When it comes to term life vs whole life you are probably stuck on trying to decide which option to choose:

A quick search in Google and you will find several posts all with different answers on which option is best.

term life vs whole life

These answers for the most part are sometimes hard to understand.  

Even with educational tools like my ultimate guide, understanding how life insurance works in general can be a bit of a task. 

I promise that today you will get a definitive winner and a solid understanding of why the winner was chosen. 

Most of the battles end in a draw and the person sharing the information just won't seem to give a direct answer. 

So, I took a different approach:

I decided to teach you the differences between term vs whole life insurance and I also asked over 40 personal finance experts and bloggers a simple question:

Term life vs Whole life, which would you choose and why?

These experts are among the top in the industry, some of them have overcome thousands in debt and others are licensed professionals.

Every day they are working towards helping you better understand the world of personal finance through detailed reviews like our Bestow Life Review

They even create "How To" posts like  How To Get Life Insurance Quotes With No Phone Calls, or how to get life insurance with no exam no waiting period.

So, should you buy term or whole life insurance?  

Well, lets learn what they are first and then get the results to the battle we've all been waiting for.

Two Primary Types Of Life Insurance

There are two primary types of life insurance that make up all of the different forms of life insurance.

They are term life insurance and permanent life insurance. 

Term life insurance is a type of life insurance that will last for a set amount of time as long as the premiums are paid. 

You will also find that term life insurance quotes are always more affordable than whole life insurance quotes.

Permanent life insurance is a type of life insurance that will last for your whole life as long as the premiums are paid. Whole life insurance is the most known form of permanent life insurance.

THE SIMPLY INSURANCE WAY

Life Insurance made easy.

Agents not required.

Get quotes and sign up online without talking to an agent. But, we are here if you need us. 

Unbiased, expert advice.

Get unbiased insurance education from licensed experts and also avoid dodgy sales calls.

Coverage in minutes.

You can get life insurance coverage within minutes of getting your quotes and applying.

What Is Term Life Insurance?

Term life insurance covers your life for a specific “term length” as long as you are paying the premiums.

The way the policy works is that you purchase a certain amount of coverage ($250,000) for a certain amount of time (30 Years) for a set monthly price ($45.00).

If you live past the term, the policy ends, or you have to renew it, and if you die before the term period is up then the plan will pay out 100% of the coverage amount (also known as the death benefit).

When you start shopping for term life, you should:

  • Choose a term length that coincides with the years you’ll be paying the bills, how long you want the coverage to last and if you have any kids, for long enough for them to become an adult.
  • Calculate your current and future financial needs to purchase an amount your family would need if you were no longer there to provide for them.

The goal is for your family’s need for life insurance to end around the time the term expires.

Your kids will be on their own, you’ll have paid off your house, and you should have plenty of money in savings to serve as a financial safety net.

Features Of Term Life Insurance

  • Can provide a death benefit & living benefits
  • Pays benefits only if you die while the term of the policy is in effect
  • The accelerated death benefit rider pays benefits while you are living
  • Rates are guaranteed level and locked in for the life of the policy
  • Easiest and most affordable life insurance option to buy
  • Purchase for a specific term length, such as 5, 10, 15, 20 or 30 years
  • Becomes more expensive to purchase as you age, especially after age 50
  • The term must be renewed once it ends if you want coverage to be extended
  • Can be converted to whole life insurance

Term Life Insurance Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Term life is straightforward, and policies are easy to understand and easy to buy
  • Term is the most affordable type of life insurance for the amount of coverage.
  • You can cancel a term policy at any time before it expires without losing any value.

Cons

  • Your coverage expires at the end of the term
  • You probably won’t be able to afford to renew the policy
  • You will have to shop for new life insurance when your term ends.

What Is Whole Life Insurance?

Similar to all permanent types of life insurance policies, whole life covers you for your entire life and also builds what is known as cash value.

This cash value is an investment component and grows slowly and tax-deferred.

term vs whole life insurance

This means you won’t have to pay taxes on its gains while they’re accumulating.

You can borrow against the cash value inside of the account or surrender the policy for the cash.

However, if you don’t repay policy loans with interest, you’ll reduce your death benefit.

If you surrender the policy, you’ll no longer have coverage in-force.

Although it’s much more complicated than a term life insurance policy, whole life is the purest form of permanent life insurance.

Here’s why:

  • Your premium remains the same for as long as you live
  • The death benefit is guaranteed
  • Policy’s cash value account grows at a guaranteed rate

Some whole life policies can also earn annual dividends, a portion of the insurer’s financial surplus.

Features Of Whole Life Insurance

  • Covers you for life
  • Provides a death benefit
  • Provides cash value that builds during the life of the policy
  • Can be purchased without a medical exam, but at a higher cost
  • Takes 12 years or more to build up a decent cash value
  • Can be a good choice for estate planning
  • Cash value is based on how much the return on investment is worth
  • You can borrow against the cash value
  • More expensive than term life

Whole Life Insurance Pros & Cons

Pros

  • The policy will last for your entire life.
  • It works as a type of forced savings vehicle.
  • Policy will build cash value over time.

Cons

  • Whole life can be up to 6 times more expensive than term life
  • People often end the coverage sooner than expected due to costs
  • Much more complicated product than term life insurance

INSURANCE WHERE YOU LIVE

Life insurance by state.

Term Life Vs. Whole Life: Policy Differences

Policy Features

Term Life Insurance

Whole Life Insurance

Premiums Don't Increase

Death Benefit Guaranteed

Choose A Set Term Length

Cell

Lowest Premiums

Cell

Lasts Your Whole Life

Cell

Builds Cash Value

Cell

This isn't the ultimate list of features, however, it should give you a more solid idea of the differences. 

THE SIMPLY INSURANCE WAY

Life Insurance made easy.

Agents not required.

Get quotes and sign up online without talking to an agent. But, we are here if you need us. 

Unbiased, expert advice.

Get unbiased insurance education from licensed experts and also avoid dodgy sales calls.

Coverage in minutes.

You can get life insurance coverage within minutes of getting your quotes and applying.

Comparing The Costs Of Term Vs Whole Life

Let's be honest, a huge factor for pretty much 95% of us is going to be price.  Below we look at the differences between the two products based on costs.

  • Rates For Men

  • Rates For Women

$250,000 Term and Whole Life Rates For Men

Age

20 Year Term Quotes

30 Year Term Quotes

Whole Life Rates

30 Years Old

$12.68/month

$19.00/month

$200.25/month

40 Years Old

$17.80/month

$28.59/month

$297.66/month

50 Years Old

$39.42/month

$68.25/month

$462.33/month

As you can clearly see, term life insurance is much more affordable than whole life insurance.

The longer the term length, the higher your premiums will be and the longer you wait to get covered the higher the premiums can go.

Is Whole Life or Term Life Insurance Better? 

The Winner Is:

Term Life Insurance

37

Term Life Votes

2

Whole Life Votes

6

Neutral Votes

The personal finance experts have given their answer and they largely prefer Term Life Insurance over Whole life when it comes to buying coverage.


And here's the thing: 


You can easily buy term life insurance online it's super easy to complete the process and have an instant approval or immediate decision..

Our Personal Finance Experts

We reached out to some of the brightest minds when it comes to personal finance, from bloggers, freelance writers, to licensed agents and financial advisors. 

Top 10 Personal Finance Experts

holly johnson

Holly 

Johnson
Writer & Personal Finance Blogger

tom drake

Tom
Drake
Financial Analyst & Finance Blogger
Read his answer

j.d. roth

J.D. 
Roth 
Writer & Personal Finance Blogger
Read his answer

andrew schrage

Andrew

Schrage
Econ. Major & Personal Finance Blogger
Read his answer

tiffany aliche

Tiffany
Aliche
America's Favorite Financial Educator
Read her answer

david carlson

David

Carlson
Millennial Personal Finance Blogger
Read his answer

michael kitces

Michael

Kitces
CFP® & Personal Finance Blogger
Read his answer

john schmoll

John

Schmoll 
Finance Blogger & Freelance Writer
Read his answer

trent hamm

Trent

Hamm
Writer & Founder of The Simple Dollar
Read his answer

tracie forbes

Tracie

Forbes
Family Finance & Lifestyle Blogger
Read her answer

holly johnson

Holly 

Johnson
Writer & Personal Finance Blogger

tom drake

Tom
Drake
Financial Analyst & Finance Blogger
Read his answer

j.d. roth

J.D. 
Roth 
Writer & Personal Finance Blogger
Read his answer

andrew schrage

Andrew

Schrage
Econ. Major & Personal Finance Blogger
Read his answer

tiffany aliche

Tiffany
Aliche
America's Favorite Financial Educator
Read her answer

david carlson

David

Carlson
Millennial Personal Finance Blogger
Read his answer

michael kitces

Michael

Kitces
CFP® & Personal Finance Blogger
Read his answer

john schmoll

John

Schmoll 
Finance Blogger & Freelance Writer
Read his answer

trent hamm

Trent

Hamm
Writer & Founder of The Simple Dollar
Read his answer

tracie forbes

Tracie

Forbes
Family Finance & Lifestyle Blogger
Read her answer

ilyce glink

Ilyce

Glink
Personal Finance & Real Estate Blogger
Read her answer

david ning

David

Ning

Personal Finance & Retirement Blogger.
 Read his answer

philip taylor

Philip

Taylor 
CPA & Personal

Finance Blogger
Read his answer

sam dogen

Sam
Dogen

Personal Finance & Lifestyle Blogger
Read his answer

frugal trader

Frugal
Trader

Personal Finance Blogger & Podcaster
Read their answer

chris huntley

Chris
Huntley

Licensed Insurance Agent & Blogger
Read his answer

joe udo

Joe
Udo

Personal Finance & Lifestyle Blogger
Read his answer

sophia bera

Sophia
Bera

CFP® & Personal Finance Blogger
Read her answer

melanie lockert

Melanie
Lockert

Personal Finance
& Debt Blogger
Read her answer

jessica moorhouse

Jessica
Moorhouse

Personal Finance Blogger & Podcaster
Read her answer

elle martinez

Elle
Martinez

Couple Finance Blogger & Podcaster
Read her answer

allison bell

Allison
Bell

Personal Finance Journalist & Blogger


Read her answer

tia chambers

Tia
Chambers

Millennial Personal Finance Blogger
Read her answer

anthony kirlew

Anthony
Kirlew

Financial Coach & Finance Blogger
Read his answer

curtis hearn

Curtis
Hearn

Personal Finance Blogger & CFP
Read his answer

brian brandow

Brian
Brandow

Personal Finance

Debt Blogger
Read his answer

gina young

Gina
Young

MBA and Personal Finance Writer
Read her answer

lance cothern

Lance
Cothern

CPA & Personal Finance Blogger
Read his answer

dan kadlec

Dan
Kadlec

Personal Finance Blogger & Journalist
Read his answer

crystal stemberger

Crystal
Stemberger

Personal Finance & Lifestyle Blogger
Read her answer

jordann brown

Jordann
Brown

Millennial Personal Finance Blogger 

Read her answer

sean cooper

Sean
Cooper

Personal Finance Journalist & Author
Read his answer

kate ashford

Kate
Ashford

Personal Financial Journalist in NY
Read her answer

jim dahle

Jim
Dahle

Personal Finance Blogger & Investor
Read his answer

matt becker

Matt
Becker

Personal & Family Finance Blogger
Read his answer

eric rosenberg

Eric
Rosenberg

Personal Finance & Lifestyle Blogger 

Read his answer

aaron crowe

Aaron
Crowe

Personal Finance Freelance Writer
Read his answer

maria schepis

Maria
Ferrante-Schepis

CLU & Insurance Innovation Expert
Read her answer

teresa mears

Teresa
Mears

Personal Finance
Writer & Blogger
Read her answer

emma drew

Emma
Drew

Income & Wealth Creation Blogger
Read her answer

Yaron Ben Zvi

Yaron
Ben-Zvi

Co-Founder &

CEO of Haven Life
Read his answer

donna freedman

Donna
Freedman

Personal Finance
Writer & Author
Read her answer

barbara friedberg

Barbara
Friedberg

Personal Finance Author & Investor
Read her answer

tony steuer

Tony
Steuer

CLU, LA, CPFFE & Insurance Blogger
Read his answer

sa el

Sa
El
Co-Founder Of Simply Insurance & Blogger
Read his answer

THE SIMPLY INSURANCE WAY

Life Insurance made easy.

Agents not required.

Get quotes and sign up online without talking to an agent. But, we are here if you need us. 

Unbiased, expert advice.

Get unbiased insurance education from licensed experts and also avoid dodgy sales calls.

Coverage in minutes.

You can get life insurance coverage within minutes of getting your quotes and applying.

The Experts Discuss Term Life vs. Whole Life

Read below to review each expert's choice and advice on which life insurance option would be best: 

#1: Holly Johnson (Club Thrifty)

holly johnson

Twitter:
@ClubThrifty

Answer:

We have purchased term life insurance a few times, with the last being just a few months ago.

We prefer term life insurance because it's cheap and easy to understand.

We purchased an additional $750,000 in term life insurance coverage on me a few months ago.

I applied online with Haven Life and was approved with no medical exam that day.

The kicker? 750K in coverage for me was less than $28 per month.

The same policy would have easily cost $500 or more per month if we had purchased whole life instead.

#2: Tom Drake (Maple Money)

Answer:

When I increased my life insurance coverage a few years ago, I chose term over whole life insurance.

The policy is set up so that when the term expires, my wife and I will be able to self-insure using our own assets.

In the meantime, I avoid paying costly whole life premiums on coverage I will never need.

#3: J.D. Roth (Get Rich Slowly)

Answer:

Generally speaking, term life insurance is the best option for most families.

This isn't universally true, but it usually is.

Unless you have some very niche needs, whole life insurance probably doesn't make sense.

And remember: 

Not everyone needs life insurance.

Life insurance is actually "income insurance". It's protection against the loss of your family's primary income.

If you don't have dependents, you don't need life insurance.

If you have ample savings, you don't need life insurance.

And if you're retired (or near retirement), there are usually better options than life insurance to provide for your family.

#4: Andrew Schrage (Money Crashers)

Answer: 

There are many factors that go into answering the question of whether you should purchase term or whole life insurance.

A few of them include your age, general health level, your children's age, your debts, and the financial needs of your family (if you have one)

There are others. And in some instances, it may be advisable to purchase both types of policies.

In a nutshell, term life insurance comes with a death benefit only, and this is only paid if you pass during the term of the policy, hence its name.

It is purchased for a preset period of time, usually 10, 15, or 30 years.

It is more expensive the longer you wait to buy it, however, it is generally less expensive than whole life.

With whole life insurance, you are covered for life, it also comes with a death benefit, but also typically builds cash during its life.

A medical exam is usually required to see if you qualify and as stated, it is generally a little more expensive than term life.

To give you a few examples of which is the best route to go.

A parent who is rather young, with children and who is the primary income earner for the household might want to go with a term life insurance policy.

One that would completely take care of your family's obligations financially speaking should you pass prematurely.

If you are older, say beyond the age of 60, and your children are already grown and earning their own money.

A whole life policy might be a better bet which would cover the monetary needs of your spouse if that person lives well beyond your passing.

There are too many different scenarios to list out here.

Your best bet for making the right choice is to contact an insurance agent.

And go over all of the particulars of your personal situation to learn which type of life insurance policy is best for you.

#5: Tiffany Aliche (The Budgetnista)

Answer: 

Start with Term Insurance. It's the most affordable.

Whole life only if everything else is funded: retirement, emergency account, investments etc.

Whole Life is how the wealthy pass their wealth on generation to generation.

#6: David Carlson (Young Adult Money)

Answer: 

Term for sure.

Whole life insurance is more of an investment vehicle.

You are better off keeping insurance and investments separate.

#7: Michael Kitces (Kitces.com)

Answer: 

Buy term insurance for the death benefit coverage you need.

Use the rest of your available dollars for your other goals.

#8: John Schmoll (Frugal Rules)

john schmoll

Twitter:
@JSchmoll74

Answer: 

For most individuals, there is no real comparison between Term and Whole life coverage.

Term is by and large that best product for most individuals.

Term is the better option for a number of reasons, such as being significantly cheaper and usually allows you to get more coverage.

Term coverage will expire, thus the term, but it's the better value and the option my wife and I go with.

Many sales reps will try to convince you that Whole life coverage is the route to go but it's simply not a good fit for most individuals.

#9: Trent Hamm (The Simple Dollar)

Answer: 

I would almost always choose a term policy (I hate to say "always," but it's hard for me to find a case for whole life).

The reason is that I want control over my investments. 

Which means I don't want my investments wrapped up with my life insurance policy in a package that isn't completely transparent in terms of the benefits and returns.

Plus, even with the most optimistic "estimates," I feel much more confident about both short term and long term returns from pairing a term policy with my own investments in index funds at the same total monthly cost over all whole life policies I've seen.

#10: Tracie Forbes (Penny Pinchin Mom)

Answer: 

Term - always term.

Life insurance is not an investment tool.

Not only that, but life insurance should be used to cover expenses that may be result in your early death.

Coverage such as missed wages, mortgage, college.

It is not a tool to give your loved ones wealth.

INSURANCE WHERE YOU LIVE

Life insurance by state.

#11: Ilyce Glink (Think Glink)

ilyce glink

Twitter:
@Glink

Answer: 

Term. Because you get more coverage for less money.

#12: David Ning (Money Ning)

david ning

Twitter:
@MoneyNing

Answer: 

I prefer term life insurance because it insures what people really need.

Unexpected death causing a sudden shortfall in income.

Without adding in the complexity of the investment component of other types of life insurances.

#13: Philip Taylor (PT Money)

philip taylor

Twitter:
@ptmoney

Answer: 

I'm 41 and married with 3 young kids.

I chose term life insurance ten years ago (I bought a 20yr $500k policy).

This is best for me because I expect my kids and wife not to depend on me for income after the 20 year term.

I see whole life as a good product for people with long-term dependents (i.e. children with special needs).

#14: Sam Dogen (Financial Samurai)

Answer: 

If you are filthy rich, with cash flow coming out the wazoo, then having a whole life policy is fine, despite the fees.

Whole life is another tax efficient investment vehicle to help grow your wealth.

But for 90%+ of people who need life insurance, term life is the way to go.

Fees are much lower and you're allocating capital 100% towards a specific need.

Always review your net worth and future liabilities each year so you can properly ascertain how much term life insurance to have.

Answer: 

I'm a fan of the popular concept of buying term and investing the difference.

There are specialized cases where whole life insurance works, but the vast majority of people‎ are better off going with renewable and convertible term insurance.

The cost of whole life insurance is onerous and the investment portion of the plan typically face high fees and under perform.

THE SIMPLY INSURANCE WAY

Life Insurance made easy.

Agents not required.

Get quotes and sign up online without talking to an agent. But, we are here if you need us. 

Unbiased, expert advice.

Get unbiased insurance education from licensed experts and also avoid dodgy sales calls.

Coverage in minutes.

You can get life insurance coverage within minutes of getting your quotes and applying.

#16: Chris Huntley (Insurance Blog By Chris)

Answer: 

I'm not a fan of whole life insurance as an investment.

Advisers love to point out its tax and liquidity benefits, but I think those are outweighed by the poor investment return found in most whole life policies.

Dave Ramsey said the average return of a whole life policy over 30 years is 2.6%.

I also don't like how the premiums are essentially forced.

If you stop making premium payments, the policy must take the premiums from somewhere, so it either pulls them from the cash value or creates a policy loan.

When neither are available, the policy lapses, and the owner could lose a high percentage of his/her initial investment.

Name another investment with such "forced contributions." They don't exist.

As for the tax and liquidity benefits, tell me what benefit it is tax-wise to pull out cash from an investment that hasn't appreciated.

That's the case with most whole life policies for the first 7 to 10 years.

There is no tax benefit during those years because even in a taxable account, you can pull out your money tax-free up to its basis.

I think the liquidity benefits are also overstated.

They're nice for short term loans but many people take loans to supplement their retirement income.

The problem is policy loans accrue interest, and you could end up in a situation where you have to pay the loans down, something people never consider when they view their policy as something that gives them money.

I say term is the right choice for short term coverage needs, and for the few people who need permanent protection (for example, for estate planning needs) I recommend guaranteed universal life.

Guaranteed universal life offers a fixed level premium and face value like whole life, but typically at half the cost.

The only time I recommend whole life is when purchasers are looking to cover final expense needs, or who have tough health conditions, and can only qualify for guaranteed issue whole life policies.

It's also useful in some unique business planning purposes.

#17: Joe Udo (Retire By 40)

joe udo

Twitter:
@RetireBy40

Answer: 

I choose Term life insurance because it's cheaper and easier to understand.

I want to make sure that my wife and kid won't struggle financially in case I pass away.

We only need 20 years coverage because our kid will be independent by the end of the term.

Whole life insurance might be a good fit for some people, but I'd prefer to manage my own investment.

#18: Sophia Bera CFP® (Gen Y Planning)

sophia bera

Twitter:
@sophiabera

Answer: 

I'm a huge fan of term life insurance policies because the premiums are much more affordable.

I've never seen a situation where I recommend a whole life insurance policy to a millennial.

#19: Melanie Lockert (Dear Debt)

Answer: 

I tend to think Term Life Insurance is a safer bet.

It has more flexibility and you can choose a time frame that works for you.

It's best to get life insurance when you're young and rates are more affordable.

#20: Jessica Moorhouse (Jessica Moorhouse Blog)

Answer: 

Term Life for me.

It's more affordable for young families and it gives you more flexibility in terms of changing your policy down the road.

I'm also of the belief that you should only require life insurance if you can't afford if something does happen.

For instance, a popular policy for millennials is a term life for 20 years for say $500,000. That secures you for 20 years.

Hopefully during those 20 years you've saved up enough and have enough assets that you won't need life insurance (or you can afford the higher cost of life insurance) when your term is up

#21: Elle Martinez (Couple Money)

elle martinez

Twitter:
@Elle_CM

Answer: 

We chose term life insurance because it offered the amount and type of protection we wanted at a price we could afford.

We signed up for term life in our 20s and got a great deal.

During this time, the money we saved with term instead of whole life went towards other goals like getting out of debt, building our savings, and now investing more for retirement.

We have a few policies (added them when we had kids) with either a 20 year or 30 year term.

The plan is that by the time they are over, we'll have accumulated enough assets to cover things.

#22: Allison Bell (Think Advisor)

allison bell

Twitter:
@Glink

Answer: 

I think people in a position to choose should split the difference and get both, either using a policy with a rider or two separate policies.

The term life chunk will work better if you die soon and your beneficiaries need a lot of cash fast.

In the long run, the whole life policy will be more flexible and longer lasting, and meet more needs.

#23: Tia Chambers (Financially Fit And Fab)

tia chambers

Twitter:
@finfitandfab

Answer: 

For most millennials, term life insurance is sufficient.

Term life insurance is easy to understand and inexpensive.

Then you can use the additional money that you would have spent on a more expensive whole life policy on other financial goals like investing for retirement.

#24: Anthony Kirlew (Fiscally Sound)

Answer: 

Term Life is good for having a death benefit and you can certainly purchase more insurance coverage for less money with a term policy.

Whole life can be a great product because it allows you to build cash value which you can use to borrow against to finance things that you might otherwise pay interested for (such as cars).

It also allows you to take out tax free distributions in retirement (as loans) which are paid by the death benefit.

If one is debt free and has significant financial resources (including a solid retirement fund), term life should suffice.

#25: Curtis Hearn CFP (Gratus Capital)

Answer: 

Whole life insurance is sometimes called the “Swiss army knife” of the financial world, because (supposedly) whatever you need, it can do.

If you need insurance, it has you covered. Retirement funding? It has that too. Tax deferral? Check. 

What about investment returns? It can even do that.

Unfortunately, while it’s true that Whole life can do a lot of these things, it’s not true that it does them well.

If you need life insurance, Term life can provide more coverage for a cheaper cost.

Then, if you’re also looking for investment returns, you can take the difference and invest in stock mutual funds for long term growth.

If you also need tax-deferral, there’s an alphabet soup of retirement plans out there that can provide it without the high fees associated with most Whole Life policies.

The truth is that in over a decade as a financial advisor, I’ve recommended Whole Life less than half a dozen times, and Term life probably hundreds.

Why? Because it’s very rare that you have to guarantee life insurance coverage for an entire lifetime (which is why Whole Life is called “Whole Life.”)

The vast majority of the time, you’re much better off buying term and investing the difference with the goal that by the time the term ends, you’ve saved enough to “self-insure,” and no longer need the life insurance coverage.

INSURANCE WHERE YOU LIVE

Life insurance by state.

#26: Brian Brandow (Debt Discipline)

Answer: 

I have for my family and would always advise term life.

I like to have the coverage at a low premium for a period of time typically when children are young.

The goal is always to build wealth and become self-insured, so life insurance is no longer needed.

#27: Gina Young (Money Savvy Living)

Answer: 

I recommend whole life insurance for everyone because the benefits of coverage, the building up of a cash value, and the fact that an individual is covered more than 20 or 30 years is always a plus.

However, if someone can't afford that, then I recommend a return-of-premium term insurance policy.

It costs a bit less on a monthly basis, gives the insurance benefit of lump sum coverage during the term, and if it is not needed, the policy holder gets the premiums paid in back.

So it ends up being a forced-savings account.

With either of these options, the insured's family has coverage and are building up some sort of cash value.

#28: Lance Cothern (Money Manifesto)

Answer: 

I would choose term life insurance.

If you're investing properly, you should no longer need insurance after a typical long term life policy has expired.

Get a quote for both term and whole life insurance.

Pay the term life insurance and invest the difference between the whole and term life policy costs.

#29: Dan Kadlec (Dan Kadlec)

dan kadlec

Twitter:
@dankadlec

Answer: 

I would only consider term life.

It is the simplest and cheapest way to secure a benefit for your family in the event you pass away, and that is the main reason for owning life insurance.

If you want to build cash value, take the excess payments you would make on whole life and pay them into a mutual fund.

#30: Crystal Stemberger (Budget Boost)

crystal stemberger

Twitter:
@bitfs

Answer: 

I go the term life insurance route: 

Term life insurance was simpler and cheaper.

Pay a (usually) low monthly premium for a set term and receive set coverage. SOLD!

THE SIMPLY INSURANCE WAY

Life Insurance made easy.

Agents not required.

Get quotes and sign up online without talking to an agent. But, we are here if you need us. 

Unbiased, expert advice.

Get unbiased insurance education from licensed experts and also avoid dodgy sales calls.

Coverage in minutes.

You can get life insurance coverage within minutes of getting your quotes and applying.

#31: Jordann Brown (My Alternate Life)

Answer: 

Term life, of course!

I only need insurance to pay off my mortgage and provide a lump sum for my husband in the event of my death.

Once I'm retired, my house will be paid off and my investment portfolio will take the place of that lump sum.

That will also be right around when my term life insurance will be expiring.

There is no need for whole life insurance if you pay off your debts and save diligently.

#32: Sean Cooper (Sean Cooper Writer)

Answer: 

For most families, term is the way to go—it provides homeowners with low-cost coverage.

I know what you're thinking: term insurance is like rent—you're throwing your money away.

You could say that about other types of insurance too.

You're not going to go, "Aw shucks, my home didn't burn down, so I paid for home insurance for no reason all those years!"

So, how long should you cover yourself with term life insurance?

For families with young children, term 20 is probably the way to go.

Your family will be protected until your children are grown up and (hopefully) financially independent.

Since quotes for term vary among insurance companies, get a few before deciding which provider to go with.

#33: Kate Ashford (Kate Ahsford)

kate ashford

Twitter:
@kateashford

Answer: 

Only about 57% of people have life insurance coverage at all, according to a Bankrate survey, and about half of those respondents don't have enough coverage.

So for the vast majority of people, term life insurance is the way to go.

It's cheap, so people can buy as much life insurance as they need, which is generally at least 10 to 12 times their income.

Whole life insurance is much more expensive, making it difficult, if not impossible, for people to buy enough insurance to really meet their needs.

#34: Jim Dahle (The White Coat Investor)

jim dahle

Twitter:
@WCInvestor

Answer: 

Term is the right answer for 99% of people, including high earners like doctors.

There are very few exceptions to this general rule. Whole life is generally a product made to be sold, not bought.

#35: Matt Becker (Mom And Dad Money)

Answer: 

I’ll be very clear with my opinion here.

Permanent life insurance has its place, but it’s for maybe 2% of the population who has accumulated a lot of money and is trying to plan the passing of that money to future generations.

Young people starting their families typically have no need for permanent life insurance.

#36: Eric Rosenberg (Personal Profitability)

eric rosenberg

Twitter:
@EricProfits

Answer: 

I would choose term life over whole life, and actually already made that decision a few years ago!

I have a $1 million term life policy to protect my family in the event of a worst case scenario.

The monthly cost of term life is much lower than whole life, and if you want to invest for retirement, you can find a better return elsewhere.

And, by the end of the term, you should have enough in savings and investments to cover your family's needs.

Term life is definitely the way to go!

#37: Aaron Crowe (Arron Crowe Blog)

aaron crowe

Twitter:
@aaroncrowe

Answer: 

Term.

Cheaper and covers you for when you need it the most — your earning years.

#38: Maria Ferrante-Schepis (Maddock Douglas)

Answer: 

I've actually chosen both Term and Whole Life Insurance.

I own several insurance policies, some of each.

Term insurance is a great way to get covered for a very low price if you are healthy.

However term insurance is temporary, and typically lasts 10 or 20 years, maybe 30.

You can keep whole life insurance for your entire life, and it also has an investment component, allowing you to accumulate money within the policy.

The payments you have to make are much higher, but if you have the ability to save and are not living "paycheck to paycheck", it is a worthwhile investment over time.

I know people who have used the savings in their whole life policies to pay for college educations, pay for weddings and other expenses that are fairly substantial.

It's just that it is a lot more complicated to explain, and that's why people sometimes shy away from it.

#39: Teresa Mears (Living On The Cheap)

teresa mears

Twitter:
@teresamears

Answer: 

Neither. As a single person with no dependents, I see no need for life insurance.

#40: Emma Drew (Make Money Without A Job)

Answer: 

I would choose Whole life cover to meet my and my family's needs.

Although it takes awhile to build up a decent cash value, I think that in the long run it will save us money.

Being able to access a portion of the cash value is really invaluable to us, because we never know what life will throw our way.

INSURANCE WHERE YOU LIVE

Life insurance by state.

#41: Yaron Ben-Zvi (Haven Life)

Answer: 

Deciding between term and permanent life insurance really comes down to your individual financial needs, as both types of life insurance have their pros and cons.

If you're looking for a low-cost way to get ample, affordable coverage, term life insurance is a good choice. It's also very simple to purchase and maintain.

A permanent policy, like whole life, might make sense if both an investment (because you've maxed out other tax-effective accounts) and a life-long insurance need is present.

Because permanent life insurance is more complicated, buyers work with a financial professional to choose and maintain a policy.

#42: Donna Freedman (Surviving & Thriving)

Answer: 

If you're in your late teens or early 20s you can lock in a very inexpensive term life insurance rate for the next 20 or even 30 years.

At that point you'll likely be at the peak of your earning years and your household will be better able to withstand the financial impact if you were to die unexpectedly.

I suggest young people buy term life policies precisely because they're hale and hearty.

They may think they don't need/can't afford life insurance.

But they DO need it and they almost certainly CAN afford it, even if they're stuck with student loans on a starter salary.

It can cost as little as $11.60 to $13.08 per month for a 30-year-old nonsmoker to get term life insurance.

As little as 39 cents to 43 cents per day can provide the coverage that will make the survivors' lives a lot easier.

(Both spouses/partners should get this insurance, by the way.)

Still think you can't afford it?

If so, think of it this way: 

If your household is living paycheck to paycheck now, what would happen if one of those paychecks disappeared?

Even if you're single, the insurance would pay for funeral expenses and the costs of dealing with your estate (even a small one can be a fair amount of work), and provide some money for grieving parents and siblings or, say, college funds for a beloved niece or nephew.

Using those figures above, you'd spend $2,784 to $3,139 during a 20-year period and $4,176 to $4,708 for 30 years of coverage (less than that, probably, if you buy earlier).

Sure, it would be nice to have that money in your pocket. In the grand scheme of things, it's chump change.

Imagine you or your partner/spouse dying suddenly.

The grieving survivor and any kids or other dependents you have would have to make some tough decisions while reeling from shock.

(Can we afford the rent/mortgage? Will I have to take the kids out of the school and neighborhood they love because we can't afford to live here? What about health insurance? I'd planned to be an at-home parent for another four years but now I have to find a job and child care right away because our savings will vanish within three months...)

Some tout the benefits of permanent life insurance.

However, that's often because they make a lot of money selling it. For most people, term life is a better fit.

#43: Barbara Friedberg (Robo-Advisor Pros)

Answer: 

For most individuals term is an excellent value for pure insurance coverage on your life, if you have dependents.

If you lack people dependent on your income, then you probably don't need any insurance.

If you're wealthy and older, a business owner, need to protect a disabled child or have a complex financial circumstances, there are occasions when Whole Life Insurance is appropriate.

If you meet those criteria, find yourself a skilled insurance professional to discuss the possible uses of a whole life policy.

Make sure you understand the benefits, commissions and surrender fees if you find you need a Whole Life Policy

#44: Tony Steuer (ToneySteuer.com)

tony steuer

Twitter:
@tonysteuer

Answer: 

My vote is for term insurance.

Why? The reason for any insurance is to protect against a specific need.

Most people have a need for a specific period of time such as until kids graduate from college, a mortgage is paid off or until they retire.

As term policies come with different guaranteed level premium periods, it is easy to match the need with the coverage amount.

If we are doing retirement planning, will have other assets to offset any need for life insurance.

If someone does have a permanent need, which is a small percentage of the time.

A guaranteed universal life policy which functions as a life long guaranteed premium term policy makes sense as it will have a lower premium than a whole life policies.

Whole life policies do accumulate a cash value on a tax-deferred basis.

However, the net rate of return is low when compared to a balanced investment portfolio and the insurance cost, expenses and method of determining the dividend scale/interest rate are not disclosed.

#45: Sa El (Simply Insurance)

sa el

Twitter:
@sareamiel

Answer: 

When it comes to term life insurance vs whole life insurance, I would choose Term Life.

It's always going to be the most affordable and give you much more coverage for the price.

If you have ever wondered how much does life insurance cost then you should only consider term life.

I only offer whole life insurance to my clients that require a guaranteed acceptance policy or have medical conditions that won't allow them to qualify for a traditional term life policy.

I've not found any reason to offer a traditional whole life product to my clients and that 99% of the time Term Life Insurance works best.

If you don't believe me, check out these term life insurance rates by age to see just how affordable term life insurance can be.

Taking Action 

First, I want to give a huge thanks to the all the experts who contributed to the roundup. Please share if you enjoyed it.

Secondly, if you need life insurance, as you can easily see that in the battle of term life vs whole life, Term Life Insurance was the winner.

You can click here or on any of the above buttons to get an instant term life quote and to get coverage started.


Sa El

About the author

Sa El is the Co-Founder of Simply Insurance and a licensed Insurance Agent with over 12 years of experience in the industry.  He specializes in Life & Health Insurance and is certified in Long Term Care Insurance in the state of Georgia. He is also an Official Member of the Forbes Finance Council, a licensed real estate agent in the state of Georgia (License #382602), an entrepreneur, insurance educator, and freelance writer.


{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}