Term is usually less expensive because it provides death benefit protection without the build-up of cash value. Premiums are level for the period selected - such as 10, 15, 20 or 30 years. A permanent life insurance policy is just that - permanent. It is designed to last your lifetime with regular premium payments. These premiums are typically higher than term, but that is because you are also accumulating cash value in your policy in addition to the death benefit protection. How much is enough? It's important to to think about how much income your loved would need to remain financially stable without your income. Many employers offer life insurance plans, but they are usually not portable, so if you leave your job you also leave your life insurance. Is it affordable? Your premium will depend on a range if factors including your age and how much coverage you want.