Term is a form of life insurane issued for a fixed period of time, 10-30 years in most cases. They do not build cash value, and is the least expensive form of life insurance. It can come with convertibility and even refundability provisions in some policies. It is generally the most suitable form of insurance for the average american.
Whole Life is a form of inusrance that is known as a type of permanent insurance. It covers you for the duration of your life and builds cash value with some tax deferred benefits. In general all forms of permanent life insurance ( Whole, Universal & Variable Life) are much more expensive to buy. They are not the best financial vehicles for saving for retirement in terms of cost and efficiency. However, they can be useful in some more advanced estate planning strategies for the higher net worth client.