No. The insurance industry has been very creative in perpetuating the idea that you will need life insurance for your entire life – that’s where cash value products get their name (Whole Life, Universal and Variable Life).
The truth is you only need life insurance for the time in which your family would not be able to maintain their financial lifestyle due to a lack of savings or debt. When you purchase term life insurance, your rate is locked for the timeframe of your choice. During this time, you should establish an emergency fund, pay down debts, and grow your savings. It doesn’t make sense to overpay for whole life insurance now so you can have protection in later years — you shouldn’t need life insurance at that point.
It is important to remember that as you are increasing savings and attacking debts, you are on the road to eliminating your need for life insurance so that, in the future, you can put those funds towards other investment options. There is no financial justification for spending money on a product you will eventually no longer need, just to receive a minimal rate of return. Also, because your emergency fund and savings should be established by this point, any final expenses or burial costs should be paid from these funds.
Learn more about the “Term vs. Cash Value” debate.