In 1991, I invested in a $20K whole life policy with NY Life, which would invest the money in government and secure corporates. The first two years of my premiums were taken by NYL and its agent. Then in 2003, after more than a decade of a declining interest rate environment, I was asked to pony up more money because the interest rates were no longer adequate used to pay the dividends needed to feed the policy. I (unfortunately after the fact) had paid a retired actuary to analyze the policy. He told me that it would take 20 years from the time I bought the policy for the tax benefits just to offset the costs of the policy; his analysis didn’t even touch on whether I would need togo out of pocket to keep the policy in force. In 2003, I cashed out the policy and got my initial premium back. For 12 years, all I got out of this was a free death benefit.