You have two options for life insurance. If you choose a variable policy, the premiums you pay will be high but you can invest the money in the financial markets. That could help the cash value of your policy, and cause it to either gain or lose value. You can also borrow against the policy if you need the money. Your other option is term life insurance. It's cheaper than variable and pays only upon your death without offering those other financial options. And, if you don't die, no one you know will ever see those premiums. Still, many investment advisors will say to stick with term because it nicely serves the purpose of protecting your loved ones while freeing up those extra funds, which you can invest separately in an investment account with even more options and potentially smaller fees.