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For those that sell whole life or universal life they would have everyone believe that term insurance is a product developed by insurance companies to keep from paying death benefits. The only way to have life insurance is to have it go on for life, says them.

What they fail to acknowledge is that all life insurance needs are not going to last forever. The truth is that most, yes most, life insurance needs are temporary. I concede that there are permanent needs, but what I won’t concede to the last day I spend counseling families in this business, is that that permanent shoe fits all feet. And for those who don’t need it but buy it because they were “sold”, they have been the victim of an injustice that grossly overcharges them with the only true beneficiary being the agent who committed the injustice.

Just a recap of some examples where term is so obviously the right choice. If I have young children and need to know that there is money for their well being while they are still dependent on me, barring that instance where a profoundly handicapped child could be dependent their whole life, the need is completely covered by a 20 year term, 30 years if you are planning more children or want to cover them until they have a Masters degree.

If I have a business partnership and have a buy/sell agreement funded by life insurance, it isn’t a permanent need unless we really believe that we will still be active partners at age 100 or beyond. I’m in business and I think most business people would agree that locking in a life insurance best guess at the value of the business for longer than 10 years is foolish. My own business model uses the 10 year term for business purposes simply because businesses change too fast to lock in anything longer and assume it will be accurate.

If I have 15 years to go to retirement and at that time I have a retirement plan that will meet my financial needs with a good spousal continuation benefit, I really have a 15 year need, 20 tops. I don’t need to be throwing thousand of extra dollars a year into a permanent insurance policy when that money could be going toward paying off my house or beefing up my retirement options.

Bottom line. For every permanent need out there, there are twenty term insurance needs. Don’t get sold whole life or universal life until you’ve seriously studied the term alternative.