You're worried about outliving a term life policy and being unable to buy further insurance due toage or deteriorating health. You want to build up cash value in addition to protecting your beneficiaries. You want to create an estate for your beneficiaries after your death. Your beneficiaries need the benefit to pay estate taxes on other assets. "Whole life insurance is suited for anybody who loves somebody," says Scott Berlin, senior vicepresident in charge of the Individual Life Department at New York Life Insurance Co. "Whole lifedoes two things for you: protects your family and allows you to save for the future." Berlin says whole life's advantages are that you don't have to worry about outliving your policy (asis possible with term life) and there is the "forced savings" component of the cash value account,which grows tax-deferred. Once your cash value is built up, you can access it for anything -retirement, your child's college tuition or the vacation you've always wanted. Whole life policies arealso eligible to earn dividends (depending on the company and not guaranteed) which can beused in a variety of ways, such as providing paid-up additional life insurance, which increases boththe life insurance benefit and policy cash value. "Buying term is like renting your insurance," says Berlin. "You don't build up any residual value.Whole life is like owning a home - you build up equity." Berlin cautions against buying term life insurance just because of the premium difference. "When you're 35 you think that 20 years is a long time, but life doesn't always work out like youthink," he says. "People who buy permanent insurance understand the value of what they'reproviding to their family." If you decide that a whole life policy is right for you but feel you're currently unable to afford thepremiums for the face value you desire, Berlin recommends buying as much whole life as you canafford and filling in the rest of your face amount with term life. Later, you can convert your term lifepolicy to whole life.