You may have heard the words "cash value" used to describe a feature of some life insurance policies. Cash value life insurance contains an account that builds up value over time. You can withdraw the cash or take loans against it. If you want to "surrender" or end the policy, you can take the cash value minus any surrender fees.

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But you also pay more for policies that have cash value. Term life is the cheapest kind of life insurance to buy because it has no cash value and it lasts for only a certain number of years (such as 10, 20 or 30). It's possible that you could outlive a term life policy.

If you're looking for life insurance that lasts your entire life and has cash value, consider these options:

Despite the lack of cash value, term life insurance is a good choice for people who want life insurance to cover a specific debt or number of years. For example, people often buy life insurance to cover the years until they retire, or the years of a mortgage.