The trend never seems to end. Men especially aren’t real keen on regular checkups with their doctors and have this almost childlike view of mortality. They’re sure people get sick and die, but it’s certainly not them or anyone remotely close to their age group.

I am working with a client now who really takes denial of his own mortality very seriously. He is in his mid fifties and admitted that he had not been to a doctor in at least 25 years, somewhere in the early 80’s. For a lot of life insurance companies that by itself would be a show stopper. They don’t want anything to do with people who don’t know and don’t care about their health and over 50 and no doctor visits even for 5 years can be a problem. 25 years is a no brainer decline.

He assured me that the only reason he never goes to the doctor is that he’s never had any health issues so we applied with a company that will go up to age 60 without current medical records based on the insurance exam. Everything led me to believe, contingent on labs and exam, that he should be a preferred risk. His $250,000, 10 year term insurance policy should have a premium of around $575.

That is, of course, unless his blood pressure average on the exam is a stroke looking to happen 153/110. I was amazed that the company still made an offer rather than declining the risk until he had been seen by a doctor about the high blood pressure, but they offered a rated policy with a premium of just under $1600.

Now here’s a few pet peeves of mine all wrapped up in one neat package. All of us, whether we’re in our 20’s, 30’s, 40’s or older know someone our age who died of something completely unexpected. They were just too young! Young people don’t die from stuff like that!! It shocks us and dismays us and then we forget about it and decide that the whole thing has no bearing on our lives because it was someone else.

When you’re young, just a health fair every few years might be a good thing. When you get into your 40’s, a real physical by a real doctor would be considered a prudent thing. In your 50’s those physicals should become more regular, and regular PSA checks and yes, the dreaded colonoscopy. It really comes down to this. Would you rather be diagnosed with something early on when it is easily treatable, or when it isn’t treatable any longer, or, perhaps, during an autopsy? So pet peeve #1 is men who don’t take care of themselves when all the evidence shows it’s stupid not to.

#2 is when a guy poo pahs the whole thing even when they’ve been told they have something wrong. Mr 153/110 really didn’t see the big deal. Blood pressure totally out of control and hasn’t seen a doctor in 25 years and doesn’t see the problem. The chance that those readings were an isolated incident are slim, so the chances that he is in real health danger are a reasonable leap of assumption.

And #3 is when someone in this situation doesn’t see the logic of putting some life insurance in force because to them it’s all about price. They don’t see why ignoring their health all of their adult life would lead to a health problem that they don’t feel is worth worrying about because they don’t know anything about what healthy and unhealthy are so they don’t see why they should put life insurance in force at a higher rate because, well, why?????

Bottom line. Even if you don’t care about yourself, get a grip and understand that it matters to those who love you and those who depend on you. Suck it up and do the right thing.