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Persistence is the space on your USB key the will be used to store information, so that that information is still there after a reboot. This tag MEANS THE SAME as persistent.

Live with persistence: You have the portability of live media with a home-folder and possibly other temp storage

Live without: Portability but no saved anything

LiveUSB with persistence: Less life out of the USB(a bunch more reads), but very similar to 1

LiveUSB without persistence: Less life out of the USB(a bunch more reads), but very similar to 2

Full install: Obviously, a full install to the USB would translate to shorter life since it would drastically increase the number of reads and writes.

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