I will try my hardest to make the focus of this post life insurance, but first I need to vent. We are living in a country that used to be on a pedestal so high above the rest of the countries of the world that it was almost, well, as if we had been singled out by God to be the richest, most powerful, most giving nation in the world.
But blame it on our politics, our leadership or a country where it has become OK to suckle at the government tit until you die, we are a country in trouble and it is all due to us. Our sense of entitlement has crippled us. I have a client who asked me last year to talk to her husband about getting life insurance. I called him in November and we discussed his health issues that, with a combination of pleurisy and COPD, were significant enough that he was on social security disability. I asked him when his last pulmonary function test was and it was five years old. There was a bit of a red flag there to not have more frequent follow up with significant pulmonary issues. I explained that it would be tough to shop and get offers with 5 year old information.
He said that he thought he would be getting a new pft in April, this month, so I set a tickler to follow up with him. I called this morning expecting to either be able to get a copy of the new pft or at least find out what date it was scheduled for. He said that he wasn’t going to be getting a new pulmonary function test and no kidding, this was the logic, the story he laid out for me. Shortly after we had talked in the fall he had sneezed. Some people sneeze and some people SNEEZE. I am in the latter group and apparently he is also. He said when he sneezed he felt something that felt almost like something tore in his lung.
Well, this was a good news, bad news thing. The pain which subsided fairly quickly was bad enough that he felt he should see his pulmonologist, but strangely his breathing was almost instantly much easier. His pulmonologist explained that he had apparently (I’m sure this is all medically inaccurate so forgive the layman’s take) had ripped open a lesion that had been there from the early stages of pleurisy. So, through a sneeze he had been, not cured, but made much better. So, to me this was great news because obviously just based on his description of the changes, we had a much better chance of getting life insurance. All we needed was that new pft to bring it all together.
But right there is where his rubber character met the road. He had discussed the improvement with his doctor and his doctor had recommended that he not have a new pft. The doctor suggested and the man bought into the fact that if he got a pft showing that his lung functions were improved it could put his social security disability in jeopardy. In other words, they both felt like there was a good chance the man was no longer disabled and he didn’t want anyone to find out and question whether he should be making a living off of me and you.
Now here is the tie in to life insurance because after all, this isn’t Ed Hinerman on Deadbeats, but rather Ed Hinerman On Life Insurance. This is a man whose wife wants him to have life insurance. She has life insurance with him as beneficiary. She’s had that life insurance for 8 years. The concern she has is that his age, in his 50’s, his income (SS disability) would not continue to her if he were to pass away. So, instead of providing the protection she needs, in order to continue his now much improved life style he is going to forgo getting life insurance because that would require a pulmonary function test that could blow his cover and make him have to work.
Bottom line. This is not an isolated thing. I run into people inquiring about life insurance who are on full disability and are working or running businesses under the table. Let me be clear. You are not the only reason our country is falling like a rock, but you are absolutely part of the problem. If you have any questions or think I’m stupid, please call or email me directly. Let’s talk.