No. of Recommendations: 2
I'm replying to the statements in reverse order for readability.

I'm told the annual rate of return has been about 8% over the last 10 years or so.

What has been the ARR for the last 10 years of a 70%/30% mix of S&P500 Index Fund / Bond Fund? Maybe better than about 8% (especially if you start from March 2009), without enormous fees, money locked up, surrender charges...

the premise is this: you invest, say, $100,000. You don't get to withdraw any of the money for 10 years. The money goes into some sort of index fund. You may not get as good returns as if you'd invested the money directly into an index fund yourself, but there is a built-in mechanism the result of which is that, if the stock market goes down, your investment does not.

I've commented on that in a few other posts. Summary is--
-You keep some of the market gains but that's capped annually
-You don't get any of the dividends (which account for ~40% of the long term growth of stocks)

Using Whole Life as an "Investment:"

I ran the math on taking early SS + an annuity vs delaying SS and spending the money to live on in the meantime:
(Link added to show that even if annuity seems right for you, the actual amount paid to you is less that that you can get by delaying SS.)

Just general thoughts on life insiurance as an investment, a few of which apply to your question:
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