Permanent Life Insurance: Basics, Calculator, And Quotes

Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Permanent Life Insurance Calculator

Compare permanent insurance quotes to find the cheapest rates. Determine whether universal or whole life insurance is worth the cost compared to the more affordable term life insurance.

What is Permanent Life Insurance?

Permanent life insurance is a type of life insurance policy that provides coverage for the life of the insured, as long as premiums are paid. Unlike term life insurance, which covers the insured for a specific period, permanent insurance includes an investment component, known as the cash value, which grows over time.

How Permanent Life Insurance Works

Permanent life insurance provides lifelong coverage, unlike term life insurance which only covers a specific period. The key features are:

  • Lifelong Coverage: It remains in effect for your entire life as long as premiums are paid.
  • Cash Value Component: A portion of your premium builds a cash value over time, which you can borrow against or withdraw under certain conditions.
  • Fixed Premiums: Premiums generally remain the same throughout the policy’s life.
Coverage DurationLifetime
PremiumsFixed or variable, generally higher than term life insurance
Cash ValueAccumulates over time and can be used as collateral for loans
Death BenefitPaid to beneficiaries upon the death of the insured
Investment ComponentAccumulates over time, and can be used as collateral for loans

Permanent Life Insurance Pros And Cons


  1. Lifelong Coverage: It provides lifelong protection.
  2. Cash Value: Part of the premium builds a cash value that can be borrowed against.
  3. Tax Benefits: Earnings on the cash value are generally tax-deferred.


  1. Higher Premiums: More expensive than term life insurance.
  2. Complexity: Can be more complex to understand due to the investment component.
  3. Lower Returns: The rate of return on the investment portion can be lower compared to other investment options.

Permanent Life Insurance as an Investment

A portion of the premiums paid into a permanent life insurance policy contributes to the cash value. Over time, this cash value can accumulate and earn interest or investment returns, depending on the policy type. Then, in the future, you can take loans and generate tax-free income.

What Is A Permanent Life Insurance Policy

How Much is Permanent Life Insurance?

The cost of permanent life insurance varies based on factors such as the age, health, and lifestyle of the insured, as well as the amount of coverage. It is generally more expensive than term life insurance due to the lifelong coverage and investment component.

Permanent Life Insurance Rates

Rates for permanent life insurance depend on various factors:

  1. Age: Younger applicants typically pay lower premiums.
  2. Health: Healthier individuals are offered lower rates.
  3. Coverage Amount: Higher coverage amounts lead to higher premiums.
  4. Type of Policy: Different types of permanent insurance (like whole life, universal life) have different rate structures.

Permanent Life Insurance Rates Table

AgeGenderPolicy ValueMonthly Premium
Note: These rates are illustrative estimates and may vary based on health, lifestyle, and other factors.

Types of Permanent Life Insurance:

Whole Life Insurance:

Universal Life Insurance:

  • Offers flexible premiums and death benefits.
  • Cash value growth is based on the issuing insurance company’s investment performance.
  • Variable and indexed universal life insurance options are available, with differing investment risks and rewards.

Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance:

  • Primarily focuses on providing a death benefit with less emphasis on cash value.
  • Offers more affordability with the benefit of permanent coverage.

Related Reading: Universal vs. Whole Life Insurance

Is Permanent Life Insurance Worth It?

The worth of a permanent life insurance policy can be subjective, depending on individual needs and financial goals. Permanent life insurance is worth considering if you desire lifelong coverage to protect your loved ones and wish to accumulate cash value as a supplemental savings tool with potential tax benefits.

Here are some scenarios where permanent life insurance can be beneficial:

  • Final Expense Insurance: To cover final expenses and any outstanding debts, ensuring your loved ones are not burdened financially.
  • Estate Planning: To pay estate taxes and facilitate wealth transfer seamlessly to the heirs.
  • Supplemental Retirement Income: To utilize the policy’s cash value for additional income during retirement.
Permanent Life Insurance Policy

How to Get Started:

  • Evaluate Your Needs: Assess your financial goals, desired coverage, and affordability.
  • Consult a Financial Professional: Speak to a financial professional or a trustworthy insurance agent (like The Annuity Expert) who can guide you through the various life policies available, helping you choose the one that best aligns with your needs.
  • Decide the Type of Permanent Policy: Delve into whole life, universal life, and guaranteed universal life insurance, weighing the pros and cons to identify which suits your preferences.
  • Assess the Insurance Company: Scrutinize the claims-paying ability and the overall reputation of the potential issuing insurance company.

Related Reading: What is the difference between term and whole life insurance?


Permanent life insurance offers lifelong protection and an investment component, making it a multifaceted financial tool. It is more expensive than term insurance and is suitable for those seeking long-term coverage with additional savings or investment benefits. Understanding the pros and cons and how it align with your financial goals is crucial before purchasing a policy.

Contact us today for a free quote.

Need Help Getting Permanent Life Insurance?

Contact us if you need help purchasing a permanent life insurance policy. The service is free of charge.

Life Insurance Inquiry

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is permanent life insurance bad?

It’s not inherently bad, but it might not be suitable for everyone due to its higher cost and, in some cases, the investment risk involved with certain types of policies.

What characteristics make whole life permanent protection?

Whole life insurance is inherently permanent due to its lifelong coverage, guaranteed death benefit, and cash value growth.

What is the cash value in permanent life insurance?

It’s the savings portion of the policy that grows over time, allowing policyholders to build cash that can be borrowed against or withdrawn, usually on a tax-deferred basis.

Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Shawn Plummer is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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