September is Life Insurance Awareness Month

wpid-1332151853_life-insurance-policyWhen my daughter was young and money was tight, my husband took out a Term Life policy which is much less expensive than a Whole Life policy. As she got older and I went back to work, I took out Whole Life insurance. Subsequently, my husband’s health deteriorated to the point where he was no longer eligible for affordable life insurance. Today if my husband was to die, there would be no life insurance. I would be left to pay the medical bills, funeral costs, and my mortgage. I am very lucky because at my age I am still in relatively good health. However, that can change in a hot minute making me ineligible to purchase additional life insurance in conjunction with retirement planning.

As the wife of an insurance salesperson, I listened to my husband educate his clients about the value and purposes of life insurance for many years. Lucky for me, he was good at what he did and, therefore, was able to earn a modest living and take care of his family. As a matter of fact, any time I heard him explain what life insurance could accomplish, I was so moved I wanted to buy a policy myself!

He would start by telling his client that life insurance could be used to replace the income of the primary wage earner(s) if one or both of them was to pass. It could also be used to provide the monies to hire people to care for the home and the children, pay up a mortgage, cover funeral costs, build up cash value for retirement, pay inheritance taxes on a large estate, fund a buy-sell agreement, or protect a business from major disruption in the event of a “key person’s” demise.

One salesperson in my husband’s organization requested that a client return their policy if they could no longer pay for it. He claimed that he didn’t want to get a call from the surviving spouse and have to be the one to tell them that the policy was cancelled. He claimed that once, when a client had to deal with this exact situation, it actually caused the survivor to have a heart attack on the spot. Once was enough for him!

The bottom line is that insurance is as important as a will, health insurance, and a health proxy. Nevertheless, you would be shocked at the resistance people have to discussing the subject much less purchasing the product. I have a favorite line which is, “nobody gets out of here alive.” To me, this is a given. I realize that you can’t take it with you and I suspect that you would probably have no use for it if you could. Therefore, why not provide for the unexpected by funding a life insurance policy tailored to the time of life and circumstances in which you find yourself right now?

-Karen Skoler

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