Every year or two I like to share with you about the cost of procrastinating, foot dragging, not pulling the trigger……..putting off buying the life insurance that you know you should have.

LIMRA says that there are about 35 million adults in our country who admit that they believe they should be carrying life insurance, but they aren’t. It may be surprising to know that these people have done their homework enough to know that life insurance, especially term insurance is so inexpensive that almost no one notes it as the reason they haven’t purchased.

Having been in the business for a couple of thousand years now I can share plenty of stories about the cost of waiting. A case that will stick with me forever was a man who was nearing retirement, a few years away from it, when he approached me about life insurance to supplement his retirement plan. He had two options with retirement. He could take less per month and have his wife receive the full amount upon his death, or he could take more per month and, even though his retirement benefit would not go to his wife if he died, he could take out life insurance to make up the difference. On paper it was a no brainer. He was healthy and the cost of the insurance was great.

I’m not one of those rabid dog got you by the leg closing salesmen, so I let folks pull the trigger at their own pace. I will occasionally remind them that life insurance is important because people die unexpectedly and I will always let them know if their foot dragging is going to run them into the next age bracket. But I don’t push. I don’t like it so I don’t do it.

Anyway, this scenario drug into a second year with the excuse that he was waiting for the person in charge of retirement planning to get back with him with final figures. So he went through an age change and the insurance was still a good deal because of his stellar health. The price was so good that he could easily afford it even if he took the retirement option that provided less income. I made the point to him that it might be a good idea to apply, get approved and put a policy in force. If he chose to after retirement he could always drop the policy, but even he admitted he probably wouldn’t do that.

We were approaching the end of the second year since I had started working with this gentleman when I called him on one of my scheduled follow up calls. I was having a hard time understanding him and assumed we had a bad connection, but he asked if the last quotes I had sent him were still good. He was ready to move ahead. I checked his age and assured him the quotes were good as long as his health was still the same. That’s when I found out that he was just out of the hospital after suffering a massive stroke. He was partially paralyzed and required 24 hour care. Not only were the quotes off the table, but I had to tell him that there was no chance of getting hm life insurance right then and it could be years before we could get anything affordable…..best case.

He had already retired and chose the option with no survivor benefits when he had this stroke. The cost of waiting for him and his wife was horrible. He died about a year after that.

Bottom line. The cost of waiting isn’t all about a higher premium because you’re older. Too often it’s about health changes that can turn a good opportunity for family protection into a nightmare. You’re healthy then have stroke. You’re healthy and are diagnosed with cancer or diabetes. You’re healthy and die in a car accident.