Life insurance is designed to meet the personal needs of you and your family, so it’s impossible to predict how much cover you should take out. However, some careful planning and budgeting will help you narrow down a figure that may be enough to meet the needs of you and your loved ones, especially as you get older.

Your ideal cover amount should be based on:

  • your future plans, and family’s living costs
  • your assets and personal savings
  • your debts (the amount owing on your mortgage, loans and/or credit cards)
  • any other income your family will have access to when you pass away (superannuation, other forms of insurance etc).

The MoneySmart life insurance calculator¹ can help you add up your personal variables and find an estimated cover amount for you. If you’re still not sure or prefer a more detailed analysis, you can speak to a financial advisor.

Life insurance needs by age and circumstance

Our needs constantly change as we get older. In fact, one of the upsides of our age is that we’ve had more time to build wealth and learn from those expensive choices we may have made in our 20s. The great thing about life insurance is that you can factor in these changed circumstances into your policy, to make sure you’re adequately covered or not paying for cover you don’t need. 

Life insurance needs by age

Here are some things worth considering depending on which age bracket you have climbed to:

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You may still have dependent children and an outstanding mortgage, so your cover should be enough to provide for these.

Consider how long it will take for your children to become financially independent or for your partner to make alternative income/living arrangements if you passed away.


If your children are a little older or finally ready to move out, you may want to give them a head-start in buying their first home or planning a wedding. You may consider how this could be done if you were no longer around.

If you prefer to keep your family home instead of downsizing, you’ll need to consider whether your partner could afford to make the repayments if you were gone.


You may be thinking about retirement or even lucky enough to be there already.

Without a steady income, you may choose to make sure that you or your partner can afford to live out the plans that you’ve made. An expensive health concern such as a terminal illness could get in the way of any late plans that you may have.


Even if your current lifestyle is within your means, data suggests that many people in this age bracket may experience reduced health or increased physical restrictions, which can increase your cost of living.

Now could be the time to consider putting a safety net in place to protect your, or your partner’s, quality of life in case of the unexpected.

Protect your family’s future with Seniors Life Insurance

Life insurance needs by circumstance 

It’s important to factor in your current lifestyle when setting a cover amount. Here are some of the things you should consider depending on your living situation or family makeup:


Even if you haven’t followed the path of a spouse and kids, there’s still one person you need to look out for. On top of your everyday living expenses, you might want to prepare for how a terminal illness could force you into unexpected financial obligations. That means your cover amount should include the potential cost of palliative care, which can help you live comfortably and pain-free if you’re ill. This can be hard to afford if you’re already ill and don’t have an ongoing income. Although the cost of living will vary depending on location and state, you can work out an estimated cost by using the Australian average.


If you don’t have kids at home, you may be tempted to retire sooner or even treat yourself to a well-deserved lifestyle. However, this could leave your spouse with a lot of financial commitments if you suddenly passed away, especially if they’ve already begun to transition into retirement.

An unexpected death could lead to your total household income being halved, so keep this in mind when planning for the future. While your partner can reduce their living expenses amount if they were living alone, they may be locked into other long-term commitments such as a mortgage or other loan amounts.   

Family with children

You’ll need to consider how long it will take for your family to make any necessary adjustments or get back to financial sufficiency after you pass away. Your cover amount should factor in both the ongoing living expenses of your dependant children, as well as any long-term plans you may want for them (such as a helping hand in moving out. Education fees (including TAFE or university), the mortgage, and week-to-week living costs should be covered long enough for your children to become financially independent. Even if you’re not the main provider, your partner may need to become a full-time homemaker if you were to pass away, which can bring on added costs that need to be considered.    

Seniors or retirees

You may not have any large ongoing expenses, but if you’ve made extensive plans for yourself or your partner in retirement, these could potentially be jeopardised if you passed away. It’s important to factor in both short-term and long-term living expenses depending on the type of lifestyle you wish to have in retirement. Other costs to consider could be any immediate costs that your partner may face without you — such as relocation/downsizing or planning your funeral. Lastly, the cost of living goes up year on year, so you may wish to consider that the value of today’s dollar will not be the same in the future.

Choosing the right life insurance product

Before taking out cover, you should consider the different types of life insurance available to you. Each of these are designed to meet different financial needs and usually have specific exclusions that you need to be aware of.

In Australia, there are different types of life insurance. Some include:

  • Term life insurance: covers you for a set number of years or until you reach a certain age (whichever comes first). This type of policy may expire after 10 to 20 years so it’s important to take out cover for when you are going to need it most.
  • All of life insurance: is a type of policy that covers you for as long as you live, make a claim, or until you decide to cancel your policy. This type of life insurance product usually has an application process, where you may be asked a number of health and lifestyle questions or undergo a medical exam before being approved.
  • Group life insurance: this is a type of policy that you receive through your employer or superannuation fund. Keep in mind that group life insurance is not tailored to your specific needs or budget as your employer/super fund simply purchases a single contract which covers several people, being the funds members. This cover may expire when you reach a certain age or retire. The upside is that contributions you make to your group life insurance premiums may be funded by your superannuation fund, which could include pre-tax contributions. This can help you keep up with the long-term cost of your policy, however, it’s important to know that your beneficiaries may also be taxed on any payout they receive in some cases.  You should seek guidance from a tax advisor to ensure your circumstances are taken into account.

Find out more about Seniors Life Insurance.

How Australian Seniors can help

Seniors Life Insurance helps put you back in control of your family’s financial future, with up to $200,000 in cover right when it’s needed most.

Benefits of choosing Seniors Life Insurance

A flexible cover amount that suits you

Choose how much you or your family could receive if you pass away or become terminally ill. You can set a benefit amount from $10,000 up to $200,000.

Cover for when you need it most

We know that the older you get, the more you have to protect, so Seniors Life Insurance allows you to apply from age 45 up to 79.

Immediate cover

Once your policy is set up, you’ll be covered straight away for death and for terminal illness.

Easy to apply with no medicals

Simply answer eight questions about your medical history over the phone. Once approved, you can get covered in minutes.

20% advance payout to cover funeral costs

When your family makes a claim, 20% of the benefit amount may be paid in advance, so they won’t have to worry about the cost of your funeral or other immediate expenses while the claim is assessed.

Triple payout for accidental death

Your family’s benefit amount will be tripled up to $600,000 if you pass away from an accident, helping with any last-minute expenses they might face.

Non-smokers can enjoy lower starting premiums

You’ll have lower starting premiums if you’re a non-smoker.

Your own Australia-based personal claims specialist

If you or your family need to make a claim, we’ll assign one of our local claims specialists to look after everything. No need to explain things to multiple people.

Things you should know

  • Suicide is excluded for the first 13 months.
  • This policy expires at age 85, regardless of what age your cover started.
  • Terminal illness with diagnosis of 24 months or less to live.

Need more help deciding?

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Tools & Resources

Calculate the cost of a funeral

See how much a funeral could really cost in your area and why it's more important than ever to be prepared

1. Life insurance calculator – Moneysmart

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