I got a call from the daughter of a man who had asked me to send him an application for life insurance back in 2003 today. She wanted to know if I could help her track down the policy as he had recently passed away and the application they had found in his paperwork showed her and her mom as primary beneficiaries.

Like 1 in every 6 men between the ages of 25 and 64, he checked out early. At the time he contacted me 6 years ago he was in good health and insurance at his then age 46 was cheap, but he got the application and did a gut check and decided he was immortal. And true to being a guy, he never got back to it.

Now I hate to bad mouth a guy after he has just gone and died prematurely, but this guy’s wife and daughter have been hit hard by his debt and the horrible financial times we’ve been through. It would have cost this guy peanuts to have a half a million in term insurance. What a cruel joke to leave behind a clue that he might have really cared about them but was too lazy or self centered to actually do anything about it. What a cruel thing to take on the responsibility of being a husband and a father and then make those left behind go on some kind of hurtful scavenger hunt because you’ve left a clue behind that you might have had life insurance.

I see guys scrape and work hard to get some amount of life insurance. Especially those who have been hit hard by health issues like cancer or heart disease. They just want something. They’ve had a glimpse of their own mortality and they want to make sure, even if it’s not as much as they would like, they leave something behind for their family to get restarted. And then I see perfectly healthy guys blow it off even though they all know plenty of people who have checked out way before they should have. They know it happens and they still don’t take the next step.

Bottom line. You can’t license a car without car insurance. You can’t finance a house without homeowner’s insurance. For my money you shouldn’t be allowed to get married or have children in or out of wedlock without getting life insurance.