Most cryonicists don't have enough wealth to prepay or fund a trust for cryonic suspensions. We can't plan when we are going to die, so we can't count on saving for some future eventuality that may be closer than we think. We need to make sure funds are available whenever needed. That is where life insurance comes in. The funds available upon death are called the death benefit. With life insurance, you bet you will die before you have sunk a lot into the policy. The insurance company bets you will last long enough for the company to earn more off your funds than it pays out. If you die young, you win the bet! Term life insurance is the simplest type of life insurance. The insurance is available for a term -- say, 20 years, or to age 65. Your premium every year buys a certain death benefit. Each premium represents a stripped-down mortality charge that buys only insurance -- it does not have an investment component. For this reason, the premium for a given death benefit usually is low initially and rises as you age. If you discontinue the policy, or if you reach the end of the term, you get none of your investment back. You can buy a rider that waives the premium if you are disabled, but what if you're broke? The policy lapses, the death benefit is zero, and you won't be cryonically suspended. Term insurance with constant premiums also is available. Low later-year premiums are cross-subsidized by higher early-year premiums. Insurance that has an investment component is appealing because the earnings of the investment component accumulate tax-free. Whole life insurance is a traditional type of insurance that has an investment component. In its simplest form, its premiums are level throughout the life of the policy. The amount paid in the early years in excess of a stripped-down mortality charge is used to build up guaranteed "cash value," which corresponds to the investment component. If over time the company does better than its minimum expectation, the cash value will yield earnings and grow faster than guaranteed. When you purchase the policy, you specify how the earnings from the cash values are to be used. The earnings may be used in three ways: paid out as cash; left to accumulate in the policy; or used to purchase "paid-up additions" (PUA's), that is, additional insurance. Accumulating earnings increases the death benefit gradually and increases future compound earnings. Purchasing PUA's also increases your death benefit, by a greater amount, and the increased death benefits themselves have cash value that grows over time. Most whole life policies permit you to draw on cash values to pay the premium if you are unable to, or choose not to, continue payment. At some point the premium "vanishes," that is, the policy will remain in force permanently even if you do not pay any further premiums. This feature protects you if you are disabled or go broke after the vanish point; therefore, you should purchase the waiver of disability rider but discontinue it once you reach the vanish point. With a typical whole life policy, when you purchase the policy you may include a rider that permits you to purchase PUA's with an extra payment over and above the premium. An additional payment on the order of 50 percent of the base premium is permissible under the tax laws without incurring adverse tax consequences. This feature permits you to increase the death benefit more rapidly than by simply purchasing PUA's with cash value earnings. Since the PUA's have cash value, you will reach the vanish point more quickly. Faster growth in death benefit and earlier premium protection are two advantages of the PUA rider for the cryonicist. Whole life policies also permit you to borrow the cash value. However, a cryonicist is interested in the death benefit, which would be reduced by the amount of borrowed cash value. Whole life policies are conservative (low risk, low reward) because they guarantee certain cash values but may earn less than other investment vehicles or other types of life insurance that have an investment component. To provide a more aggressive investment vehicle, hybrid types of policy have arisen that include an investment component overlaid on a term premium structure. Under these policies, cash values, death benefits, and/or premiums may vary with earnings. There is greater potential for high earnings, but also greater potential for paying premiums after a hoped-for vanish point, or for a less-than-hoped for death benefit. These policies are less suited to the basic need for a predictable or minimum death benefit. If you need a conservative, forced savings vehicle to provide a guaranteed minimum death benefit for cryonic suspension, whole life with disability waiver fits the bill. If you are cash-poor, term insurance with disability waiver is probably the least expensive alternative for you, but you should use it only as a stop-gap. If you are financially secure and less risk-averse, you should investigate the hybrids as an investment vehicle. If you are financially secure but interested in investing elsewhere, term insurance may be for you.