Whole Life Insurance Policies Pros and Cons 2024 Guide - PinnacleQuote

Whole Life Insurance Policies Pros and Cons 2024 Guide

The decision to purchase a whole life insurance policy is an important one. There are many pros and cons of these policies that buyers should be aware of before making their decision. One advantage, for example, is the tax-free cash value accumulation with some whole life policies.

In addition, they provide steady death benefits since premiums do not fluctuate based on age or health status like term plans can. Another positive aspect of this type of plan is that it provides cash values in case you need them during your retirement years and still have any money left over when you die, your beneficiaries will get either the face amount or what’s left in the policy whichever is higher!

On the flip side, there are also downsides such as high annual costs which means less cash value.

What Is Whole Life Insurance Good For?

Above all, getting a life insurance policy is a responsible part of being a father, spouse or caregiver for a parent. Obviously, there are no guarantees for tomorrow and in most cases, if you die your paycheck dies with you. When thinking about how many different coverage options there are it can be kind of overwhelming. 

In fact, there are 48 different variations of life insurance that fall under three main categories:

It’s important to choose the right one as they all differ in price and options. We will focus on whole life in this article and the very many advantages it may have but also the disadvantages of whole life insurance.

For instance, it is more expensive than term life as it is for your entire life. It is also a big commission product for agents and more of a bigger moneymaker for the carrier. 

In my opinion, these are the main things whole life is really geared for:

  • Burial and Final Expense
  • Child Life Insurance
  • Build Cash Value (If Over-funded)
  • Tax-Free Retirement
  • College Savings Plan (529 Plan)

When Should You Buy Whole Life Insurance?

Whole Life Insurance… With so many life insurance options out there, deciding on a policy can be difficult.

First, you’ll need to choose between Whole Life insurance and term life insurance. (Such as 20, 30-year term life insurance.)  Above all, life insurance is a necessity for people who want to protect their families.

Purchasing a life insurance policy is an extremely important financial decision. It’s best to be very well-informed before deciding on a policy. 

Whether you are looking to purchase a half-million-dollar policy or a $1,000,000 dollar policy, it is important to be educated in the art of life insurance.  There are many factors to consider before finding the perfect plan for you. 

For example, such as your budget and how long the coverage you need. Also, how many people are financially dependent on you, etc.

Remember, it’s not about replacing your income after you die. Life insurance protects your family from inheriting your debts, mortgages, and final expenses.

Although it’s not fun thinking about one’s own death, life insurance can bring you peace of mind. Knowing that your family will be OK no matter what happens to you is most important.

We will discuss permanent life insurance plans, companies, and how to get the best permanent life insurance rates.  Let’s continue… 

Does Whole Life Insurance Expire?

When it comes to WL coverage the death benefit does not expire unless of course the insured or owner lets the policy lapse. For instance, if you have been paying into a policy for decades and accumulate cash value, then the policy would use the cash value to pay the premiums. 

The downside to this is if the cash value is depleted then the policy will lapse and the death benefit is voided. 

What Happens To Cash Value In Whole Life Policy At Death?

There is a major misconception that some consumers have when owning a whole life insurance policy.

First, they think that not only does the death benefit payout, but the beneficiary gets the cash value of the policy as well. That is not the case!

The insurance carrier will take in the cash value and the primary beneficiary will be paid the death benefit minus any debts and fees. 

Is Whole Life Insurance A Good Investment For A Child?

Life insurance for children is usually purchased not because you anticipate the death of a child.

Which is by far the most horrific process a parent must go through, me being one of them, (RIP my Emma).

Child Life insurance is purchased because it protects that child from not being able to get life insurance due to an illness. 

When I approach a client with children and/or grandchildren, it’s more so to protect them from never being in the position of not being able to get the insurance they need.

For Instance, if a child develops Type 1 diabetes at an early age, or develops MS then if they have the coverage they do not have to prove insurability in the future when they want to increase coverage.

This is called a Guaranteed Insurability Rider!

The carriers we use primarily for children is Gerber and Mutual Of Omaha. 

  • Issue Ages 14 days to 17 years
  • Face Amounts $5,000 – $50,000
  • Level Death Benefit
  • Underwriting Class Standard
  • Riders: Guaranteed Insurability Rider, Waiver of Premium Due to Death of Owner
  • Child-size premiums–that never increase
  • Coverage doubles automatically at age 18
  • Guaranteed future insurability for your child
  • Coverage available up to $50,000 for children 14 days to 14 years old
  • Four opportunities to buy additional insurance at ages 21, 25, 30, 35, 40,

How Does Whole Life Insurance Work As An Investment?

This is a great question! There are many strategies that can be implemented when purchasing a whole life policy.

In fact, the most essential part of this type of policy is there is a cash account and is basically an investment account. This account has a guaranteed interest rate of between 1.5%-2.5% depending on the carrier of the product. 

If over the years you continually pay into it, the guaranteed interest rate should be enough to equal the death benefit at age 100.

This is called an endowment and in some cases the carrier will just cut you a check for the face amount at that age. 

My opinion on buying this type of permanent coverage is you are not even making enough to cover inflation (3.25% annually), so you are losing 1-2% of REAL money!

It would be better to purchase a low-cost life insurance policy like a term and invest the difference in mutual funds!

Custom Whole Life Insurance

The only time I look at whole life in a favorable light is if it is for a child, a senior for final expense, or my favorite a custom policy like a single pay, 7-year payor 20-year pay.

This is when you overfund the policy in the early years, pay a higher premium where the policy interest earned will pay for itself! 

One concept of this type of permanent policy is the infinite banking concept or whole life insurance banking.

For instance, this is a whole life policy that is normally through mutual companies that offer to pay dividends when they have strong financial results in a combination with a low number of claims. These insurers offer other benefits to help the cash flow of the policy via paid-up additions. 

This type of strategy, when structured right can compound interest, dividends and paid-up additions that can be very helpful when retirements come around.

This also can provide a tax-free income at retirement. The whole life insurance tax benefits are that when you retire you will have accumulated a substantial amount of cash value because of the interest, dividends and paid-up additions. 

The result is you can be your own bank!! Buy simply borrowing from your own cash value you will not have to pay taxes because it is a loan to yourself! Some call it an emergency fund!

Dividend Paying Whole Life Insurance

What Is Whole Life Insurance Dividends

As explained above briefly, dividends are the portion of the mutual carriers’ profits that are paid to policyholders, unlike a stock company that declares a dividend to stockholders.

Some of these carriers offer non-guaranteed dividends that may offer lower premiums. These are also called participating whole life insurance. 

When looking at this from a tax standpoint, are life insurance dividends taxable?

If the dividends exceed the amount of premium paid then you may be liable for taxes. So withdrawing dividends from life insurance should be something you talk over with your accountant. 

What’s The Difference Between Whole Life and Term Life Insurance?

Should I Get Term Life Insurance Or Whole Life Insurance

Deciding between term life insurance and whole life insurance is the first step. While whole life insurance has pricier premiums, they’ll stay consistent for your entire life. 

On the other hand, term life insurance premiums will be far more expensive if you end up purchasing another plan later in life. Remember, when you are older, you’re considered a higher risk.

Another perk of permanent life insurance is that some of the money that you pay goes into a cash account. In addition, this allows you to accumulate cash value over time.

It’s a bit like collecting interest. This cash value is available if necessary. But otherwise, it will pay to your family upon death.

Can I Convert My Term Life Insurance To Whole Life?

No matter when you bought your policy you can convert it to term life. The main reason to do this is that term is a lot cheaper than WL and if you have cash value you can invest it for retirement. 

These options are usually found under “Non-Forfeiture options” in your policy. 

What Is The Best Whole Life Policy

Best Permanent Life Insurance Policy

Don’t rush into buying a permanent life insurance plan yet — for such an important financial decision, it’s essential that you weigh out your options.

Understand that a whole life insurance policy is really an investment. It takes years before the policy really starts paying off. Permanent life insurance may not be a viable option for those on a tight budget.

Whole life policies offer fixed premiums, a guaranteed death benefit.  Whole life coverage is designed to build tax-deferred cash value.

In fact, permanent life insurance provides coverage for the insured’s entire life.  As long as premiums are paid and the policy has not been surrendered.

Who Offers The Best Whole Life Insurance Policy?

Best Permanent Life Insurance Companies

When looking at purchasing a WL policy you want to make sure you receive exactly what will achieve your goals. Here are a few carriers that we look at when determining what class of whole life that will be best. 

  • MassMutual
  • Foresters
  • Mutual Of Omaha
  • American National
  • Penn Mutual
  • Assurity

Best Whole Life Insurance Rates

How to get the best whole life insurance rates?

We have plenty of tips to help you get better rates from the best life insurance companies. 

Although whole life plans are not your cheapest life insurance option, there are measures you can take to lower the prices.

Check out the list below for some suggestions on how to lower the cost of your permanent life insurance:

For the lowest price whole life insurance… 

Quit Smoking — Cutting out all tobacco products before applying for coverage can cut the price of your premiums in half. This is one of the most effective ways to lower the cost of your life insurance. Remember, getting life insurance for smokers raises rates 3-4 times. 

Diet & Exercise — Eating healthier and exercising before applying for coverage can get you a much better quote. Taking measures to improve your overall health will go a long way. Also, when the life insurance companies are assessing your level of risk determining the approved rate.

Shop Around — One of the best ways to get cheap coverage is by receiving several quotes before deciding on a policy. The medical underwriting for life insurance companies varies drastically. Thus, the assessment of your risk level will also vary from company to company.

Best Value – Approval Process

  • Simplified issue: You answer some health questions but you don’t have to take a medical exam.
  • Guaranteed issue: There are no health questions or a medical exam and you’ll be accepted.
  • Fully underwritten: You will be required to fill out a lengthy application and take a medical exam. If you have some health issues, your independent agent can find the best price by applying you for a fully underwritten policy.

*Keep in mind, Simplified issue and guaranteed issue policies don’t pay the full death benefit if you die within the first few years of coverage.

Whole Life Insurance PROs and CONs

Clients may find whole life attractive because it offers coverage for a length of time. It is an attractive choice for “permanent” insurance needs, see the following:

  • Burial expenses
  • Estate planning
  • Surviving spouse income
  • Supplement your retirement income

Clients may find whole life a less favorable choice, due to the higher premiums, see below:

  • Large debts
  • Children’s needs and through the dependency years
  • Young families with large needs/limited income


Q: How does the cash value component in Whole Life Insurance work?
A: A portion of the premium payments goes into a cash value account, which accumulates over time. The cash value can be accessed through policy loans or withdrawals and grows tax-deferred.

Q: What are the key benefits of Whole Life Insurance?
A: Whole Life Insurance offers lifelong coverage, a guaranteed death benefit, stable premiums, and a cash value that can be used for various purposes, such as loans, withdrawals, or even as a source of emergency funds.

Q: Are premiums for Whole Life Insurance higher than for term life insurance?
A: Yes, premiums for Whole Life Insurance are generally higher than those for term life insurance. However, they remain level for the entire life of the policy, providing stability and predictability.

Q: Can I customize my Whole Life Insurance policy?
A: Yes, Whole Life Insurance policies often offer customization options. Policyholders can choose the death benefit amount, premium payment schedule, and may have the option to add riders for additional coverage.

Q: How does the death benefit work in Whole Life Insurance?
A: The death benefit is the amount paid to the beneficiaries upon the death of the insured. It is generally tax-free and provides financial protection for loved ones.

Q: What happens to the cash value if I surrender my Whole Life Insurance policy?
A: If you surrender your policy, you can receive the cash value, but surrendering a policy early may result in fees and taxes. It’s essential to understand the implications before making this decision.

Q: Can I borrow money from the cash value in my Whole Life Insurance policy?
A: Yes, policyholders can take loans against the cash value of their Whole Life Insurance policy. These loans are generally tax-free, but unpaid loans may reduce the death benefit.

Q: Is Whole Life Insurance a good investment?
A: Whole Life Insurance is primarily a form of protection with a savings component. While the cash value grows over time, it may not offer the same investment returns as other investment vehicles. It’s essential to consider it as part of a diversified financial strategy.

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The decision to purchase life insurance is an important one, but it can also be a difficult one. There are so many different coverage options out there, and each of them has its own pros and cons that need to be considered before making your final choice. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all the choices or just want help deciding what type of policy might best suit your needs, we’ve got some experts waiting by the phone for you! Let us know how we can help get you set up on life insurance today!

Why should I hire an independent insurance agent?

More importantly, why should you hire Danny Ray?

Working with an independent insurance agent can be a great investment.  This type of life agent is very knowledgeable about the life insurance industry. Most important, they’ll be able to connect you with the top life insurance companies.

An independent insurance agent can save you loads of money on your insurance policy. They’ll have an idea of which companies are likely to offer you the lowest prices.

In fact, this can save you a lot of the time and hassle that you would need to spend on comparing quotes.

It’s also helpful to have an expert that can answer your questions and help you make the best decisions. They’ll help you decide between term life insurance and whole life insurance.

An independent agent will help you calculate how much life insurance you’ll need. While it’s important to be patient before choosing a policy, it’s risky to put off buying life insurance.

Keep in mind, Danny specializes in all aspects of life insurance.  He is greatly knowledgeable in key man life insurancebusiness life insurance, in addition, he can help you choose the best cheap affordable life insurance no matter what type of policy you are looking for.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at PinnacleQuote (855)380-3300.

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