Generally, it's a good idea not to buy cash value insurance unless and until you are sure you need or want a permanent death benefit.
If other people depend on your income to maintain their standard of living, you need life insurance. Whether or not you you need "cash value," or what's known as whole life insurance , depends on if you need permanent insurance. If you are just looking for a death benefit that would protect your family until your children are grown up and independent, less expensive term life insurance is the way to go.
If you want to make sure you have a death benefit you can't outlive, that calls for whole life insurance of some kind. For example, you may want need to provide a retirement income for a surviving spouse, to provide an estate for your heirs, or liquidity so they don't have to sell a family home or business. With a permanent policy, as long as you are current on premiums, your beneficiaries will receive a benefit when you pass away.
Here's an excellent article from Consumer Reports that breaks down when permanent insurance makes sense. This calculator can give you an idea of how much life insurance coverage you need.
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