Term Life Insurance versus Whole Life Insurance is a debate many people have when buying life insurance. Many term life insurance policies are renewable, which means they may be renewed without providing evidence of good health until a specified age. However, because of the increased risk of death at a higher age, renewal premiums will always be higher than previous premiums.
Many term policies are also convertible, which means they may be exchanged for another type of policy, such as whole life. Whole life, sometimes called straight life or permanent life, is protection that can be kept as long as you live. You can choose to pay a premium that doesn’t rise as you grow older, averaging the cost of the policy over your life. Whole life insurance has a “cash value” or the sum that grows over the years with taxes deferred. If you cancel the policy, you receive a lump sum. At retirement, many people then begin to use the accumulated cash value to supplement retirement income. This type of life insurance plays an important role in financial planning for many families.