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I would be the last person in the world to say that habits are easy to change, especially bad, life long, ingrained habits. But no kidding, there are some cases I really can’t wrap my mind around.

The one that caught my “you’ve got to be kidding” attention today was a 68 year old man who has smoked most of his life, but has cut way back. Used to be two packs a day, now down to less than a half pack. He called to see if he could get better rates now than the policy he took out 10 years ago.

10 years ago, other than being a smoker he didn’t have any health issues. Since then he has battled glaucoma, losing one eye. He is now treated for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. 4 years ago he was diagnosed with emphysema and is on oxygen at night.

And he continues to smoke! And I wonder in these situations if the person has any idea what’s in store because of the choice to continue to smoke. It just truly baffles me.

And from a life insurance standpoint he’s up a creek. His current term insurance policy is at the end of the guarantee period and he can’t afford to do a conversion. To put it very bluntly, he can’t get a new insurance policy. He would be declined for traditional insurance because of the combination of his health problems and still smoking. If he can’t afford a conversion to a universal life policy he sure can’t afford something like AARP guaranteed issue whole life.

Bottom line. Really, the bottom line is two fold. Take care of your long term life insurance needs when you’re still healthy. I know there are things that can just jump up and bite you that don’t allow planning time, but if you’ve been smoking two packs a day for decades, you gotta know something is coming. And the second thing is, wake up! These are some amazing things we have, these bodies, but they won’t take abuse forever and just keep on ticking.