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Permanent life insurance policies offer a death benefit and cash value. The death benefit is money that's paid to your beneficiaries when you pass away. Cash value is a separate savings component that you may be able to access while you're still alive.
Although term life insurance is usually cheaper than permanent coverage, it only lasts for the length of the term selected. Permanent life insurance may be more expensive, but it lasts your lifetime as long as you continue to pay the premiums.
The two primary types of permanent life insurance are whole life and universal life, and most permanent life insurance combines a death benefit with a savings portion. Whole life insurance offers coverage for the full lifetime of the insured, and its savings can grow at a guaranteed rate.
There's no difference between whole vs. permanent life insurance, but there is a difference between whole life insurance vs. other permanent life insurance products like universal life and variable life.
Since permanent or whole life policies build a guaranteed cash value, it is a wealth-building vehicle that can be used for retirement income or other needs.
Typically, you get the best rates in your 20s or 30s. That's because an insurer is taking on less risk when insuring a young person in good health. That said, affordable and high-quality coverage is available across a variety of age ranges.
When buying life insurance, you'll want 10-20 times your annual income in coverage.