The 40-year-old will generate higher cash values because they have a greater life expectancy than a 50-year-old.

For illustration purposes, the chart below shows cash value estimates for a simplified issue (no exam) whole life policy.

 

End Of Year Guaranteed Cash Value Reduced Paid-Up Amount Guaranteed Cash Value Reduced Paid-Up Amount
Age 50, male, non tobacco, $25,000 in coverage, $75.27 monthlyAge 50, female, non tobacco, $25,000 in coverage, $60.40 monthly
5$1,230$3,311$1,102$3,264
10$3,505$8,086$3,140$7,935
15$6,064$12,052$5,455$11,816
20$8,847$15,282$8,042$15,021
Age 60, male, non tobacco, $25,000 in coverage, $112.92 monthlyAge 60, female, non tobacco, $25,000 in coverage, $88.33 monthly
5$2,019$4,013$1,783$3,862
10$5,397$9,323$4,856$9,070
15$8,934$13,57$8,204$13,324
20$12,421$16,865$11,640$16,673
Age 70, male, non tobacco, $25,000 in coverage, $181.61 monthlyAge 70, female, non tobacco, $25,000 in coverage, $131.84 monthly
5$3,282$4,986$2,905$4,718
10$7,996$10,857$7,425$10,635
15$12,371$15,290$11,687$15,063
20$15,803$18,248$15,255$18,141
Age 80, male, non tobacco, $25,000 in coverage, $373.65 monthlyAge 80, female, non tobacco, $25,000 in coverage, $300.52 monthly
5$5,318 $6,573 $4,926$6,349
10$10,666 $12,316 $10,306$12,255
15$14,081 $15,604 $14,418 $16,188
20$16,593 $17,859 $17,349 $18,733
This data was compiled using Foresters Financial quoting tool for PlanRight Preferred whole life coverage, accessed on 7/19/2022.

 

How To Avoid A Two-Year Waiting Period

Some life insurance coverage comes with an exclusionary period of two-three years.

It’s commonly referred to as a “waiting period.”

A policy with a waiting period will only refund your premiums plus a small amount of interest for any non-accidental death.

Only after the waiting period has expired will the life insurance company pay out the full death benefit.

Remember, not all life insurance policies have a waiting period, but some do.

Tip:
Any policy that does not require you to answer health questions (commonly referred to as “guaranteed acceptance”) will always have a waiting period. If there are no health questions, there will be a waiting period 100% of the time.

To get a life insurance plan with no waiting period, you must apply with an insurance provider that requires you to answer health questions.

You don’t have to take a medical exam.

However, you will have to complete a health questionnaire and have your application approved.

It’s worth noting, too, that you don’t have to have a pristine medical history.

People who have health conditions can still qualify for an immediate coverage policy.

Also, seniors over 80 or 85 can get life insurance with no waiting period.

 

Best Whole Life Insurance Companies

Virtually every life insurance company offers whole life insurance for seniors.

The carriers below are three top providers offering inexpensive life insurance quotes and underwriting. They all accept many common health issues.

For example, all of these companies approve applicants who have diabetes.

 

Mutual of Omaha

  • States available: All states except New York
  • New applicant age range: 45-85
  • Medical exam required: No
  • Coverage options: $2,000-$40,000

Foresters Financial

  • States available: All states
  • New applicant age range: 0-85
  • Medical exam required: No
  • Coverage options: $5,000-$150,000

Aetna

  • States available: All states except New York
  • New applicant age range: 40-89
  • Medical exam required: No
  • Coverage options: $2,000-$50,000

Transamerica

  • States available: All
  • New applicant age range: 18-85
  • Medical exam required: No
  • Coverage options: $1,000-$50,000

 

Below is a whole life insurance rate chart comparing all three companies’ monthly prices.

These sample rates are for a non-smoker buying $20,000 in coverage.

 

AgeMutual of Omaha company logoAetna company logoForesters Financial company logoTransamerica company logo
50Male: $58.15
Female: $45.41
Male: $65.27
Female: $51.10
Male: $60.85
Female: $48.95
Male: $57.48
Female: $44.86
55Male: $68.69
Female: $52.21
Male: $75.35
Female: $65.27
Male: $84.70
Female: $61.79
Male: $67.91
Female: $51.58
60Male: $84.32
Female: $62.53
Male: $90.96
Female: $77.52
Male: $98.70
Female: $71.29
Male: $83.37
Female: $61.80
65Male: $109.75
Female: $78.82
Male: $112.87
Female: $91.70
Male: $112.28
Female: $83.61
Male: $104.34
Female: $77.93
70Male: $146.01
Female: $103.28
Male: $145.92
Female: $112.87
Male: $142.80
Female: $106.10
Male: $135.95
Female: $102.15
75Male: $196.74
Female: $141.62
Male: $199.32
Female: $148.22
Male: $215.62
Female: $161.11
Male: $190.99
Female: $138.27
80Male: $276.26
Female: $193.66
Male: $277.02
Female: $199.32
Male: $299.55
Female: $241.05
Male: $269.08
Female: $198.92

 

Whole Life Insurance To Cover Final Expenses

Many seniors today do not have the financial means to cover their burial costs or cremation costs.

As such, many people are looking for final expense whole life insurance to ensure their end-of-life costs don’t become a financial burden for their loved ones.

Also known as “burial insurance” or “funeral insurance,” a whole life final expense policy is a small no exam plan that seniors can qualify for despite past health issues.

 

The coverage amounts are small, typically between $2,000-$40,000.

It’s still a whole life policy, meaning it will last your entire life and accrue cash value.

The premiums will not increase, and the coverage will not reduce in value.

The average cost of a final expense policy is generally $50-$100 per month for roughly $10,000-$15,000 in coverage.

Although the exact price depends on your insurability factors (age, gender, health).

Remember that burial insurance is life insurance (see burial insurance vs. life insurance).

The policy will still only pay out cash directly to the beneficiaries you designate (or funeral home).

So be sure to choose trustworthy beneficiaries who will follow through with your wishes.

Be wary of companies that advertise burial insurance on TV.

Offers on television are generally very expensive and subject all applicants to a waiting period.

For example, look at a Colonial Penn life insurance rate chart. You can see how expensive insurance from TV is.

 

Term Life Insurance Vs Whole Life

A term life policy is a temporary plan that lasts a specific period.

Quite the opposite, whole life lasts forever.

Term coverage can last for a certain number of years, such as:

  • 10-year term policy
  • 20-year term policy
  • 30-year term policy

Or it can last until a certain age, such as 65 or 80. Once you reach the term length, the policy terminates, and you no longer have coverage.

Tip:
Whole life will always have higher rates than term coverage (for the same amount of coverage). Term insurance expires, which is why it’s always less expensive than whole or universal life.

Now, one type of policy is not better than the other.

Some insurance agents like Dave Ramsey will disagree and take a stand that one is better than the other.

The key is to select the correct type of policy that is best suited to accomplish your goal.

Here’s a simple rule to follow to decide which type of policy is best for you:

  • Term: Best to solve a temporary problem such as income replacement or paying off a debt such as a mortgage.
  • Whole: Best to solve permanent issues such as estate planning or funeral expenses.

In short, buy term for a temporary need and buy whole life for a permanent condition.

Don’t be lured solely by the cheaper term life insurance rates. Consider all the variables (not just price) when deciding.

 

Universal Life Insurance Vs Whole Life

Frankly, universal life insurance is complicated. Even veteran life insurance agents have difficulty understanding (let alone explaining) these products.

It’s a type of permanent life insurance because it can last forever.

Universal life policies are essentially a hybrid between term and whole life.

They build cash value just like whole life.

The rate of cash value growth in a UL plan heavily influences how long it will last. Just like whole life, you can withdraw it any time you please.

However, if you withdraw the cash, there’s a good chance your policy will collapse later in life, leaving you with no coverage.

Some universal life policies offer payment flexibility where you can adjust how much you pay. Also, some can be used to augment your retirement.

There are a few different types of universal life, such as:

  • Guaranteed universal life
  • Variable premium universal life
  • Indexed universal life

Each type has its pros and cons.

For example, guaranteed universal life guarantees that the policy cannot prematurely expire or increase in cost. However, you cannot adjust your payments the way you can with a flexible premium UL policy.

The main difference between whole and universal life is the guarantees.

Whole life has iron-clad guarantees that your premium, death benefit, and policy will never change (even if you withdraw the cash value).

Universal life does not come with these guarantees.

A UL plan (regardless of which one) will always cost about 15-30% less than whole life.

But is a moderately lower rate worth the potential that the policy ends later in life?

If yes, then consider a UL. If not, then opt for whole life.

 

How Do You Qualify For A Whole Life Policy?

There are a few different ways to qualify for a life insurance policy.

Which method you select will determine the application process and how good of a rate you receive.

 

Simplified issue

A simplified issue plan is also commonly called a “No-Exam” policy.

These only require you to answer questions about your health history. You don’t have to provide a blood or urine sample.

The insurer will also analyze your driving record and prescription history.

Simplified issue plans typically offer underwriting decisions within 15 minutes to a few business days.

The coverage options are very small. These can go as low as $5,000 or $10,000.

 

Fully underwritten

A fully underwritten policy requires that you undergo a medical exam. Additionally, the insurer will order copies of all your medical records.

At the exam, a nurse will gather:

  • Answers to health questions
  • Urine and blood samples
  • Blood pressure reading
  • Height and weight measurement

With all this data, they will determine if you’re approved and what price you’ll pay if so.

The most significant upside to fully underwritten policies is the price. It can lead to the best rates compared to the other underwriting options.

The downside is the application time. It typically takes one to three months to complete fully.

Also, the coverage amounts are much higher on fully underwritten plans. The typical minimum is $100,000.

 

Guaranteed acceptance

A guaranteed issue policy has no health underwriting.

There are medical exams or health questions to answer. Your acceptance is guaranteed.

Tip:
These types of policies all come with a mandatory two-year waiting period. If you die during the waiting period, the insurer will only refund your premiums plus interest (10% is the typical amount).

You’d have to live for more than two years before your family can receive a death benefit payout.

A guaranteed acceptance plan would not be advisable if you’re in moderate to good health.

The cost would be higher, and there’s the waiting period.

Guaranteed issue whole life insurance is typically only ideal for those with dire health conditions such as congestive heart failure or end-stage renal failure.

Most companies that offer these no health question policies cap the coverage at $25,000.

 

How Do Limited Pay Whole Life Policies Work?

A limited pay whole life policy stipulates that you pay for a specific period of time.

After you’ve made all the required payments, the policy becomes “paid-up,” and no further premiums are required.

Once paid up, your policy will last indefinitely without contributing more money.

Not every company offers limited-pay options, but many of them do.

Here are the typical limited-pay options:

  • 7 Pay
  • 10 Pay
  • 20 Pay
  • Paid up at age 65
  • Paid up at age 80

Any whole life policy that is not limited-pay is considered “life-pay,” which means you pay forever.

On the one hand, limited-pay options are great because your payments eventually stop.

However, the cost of the average life insurance policy with a limited-pay feature is typically 2-3 times higher than life-pay policy options.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

No. Whole life insurance (with all insurance providers) has a fixed premium that cannot increase over time.

The average cost of a whole life policy varies based on your age, gender, health, and the amount of coverage. That said, expect to pay as little as $20 per month up to $500 depending on the abovementioned factors.

Generally speaking, final expense, simplified issue, and guaranteed acceptance whole life policies don’t’ require a medical exam. However, fully underwritten plans surely will.

Yes. Most children’s life insurance policies are whole life. However, how much life insurance you can purchase for a child is typically much less than what you can buy for an adult.