A cash value life policy for which premiums are paid for a limited number of years, such as to age 65. If the insured is alive at the end of this premium-paying period, he/she receives the face amount of the policy. If the insured dies before maturity of the policy, the beneficiary receives the proceeds. Generally the most expensive type of cash value life insurance, since the policy reaches maturity prior to age 100. Endowments are often purchased to supplement retirement or for children’s educational purposes.