Insurance Read Time: 4 min

Term vs. Permanent Life Insurance

According to industry experts, most people don't have enough life insurance. The American Council of Life Insurers recently reported that average coverage equals $183,780, which is equivalent to approximately 3.5 years in terms of income replacement (with the median income being $54,132 in 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics). That's only half the recommended 7-year threshold.1,2

Furthermore, almost half of consumers said that their households would be in immediate or near-immediate financial trouble if the primary wage earner died today.3

When considering life insurance, one of the most important factors to understand is the difference between term and permanent insurance. Here’s an inside look at both.

Term and Perm

Term or Perm?

Term life insurance is temporary; it provides a death benefit for a specific term, such as 10, 20, or 30 years. Unlike other types of life insurance, it does not accumulate a cash value. If the policyholder dies during that term, their beneficiaries receive the benefit from the policy. When the contract ends, so does the coverage.

This limited term leads to term life insurance’s main advantage: price. Generally, term life insurance costs less than permanent life insurance, especially if the purchaser is younger. This has the potential to free up funds for other household expenses.

Permanent insurance remains in place as long as the policyholder makes payments. In addition, permanent policies are designed to build up “cash value,” a cash reserve that accumulates with the policy. Typically, this cash reserve pays a modest rate of return. However, the policyholder has limited access to the funds.

Which Should You Choose?

Term life insurance can be designed to provide protection against upcoming expenses, such as putting children through college. Permanent life insurance, on the other hand, can be more useful for covering long-term financial needs, such as estate planning.

Many people find that they have a combination of short- and long-term needs. In such circumstances, it may be prudent to have both types: a basic level of permanent life insurance supplemented by a term policy. A review of your situation may help determine what type of life insurance is appropriate.

Several factors will affect the cost and availability of life insurance, including age, health, and the type and amount of insurance purchased. Life insurance policies have expenses, including mortality and other charges. If a policy is surrendered prematurely, the policyholder also may pay surrender charges and have income tax implications. You should consider determining whether you are insurable before implementing a strategy involving life insurance. Any guarantees associated with a policy are dependent on the ability of the issuing insurance company to continue making claim payments.

Term or Perm?

In 2021 people purchased more permanent life insurance policies than term life insurance policies. However, term policies account for approximately 74% of the face amount of the policies issued.3

Source: ACLI.gov, 2022

1. ACLI.com, 2022
2. BLS.gov, 2022
3. LIMRA.com, 2022

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

Share |
 

Related Content

Financial Empowerment for Women

Financial Empowerment for Women

Recently 117 year old Emma Morano, the oldest person in the world, passed away. She attributed her longevity to eating raw...

What’s Your Investment IQ?

What’s Your Investment IQ?

You make decisions for your portfolio, but how much do you really know about the products you buy? Try this quiz

Why Consider Life Insurance and What Type

Why Consider Life Insurance and What Type

Key uses for life insurance and the difference between whole life and term

 

Have A Question About This Topic?







Thank you! Oops!

Insight to a Maddening Employment Report

Here’s why the August jobs report was particularly maddening.

How Can I Be a Confident Spender in Retirement?

Imagine you’ve been invited to go paragliding. It’s your first time and you’ve bought a top-of-the-line paraglider.

8 Financial Lessons from the Big (and Little) Screen

Financial lessons from movies and TV.

View all articles

What Is My Risk Tolerance?

This questionnaire will help determine your tolerance for investment risk.

Annuity Comparison

This calculator compares a hypothetical fixed annuity with an account where the interest is taxed each year.

Paying Off a Credit Card

Enter various payment options and determine how long it may take to pay off a credit card.

View all calculators

Your Cash Flow Statement

A presentation about managing money: using it, saving it, and even getting credit.

Managing Your Lifestyle

Using smart management to get more of what you want and free up assets to invest.

Long-Term-Care Protection Strategies

The chances of needing long-term care, its cost, and strategies for covering that cost.

View all presentations

Leaving Your Lasting Legacy

Want to do more with your wealth? You might want to consider creating a charitable foundation.

Encore Careers: Push Your Boundaries

Ready for retirement? Find out why many are considering encore careers and push your boundaries into something more, here.

The Latte Lie and Other Myths

Check out this video to begin separating fact from fiction.

View all videos