The two primary life insurance options are term and and permanent. With a term policy, the coverage remains in place only until the end of the term is reached. Common term lengths are 15, 20, and 30 years. At the end of the term, the coverage ceases, and no benefits are available.
Permanent life generally provides lifelong coverage and the opportunity to build cash value, which accumulates on a tax-deferred basis. You can also tap into the policy’s cash value while you’re alive.
Permanent life insurance policies include whole life and universal life.
Whole life has fixed and guaranteed premiums, rate of return on cash value and death benefit.
Universal life insurance (UL) offers more flexibility than whole life. You can adjust your premium payments and death benefit. And with an indexed universal (IUL) policy the amount above the cost of insurance gets invested into an index fund typically tied to the S&P 500 which may mean greater returns.
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A few typical goals that lead people to permanent life insurance include:
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