Whole Life Insurance Rates By Age With Charts

Written by: Steven Gibbs | Last Updated on: May 11, 2024
Fact Checked by Jason Herring and Barry Brooksby (licensed insurance experts)

Insurance and Estates, a strategic life insurance provider composed of life insurance professionals, is committed to integrity in our editorial standards and transparency in how we receive compensation from our insurance partners.

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Welcome to our detailed guide on Whole Life Insurance Rates, where we aim to demystify the pricing and benefits of whole life insurance for a variety of individual needs. This guide is meticulously crafted to navigate you through the complexities of whole life insurance rates, starting with an essential understanding of the factors that influence these rates, including age and health considerations.

Additionally, we provide a comprehensive comparison of whole life insurance rates against term and universal life insurance, ensuring you have a broad perspective on the options available. Detailed examples of rates for different age groups, including seniors and children, are presented to give you a clear picture of what to expect at various life stages.

Finally, we delve into the nuances of policy design, illustrating how it impacts your premiums and the overall value of your policy. By the end of this guide, you’ll have a deeper understanding of whole life insurance rates and the knowledge to pursue a policy that aligns with your financial goals.

Understanding Whole Life Insurance Rates by Age: A Comprehensive Guide with Charts

Table of Contents

Factors that Determine your Whole Life Rates

Your Age

The biggest determinate of how much life insurance costs will be your age. The older you are the higher your whole life insurance rates will be. Underwriters consider your life expectancy and price your policy accordingly.

Your Health Rating

The second factor affecting your insurance rates will be your health rating class.

Life insurance health class ratings are broken down into different categories, including:

  • Preferred Plus or Preferred Best
  • Preferred
  • Standard Plus
  • Standard
  • Substandard or Table Rated
  • Preferred Tobacco
  • Standard Tobacco

As you can imagine, most people fall into the standard health rate category, hence the word “standard” or average.

Your Policy Design

Another area to consider is how your policy is designed. Traditionally, whole life insurance was designed so that it was paid up by age 100. However, there are many other options available to you that effect how much your whole life premium payment will be. More to follow in our Whole Life Policy Design Variations section.

Whole Life Insurance Rates Comparison

The whole life insurance rates by age charts below are examples of what you can expect to pay for a typical policy. Please be aware that the quotes are for informational purposes only and do not necessarily reflect what whole life insurance costs for a specific individual.

Whole life rates were determined by total death benefit and are not specific to a policy designed for maximum high cash value growth. Please give us a call or schedule a conversation with one of our Pro Client Guides for specific rates tailored to your individual needs and goals.

You may also be interested in our charts showing term life insurance rates by age to compare the cost of term vs whole life insurance.

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Detailed Whole Life Insurance Rate Examples

Let’s first look at limited pay whole life insurance rates. With Limited Pay whole life insurance, the policy owner pays annual level premium payments over a specified period of time, typically 10 to 20 years or to age 65. Once the payments have been made over the corresponding time period, no future premiums are due.

10 Pay Whole Life Insurance Rates

10 Pay Whole Life requires the policyholder to make premium payments for 10 years. The following sample 10 Pay Whole Life Insurance Quotes are from an A rated carrier or higher for a preferred plus male. Annual Rates are for informational purposes only and must be qualified for.

Age$100,000$250,000$500,000$1,000,000
40$3,628$8,717$17,225$34,170
45$4,297$10,310$20,360$40,370
50$5,082$12,167$24,010$47,590
55$5,979$14,272$28,140$55,740
60$6,973$16,565$32,610$64,530
65$8,075$19,077$37,490$74,100

20 Pay Whole Life Insurance Rates

20 Pay Whole Life requires the policyholder to make payments for 20 years. The following sample 20 Pay Whole Life Insurance Quotes are from an A rated carrier or better for a preferred plus male. Annual Rates are for informational purposes only and must be qualified for.

Age$100,000$250,000$500,000$1,000,000
40$2,277$5,342$10,470$20,660
45$2,698$6,312$12,365$24,390
50$3,200$7,462$14,600$28,770
55$3,797$8,817$17,235$33,930
60$4,580$10,582$20,645$40,600
65$5,536$12,730$24,795$48,710

Standard Whole Life Insurance Rates to Age 100

A whole life policy to age 100 is the standard policy that determines premiums based on your current age until you reach the age of 100, at which point no future premiums will be due.

Male to Age 100

The following sample whole life insurance quotes are based on a preferred plus male wanting ordinary whole life insurance to age 100 with an A- rated insurance company or better. Monthly Rates are for informational purposes only and must be qualified for.

Age$100,000$250,000$500,000$1,000,000
20$83$151$293$580
25$92$178$348$689
30$105$216$422$839
35$121$267$522$1038
40$141$326$639$1273
45$173$401$789$1571
50$214$499$982$1959
55$270$629$1239$2473
60$324$802$1582$3158

Female to Age 100

The following sample whole life insurance quotes are based on a preferred plus female wanting ordinary whole life insurance to age 100 with an A- rated insurance company or better. Monthly Rates are for informational purposes only and must be qualified for.

Age$100,000$250,000$500,000$1,000,000
20$56$132$255$504
25$66$156$304$602
30$79$188$368$729
35$96$230$450$894
40$115$278$544$1081
45$143$350$685$1364
50$175$429$843$1681
55$223$549$1082$2158
60$280$700$1381$2756

As with all life insurance, the older you get the more expensive the premium payment will be. But it is important to realize that with a properly designed whole life insurance policy, your policy’s performance will still make it a great option no matter what age you are when applying for coverage.

Whole Life Insurance for Specific Age Groups

We covered the best life insurance for seniors for wealth building and legacy creation in a previous article. The gist is that you want to apply with the insurance companies that cater to older clients.

Now realize, some companies focus its niche on younger clients and some focus more on older clients.

The key is knowing which company will provide you with the best policy and price.

Whole Life Insurance Rates for Seniors

The following sample whole life insurance quotes for seniors ages 65-85 are based on a preferred plus male wanting ordinary whole life insurance to age 100 with an A rated insurance company or better. Monthly Rates are for informational purposes only and must be qualified for.

Age$100,000$250,000$500,000$1,000,000
65$416$1019$2032$4059
70$546$1359$2842$5470
75$738$1868$3732$7458
80$1097$2801$5541$11076
85$1455$3628$7178$14351

Whole Life Insurance Rates for Children

Often, grandma or grandpa will see the benefits of whole life insurance and want to get a policy for the grandchildren or parents will use whole life as a savings vehicle for their kids, since the internal rate of return on the policy is much higher than what banks are offering on a CD or savings account.

Whole life insurance for children is a great choice because of the different lifetime benefits received. For example, as the whole life policy’s cash value grows, it can be withdrawn or borrowed against to pay for a car, education, or even a down payment on a home.

And the parent or grandparent can be the owner of the policy and direct when and how the funds are accessed. Whereupon a certain age, the parent or grandparent can then transfer ownership over to the adult child, who has now reached adulthood.

Guaranteed Insurability

You can even chose a guaranteed insurability rider that allows the child to add additional coverage at certain ages and life events. That means that even if that child should develop a health issue that would preclude them from qualifying for coverage, getting additional coverage is not a problem with the Guaranteed Insurability rider.

The following sample child whole life insurance rates based on a preferred plus male for ordinary whole life insurance to age 100 with an A rated insurance company or better. Monthly Rates are for informational purposes only and must be qualified for.

Age$25,000$50,000$100,000$250,000
1$17$28$43$85
5$20$34$47$96
10$21$38$55$116
15$24$44$71$145

Whole Life Policy Design Variations

Now, you may be able to get the whole life insurance rates above if you qualify at the top health class. However, when it comes to personalized whole life insurance rates, the premium payment you pay for your coverage can vary depending on how your policy is designed.

Death Benefit Focus

There are two ways to design a whole life policy. One way is the more traditional route where the focus is on the death benefit. As a result, the policy’s cash value account grows slowly, and the death benefit remains the same.

High Cash Value Focus

The more popular way to design a policy is to focus on cash value. An early high cash value whole life policy is structured so that the death benefit is not static, but rather grows over time. Rather, the cash value in the policy is the focus, which allows the policyholder to overfund the policy, putting as much money into it as possible.

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Death Benefit vs Cash Value

So, here is an important point. The higher your initial death benefit, the more your life insurance will cost (and the higher the agent’s commission). Many people are led to believe they need to maximize the death benefit. However, that is often not the case.

Often, maximizing your cash value accumulation, and focusing on cash value growth, is the better option. Creating a high cash value life insurance policy gives you the benefit of a policy that grows cash value quickly, that will also grow your death benefit as you get older.

And chances are, you are more likely to live longer, so a policy that maximizes your death benefit as you age, focusing on high early cash value growth, may be the better option.

Whole Life Insurance Riders

The riders you select for your whole life policy also have an impact on your rate, as well as on your policy’s performance.

Adding a term rider to your policy can help maximize your initial death benefit, while simultaneously keeping whole life insurance costs low.

And through the use of paid up additions you can overfund your life insurance. The main benefit of doing this would be to maximize your cash value growth early on.

Paid-Up Additions

Paid-up additions benefits are twofold.

1. Your death benefit grows. As you add additional paid-up life insurance coverage to your policy your death benefit grows. That way, the older you get, the more life insurance death benefit payout you leave behind.

2. Your cash value grows. As you add paid-up coverage into your policy, your cash value grows as well. And the more cash value you have, the greater your dividend payment. So you increase your annual dividend payment amount year after year, providing true compound growth, not depleted by taxes.

Whole Life Payment Structures

Whole life insurance policies can be structured to last your entire life or for a set period of time. Here are some examples:

Whole Life to Age 121

Older whole life insurance was priced to age 100. However, nowadays, you will find that most whole life policies can be designed so that the policy is paid up at age 100, with guaranteed cash values and death benefits provided to age 121. This particular policy design will have lower premiums since the payments are stretched out over a longer time horizon.

Limited Pay Whole Life

With limited pay life insurance, you pay into the policy for an shortened period of time. The premium will be higher based on the shorter time frame you use. There are different options available, including:

      • 7 Pay Whole Life
      • 10 Pay Whole Life
      • 15 Pay Whole Life
      • 20 Pay Whole Life
      • Whole Life to Age 65

Once you have paid into the policy for the requisite years or to age 65, the policy is considered paid-up. When your policy is paid up, you no longer have to pay premiums but your policy’s cash value and death benefit still grows due to guaranteed returns and dividends.

Whole Life Insurance Guarantees & Dividends

Whole life is cash value life insurance. You pay premiums into the policy in order to secure certain guarantees.

The first three guarantees are exclusive to whole life:

  • A guaranteed death benefit provides a payout to your beneficiary no matter when you die, as long as you make your required premium payments. The life insurance payout is not taxable to your beneficiary.
  • Guaranteed tax deferred cash value growth provides that your policy’s cash value account will continue to grow year after year.
  • Guaranteed level premium means that your premium payment will remain level, or fixed, for the duration of the whole life policy. Unlike many other types of life insurance, your premium will not change.
  • Guaranteed access to your money means that you have a contract with the insurance carrier and the cash value is yours to withdraw or borrow whenever you need it for whatever you need it for.

And life insurance loans are tax free, so you can access your money without having to worry about creating a taxable event.

Dividends

In addition to these guarantees, whole life insurance dividends are available from participating whole life insurance companies.

Although the dividends are not guaranteed, most of the participating whole life companies that pay dividends have not missed paying participating policyholders dividends in over 100 years, even during the Great Depression.

Dividends are valuable and can be used to pay premiums, keep with the insurance company to earn interest, cashed out to use however you want, or used to purchase paid-up additions.

Whole Life vs Term & Universal Life

Whole life vs Term Life

Whole life lasts your entire life vs term life which lasts for a specific period of time. Life insurance sites often show the comparison between whole life vs term life rates, as term is less expensive initially.

However, unlike term, whole life offers cash value growth which is a huge benefit to anyone who is looking for a tax favored savings vehicle.

Term life insurance lasts for a specified contractual period of time. You can choose annual renewable term insurance (1 year), 5 year term, 10, 20, 25 and 30 year terms. Once the term insurance policy ends, the premium on the term policy will either increase or the death benefit will decrease.

Term life insurance rates are lower initially than whole life insurance rates. However, overtime whole life comes out ahead because your premium is fixed and you have paid into a policy that becomes more efficient as the years pass. (Once again, it is important that the policy is properly designed for maximum benefits.)

Whole Life vs Universal Life

Another comparison would be whole life vs universal life. Whole life may illustrate with higher rates than UL, but the primary benefit of whole vs universal life is that whole life offers guarantees, specifically guaranteed premiums for the life of the policy.

Many universal life vs whole life comparisons point out that universal life has a lot more flexibility in terms of payments, allowing you to make higher or lower premium payments based on where you are at financially.

However, whole life, designed for cash value growth through the use of paid up additions, allows a lot of flexibility as well. You can have your policy designed so that only 20% of the premium goes to base and the other 80% goes to paid up additions. This allows you a lot of flexibility with premium payments, as only the 20% base premium would be needed to keep the policy in force.

Conclusion and Next Steps

Whole life insurance rates vary substantially based on how the policy is designed. And different companies offer better long term returns. So be aware that, the key to the best whole life insurance rates is knowing which life insurance company is going to provide you with the greatest opportunity for success at the most affordable price.  And this is where I&E can really help. So, what are you waiting for?  Give us a call today for complimentary whole life insurance rates based on your specific numbers.

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21 comments

  • Chris

    This an interesting article. I was actually searching for a table of life insurance needs by age. For example, In my 30s, I had higher debt to income ratios and needed more LI, whereas in my 40s, my financial situation was different. I like the idea of stepping down life insurance and just looking for more resources. Thanks!

    • Steven Gibbs
      A
      Steven Gibbs

      You’re welcome of course Chris, thanks for connecting!

      Best, Steve Gibbs for I&E

      Steven Gibbs is a licensed insurance agent, and the following agent
      license numbers of Steven Gibbs are provided as required by state law:

      Resident License; AZ agent #17508301,
      Non-resident Licenses: TX agent #2273189, CA agent #0K10610,
      LA agent #769583, MA agent #2049963, MN agent #40563357,
      UT agent #655544.

  • Joseph S McCann
    Joseph S McCann

    I just turned 79 years old with so-so health. Could I purchase a $20,000 whole life fully paid policy with beneficiaries to my sons. What would be the tax consequences, either if I lived a long or if I died the next day after this transaction? Right now I’m ok but my family history is poor, and I was in Vietnam. My objective is to help my sons when I die.

    • SJG
      A

      Hello Joseph and thanks for commenting. You really need to connect with an expert to determine whether you can qualify for coverage. A critical cutoff age is generally understood as 76 but it doesn’t hurt to see what your options are.

      Best, Steve Gibbs for I&E

      Steven Gibbs is a licensed insurance agent, and the following agent
      license numbers of Steven Gibbs are provided as required by state law:

      Resident License; AZ agent #17508301,
      Non-resident Licenses: TX agent #2273189, CA agent #0K10610,
      LA agent #769583, MA agent #2049963, MN agent #40563357,
      UT agent #655544.

  • Beverly
    Beverly

    How could this work for a retiree whose savings is already in traditional accounts like IRAs and TOD accounts? Thanks for all this information. My question may be answered somewhere but I haven’t gotten through all the reading yet.

    • SJG
      A

      Hello Beverly and thanks your question. Depending on your circumstances and goals, moving funds from various accounts can work. To answer your question directly, it would be a good idea to connect with one of our experts if you haven’t already. Go ahead and reach out to Denise Boisvert to request a call by email at denise@insuranceandestates.com.

      Best, Steve Gibbs for I&E

      Steven Gibbs is a licensed insurance agent, and the following agent
      license numbers of Steven Gibbs are provided as required by state law:

      Resident License; AZ agent #17508301,
      Non-resident Licenses: TX agent #2273189, CA agent #0K10610,
      LA agent #769583, MA agent #2049963, MN agent #40563357,
      UT agent #655544.

  • Natasha
    Natasha

    Hello, so, if you don’t mind me asking what does your company get out of helping me with this system? I truly appreciate the webinars and everything I’m learning, but , I still can’t access this structured plan on my own so would have to use an agent I’m assuming? But if most of premium is going into cash value instead of death benefit and agent isn’t really making any commission then, what’s the cost of this agent ? And does that need to be paid in full up front or over time.

    • Insurance&Estates
      A
      Insurance&Estates

      Hi Natasha, fair question, our agents do get a commission on helping folks with these policies; however, they get less than would be the case if it were all base premium with no PUA (paid up additions) for adding cash value. This attests to the integrity of our team. Helping folks with this strategy is more important than simply maximizing commissions. There are no additional costs up front for setting up a high cash value policy. When you’re ready, request a meeting with Barry Brooksby by emailing him at barry@insuranceandestates.com.

      Best,

      Steve Gibbs, for I&E

  • Nafeese
    Nafeese

    Hey, I’ll be straight forward. I’m just trying to set up this policy so I can get cash value & access it right away for bills & future investments. How do I set it up whereas I’m paying as low as possible for a good enough cash value to take out on in my first year? It seems I have to pay more to get more cash value but still won’t be much until after a few years

    • Insurance&Estates
      A
      Insurance&Estates

      Hello Nafeese and thanks for commenting. I understand your goals, however, to see how it would work with your policy, you would need some scenarios run. You can request a call from Barry Brooksby by emailing him at barry@insuranceandestates.com.

      Best, Steve Gibbs for I&E

  • Olu Aiyetan
    Olu Aiyetan

    I need a quote for life insurance

    • Insurance&Estates
      A
      Insurance&Estates

      Hello, if you’d like a quote you can go to our webite and access an on line quoter and this will connect you with an expert to take next steps.

      Best, I&E Pro Team

  • kathy romines abell
    kathy romines abell

    I want wholelife where the price stays the same

  • Corine Harris
    Corine Harris

    I was searching for knowledge about Insurance Calculator. Thanks, admin for sharing such wonderful content on this topic. Now I have got everything I need about it.

  • Carolynn
    Carolynn

    I canceled my policy a few months ago, I was with the co 10 years I have been waiting for the paper work to receive my Guaranteed Certificate value. My certificate number is XXXXX my address I XXXX XXXX Rd, Colorado. Thank you

    • Insurance&Estates
      A
      Insurance&Estates

      Hi Carolyn, folks often confuse us with their insurance company because we write a lot of articles about various companies and products. It looks like that is the case here if you’re referring to a company that you worked for. You’ll want to go back and make sure you’re on your insurance company website and go from there.

      Best, Steve Gibbs for I&E

  • Da Stiegen
    Da Stiegen

    It is difficult anywhere on the web to discover if the premiums being discussed are fixed = level, or will rise with time.
    At one point, the article states that as I get older my premium will go up. This could mean that if I buy today my (fixed = level) premium will be X, but if I bought five years from now my (fixed) premium would be 2X. Or it could mean that my premium of X now is not fixed but will go up constantly.
    None of the comparison charts here are clear on which case they’re addressing, but I’m almost sure it’s the latter i.e. the premium shown is only for the start and will go up afterwards. The “guaranteed level” case is mentioned – but does that mean that all others are “increasing”?
    To add to the confusion, in the comparison to term insurance the article states that whole life comes out ahead over time because the premium is fixed! Which it most likely won’t be.
    It’s disappointing that nobody “explaining” insurance makes this point clear in each case. It has an enormous effect on the value of the product.

    • Insurance&Estates
      A
      Insurance&Estates

      Hello and thanks for your question. I think the best way to dispel this confusion is discuss specific products with an expert, because various products handle premiums differently. However, generally speaking, your belief about whole life products related to increasing premiums in incorrect. Whole life products (BY DESIGN) offer fixed premiums and also offer fixed costs, and these policies may or may not be designed so that premiums are fully paid up at a given point in time (i.e. limited pay policies). Universal products on the other hand tend to feature “flexible” premiums and costs can increase over time, so it is important to fully understand these products because, although flexible, if underfunded, these policies can present problems down the road. Also, whole life absolutely will come out ahead over time because premiums are fixed and term costs increase with age, period. There is zero uncertainty about this if we’re only talking about mutual whole life premiums and death benefit. It seems like you may be applying some concerns related to universal products to whole life when these are entirely different products. Universal shifts the risk to you as the consumer and with whole life, the insurance company bears the risk. I encourage you to invest the time to really understand these products by talking to experts and exploring actual products and illustrations.

      To your success.

      Steve Gibbs for I&E

  • James Martinez
    James Martinez

    Wonderful article. I agree on this. It always best to know what exactly your insurance policy and talk to experts before buying it.

    James Martinez

    • Insurance&Estates
      A
      Insurance&Estates

      Thanks for your comment, James. All the best.

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