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Learn More About Life Insurance Coverage

The subject of life insurance can be a confusing one and we spend a lot of time discussing various ways to buy life insurance. How much do I need? How much will it cost? Will my beneficiaries have enough to live comfortably? What is the difference between cash-value and term life insurance? Which is the cheapest to buy?

Cash value in life insurance policies

Cash value life insurance such as universal and whole life combine a death benefit and a tax deferred saving element. Occasionally referred to as permanent life insurance, these types of policies are intended to cover you for your lifetime.

Annual premiums for cash value policies generally are higher than those of term life policies as part of each premium pays for life insurance and the remainder is invested. Cash value is what you can borrow from the policy or receive by surrendering it. These funds are ideal for retirement planning and college funding; among other goals because they accumulate tax deferred until you withdraw them and then may be partially taxable. Loans and withdrawals will reduce the policies cash value and death benefit.

Life insurance made easy

Term life insurance is the most fundamental type of life insurance. You purchase coverage for a designated period, from one up to many years and the policy will provide a death benefit if you die during that period. Many polices let you renew your coverage for repeated terms until age 65 or even 100.

Term life insurance is popular with younger people because it provides the maximum amount of coverage for the lowest cost. Early premiums are low and increase as you become older. For example, a $250,000 death benefit will cost less in your thirties than it will in your fifties. For this reason, term life insurance is usually a better value for shorter term or finite life insurance needs.