Whole Vs. Term Life Insurance: Deciding Which One Is Right for You

There are all kinds of ways to plan for your future. You can sock money away in a savings account (or hide it in your mattress), invest in stocks, bonds, and real estate, or contribute to retirement funds like a 401K and Roth IRA. Ideally, diversification demands that you engage in more than one of these activities in order to ensure a comfortable lifestyle once you reach the age of retirement. But you might also want to start thinking about what your loved ones will be left with when you head to that great gig in the sky (and we’re not talking about a ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ style party on an airplane). The last thing you want to do is stick your loved ones with a bill for funeral arrangements following your demise. You want your spouse to keep your home. You want your kids to go to college. But if you’re not there to support the family, these dreams could all fall by the wayside.

Unfortunately, you might not have a lot of extra cash to put towards life insurance just at the moment. And if you have yet to marry and start a family, you may not be terribly concerned about what you’re leaving behind. And yet, the longer you wait to start buying life insurance, the more your premiums are likely to cost. So what’s a concerned adult to do? You can start by exploring your options, and there are two main types of life insurance to consider (although you’ll come across myriad variations on each theme): whole and term life insurance. But before you can decide which one is right for you, there are a couple of things you’ll want to consider.

First, you need to understand what makes these two forms of insurance different, and the main disparity is a simple one. Whole life insurance policies last a lifetime (provided you don’t miss any payments) whereas term life insurance is purchased with a specific term of usage, say 10 years, after which you have to renegotiate for another term (or another type of policy) if you want to continue your life insurance coverage. Now, you might wonder why anyone would opt for the latter. But there are a couple of reasons why term life insurance may better suit your needs.

Whole life insurance is more expensive than term, generally speaking, especially if you happen to be a young and healthy individual. This makes it ideal for young adults in their early twenties who have plenty of bills to pay and limited earnings in most cases. Term coverage offers the opportunity to pay a low rate, get the coverage you need in case of your untimely death, and switch to a whole life policy in your 30s, when you’re still young enough to lock in a low rate, but you’ve advanced enough in your career that you can afford the increased cost of whole life insurance. Understanding term life vs. whole life insurance differences can help you to make a decision about which policy is right for you. But if you have the funds available, you’re never too young to opt for whole life insurance, especially if they offer locked rates that will last you a lifetime, however long that may be.

3 Responses to Whole Vs. Term Life Insurance: Deciding Which One Is Right for You

  1. From the materials I’ve read, most financial gurus recommend term life insurance. The cost is significantly cheaper so theoretically you could used the money saved to create an investment portfolio that would generally perform better than the potential value of the whole life policy.

    Plus, insurance is only meant to cover you or your family in the event of an unexpected death. Ideally, at a certain point, you have enough wealth that you won’t need insurance because a you or your family could move on (financially speaking) without the person who is being insured.

    For instance, our family holds a 20-year term policy because we expect to have the house paid off and a nice nest egg to live off of. An unexpected death should would only be an emotional drain, not a financial one.

  2. Magnificent website. Plenty of useful info here. I am sending
    it to several buddies ans also sharing in delicious. And
    certainly, thanks in your sweat!

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