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Life Insurance: Two General Types


  1. Permanent Insurance












  2. Term Insurance















Permanent insurance offers lifelong protection, and you can accumulate cash value on a tax-deferred basis.  This cash account can be used for a variety of purposes, from helping you out of a tight financial spot, to providing funds to take advantage of an opportunity, to supplementing your retirement income.  Compared with term insurance, initial premiums are considerably higher.

Term life insurance provides protection for a specific period of time -- the "term" -- and is designed for temporary circumstances.  It makes the most sense when your need for coverage will disappear at some point, such as when your children graduate from college or when a debt is paid off.  The most common term policies provide coverage for 20 years, but they can run the gamut from one-year policies to terms of 30 years or even longer.  Typically, term insurance offers the greatest amount of coverage for the lowest initial premium and is a good choice for young families on a tight budget.

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