Did Nostradamus Predict This Shameless Plug For My Hubby?

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I was raised in a a world of educators and insurance agents. For a long time I was unaware that any other professions existed. They each vied for my attention and affection, looking to push me into one career or the other before I could even talk. From the first moment I could recognize the alphabet, I was shuffled between the teachers and the brokers, set to different tasks by these opposing factions. They were very determined. The educators – teachers, college administrators and the like – had me reorganizing hand made flash cards and puzzles into words. The insurance people took me to their offices, with the promise of a Carvel Brown Bonnet after lunch, and had me file claims alphabetically and pick up stray paper clips from the floor using a strange, red rectangular magnet.

Since back then preschool was not the norm, and I was the only progeny of single working mother,  I spent a lot of time with family. I received a comprehensive education; a college degree for a five year old. When I skipped kindergarten (thanks for all those words my family of teachers) I found it odd that nobody else had the same bank of knowledge I did. While they were throwing sand at each other during recess, I read books. I thought about what I could do; file papers, sketch proportionately, measure in fractions (though I didn’t know this word) thanks to baking endless cookies and breads with my grandmother, I could help lay out a sewing pattern on the table, and recognize a few letters of the Braille alphabet. (My grandmother was pretty amazing.) I learned quickly to keep all this to myself, if I wanted to be like the other kids. Nobody needed playground insurance.

Fast forward twenty something years. Now married, two out of three kids have arrived, and my best friend from childhood calls. Her 36 year old husband passed away.  A second marriage for both of them, they were just beginning to find their groove with child visitations and blended family politics. It seemed idyllic. He played a pick up game of basketball every Thursday evening with his friends. On this particular evening, he collapsed. No warning signs at all. He was DOA to the hospital. It was very sad, and got me thinking. He had very little insurance, and my friend lost their home and most of what they had together. She was alone now with debt and only her paycheck. Not enough to cover everything. I cried for both of us. I called my uncle and set up an appointment to get a policy for my smoking, overweight husband. Expensive, especially since we had our own small business, but worth the peace of mind.

Just a few months later, my husband walked into the bedroom complaining of indigestion. Three baby aspirin, two Tums and admission via the ER made him take notice. By the end of the week he had had two angioplasties, been dead for two and a half minutes, and scared the dickens out of me and our now three children. I paused my life to thank God for letting him stay here with us, and then I thought about the alternative. Thankfully, he cared enough to spend the necessary money on a policy that would keep me and the three afloat if “God Forbid.”

Fast forward again.
Career changes. Many factors made us close our print shop. No regrets. I can feed my dream and write for a living. My husband is your very own HONEST insurance agent. Yes, I am back in the comforting (but scary) arms of insurance.

I have found out that so many of my friends have no life insurance. What is worse, some of them don’t care. It’s such a disservice to their spouses and to their children. With the economy floundering as it is, the stress of working and keeping jobs can cause even the healthiest among us to have health blips. Mini and maxi strokes, heart attacks, migraines. From the simple to the fatal. And what legacy will you leave? I am thankful my husband has a good heart and a moral conscience. I have seen him tell people that they cannot afford the policy that they want, and to sell them cheaper but up-gradable options. I have seen wives moved to tears by their husbands love and responsibility to the family unit. Not many people want to think that if they die (and we all do die eventually) their families will end up homeless or penniless.

My public service announcement, not something I generally like to do, but if you have a family you have a responsibility to provide for them. My neighbor, who came to us seeking insurance, now can unfortunately not afford it. Her mother passed away, without having any insurance. By the time the funeral and burial was over, she and her sisters had laid out over $50,000.00. I am trying to tell people, you gentle readers, that even a convertible term policy for $50K will help out. It might be only enough for burial, but it also might keep your family under a roof, safe and warm for a while longer.

OK… My reasons why (and when) to get life insurance.

Start Young.

Younger means healthier, which means lower rates. lock in now – your medical history will stay the same, and you can add more insurance later on. (Like when you have kids, make more money, etc) I got whole life policies for my three children. They will never be healthier, and they will be locked in to low rates with options to add more policies as they progress through life.

Get as much as you can comfortably afford as early as you can. I see from reading my husband’s literature that the age of zero is even better than younger children. And not the Globe Life kind of malarkey. Get something real, substantial. Call for a quote from a reputable agent for a reputable A+ rated company. It will be cheaper and better in the long run, and there are benefits.

Think of life insurance like a parachute. If you don’t have it when you need it, there is no second chance.  (Had my husband not already had insurance before his heart attack, he would be completely un-insurable. And the companies that insure high risk cost more than the average person’s yearly salary). Anything can happen, life is truly unexpected. If you develop any kind of serious illness, you won’t be able to get life insurance. Not to the extent that you will need and that is if you can get any at all. If you God Forbid have a terminal illness, the insurance can also provide a cushion – in cases of emergency, some policies allow you to request financial support in a withdrawal or a loan against the policy.

If you pass away unexpectedly, a spaghetti fundraiser will not help your family. What is the legacy you want to leave? Just think about how you want to be remembered and how your spouse will handle the bills. You need to protect the ones you’re leaving behind. Your death should not mean imminent debt for your survivors. On top of the emotional toll on family members now that you’re gone, they will be worried about financial responsibilities that are left over. Funerals are expensive. Period.

Think of life insurance as an investment vehicle. It is considered a financial asset, which can help boost credit scores or get a loan. Most policies (whole life) have cash values that even a bankruptcy can’t touch.

If you do it right, (dead or alive) you may be able to get tax-free access to some extra cash as it accumulates in your policy, and your dependents (those loved ones you see every day) can have tax free death benefits when the inevitable happens. Hopefully not until you’re old and grey and rocking on the front porch.

I believe that this is one of those things that is better to have and not need, than to need and not have. Like medical insurance, sure you go to the doctor every once in a while, but if you fall and break a leg, you’re covered. As long as you have medical insurance. Same thing here, but more important for those you’re leaving behind.

Get as much as you can comfortably afford as early as you can. I see from reading my husband’s literature that the age of zero is even better than younger children. And not the Globe Life kind of malarkey. Get something real, substantial. Call for a quote from a reputable agent for a reputable A+ rated company. It will be cheaper and better in the long run, and there are benefits.

Another benefit is that life insurance can be a supplemental income during your retirement. if you can afford to put away a lump sum, you can open an annuity. It has a small life insurance component, but also is sort of like a do it yourself pension. Based on the amount you put in, you are guaranteed a set income every month once you reach retirement age for as long as you live.

So, to flog that dead animal yet once more….
Life insurance covers your final arrangements, provides for your children’s expenses (college?),
pays off debt, covers your income to ease up on your spouse, and to pay off any estate taxes.
Remember, the life insurance is not a winning lottery ticket. You buy it not because you might (or will) die, but because your loved ones are going to live. They should be priority one.

For more information from a reputable company, and possibly one of the only honest agents I know,   you can click through to the following link:
(SHAMELESS PLUG)  …. www.robertfurst.com

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