If you have parents in their 50’s through early 70’s and you don’t know what they have in place for life insurance, ask. Why that age group? They are generally still young enough to get affordable insurance, and they seem to be an age group that unfortunately listened to AARP and believes that final expenses really do cost $7000.

I would challenge you, if you’ve had a friend who has lost a parent recently, to have an earnest discussion about the true cost of final expenses. A casket and burial might be had  for $7000, but I maintain that a reasonable final expense amount these days is $25,000 to $50,000. There are so many cost above and beyond the burial, and I hear the stories every week about a child who has had to take the extra cost out of their own pocket. Folks, that is what life insurance is for.

I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that you can actually get larger policies outside of AARP, with better guarantees for less money. AARP, for all that they claim, are not your parent’s friends and most assuredly are not their advocate. The bad news. Your parents don’t know that and will not be inclined to believe it.

That is where an independent agent can be helpful. A knowledgeable agent will have two advantages in helping your parents. First, they will be closer in age and second, they will know how to explain the difference between what AARP offers through New York Life, a pathetic, overpriced product at best, and a fully guaranteed low cost universal life policy.

Bottom line. Have the talk. There is nothing harder on the family than finding out upon someone’s death that there wasn’t enough life insurance, if any.