Life insurance is all about taking care of obligations and responsibilities if you die prematurely. Prematurely can be defined by age or by your inability to meet those obligations and responsibilities with your accumulated net worth.
Being in the life insurance business, I have heard every take you can imagine on how to avoid buying life insurance. We come from a country that has come to use the term “insurance poor” rather quickly when discussing our personal economic position. What truly amazes me is that you hear insurance blamed for economic woes more often than you do credit cards or new car financing. I have talked to people who are laying out hundreds, if not thousands, a month on credit card debt, or are spending $500-$600 a month to drive the car that would show their status in life, and will balk at a relatively small life insurance premium because they’re insurance poor.
I know some of you think my favorite sport is taking cheap shots at those who’s excuses don’t hold water, but let’s throw some reality on this insurance poor thing. If you die without life insurance and leave you wife and children a really nice car with $500 payments, knowing that almost all new car deals leave you owing more than a car is worth, what have you done to protect your family from dire financial times. Even after they give the car back because your wife can’t make the payments, your family will be left with nothing for that $500 a month you’ve been spending. Did you ever complain to anyone that you were “car poor”?
If you rack up thousands or tens of thousands worth of credit card debt having things and doing things that, frankly, you probably didn’t need or shouldn’t have done, you would leave behind a legacy of credit card payments that will likely leave your family with a choice of scrimping for years to pay back what you’ve done, or declaring bankruptcy. Hundreds a month, whether it’s car payments or credit card payments are the things that cause nightmares for widows and single mothers.
So, am I saying to give up having a life in order to buy life insurance? Am I hanging fun out to dry only to make you more insurance poor? Not even remotely! The truth is that especially for younger couples the amount of money it takes to buy life insurance protection, truly adequate life insurance protection, is peanuts compared to a car payment. It is peanuts compared to your credit card debt. Read my lips! It is peanuts to buy a substantial term insurance policy.
And, even if you’re older like me, making sure that your spouse and children are ensured a future of promise and hope rather than struggle, can be done with “blow” money from your budget. In very few cases life insurance premiums will be more than you just blow every month. What I am suggesting is prudence and forethought. Really think about what your family’s future would be like if they were suddenly without your income and left with your current debt. Lose the car? Probably. Have to consider bankruptcy? Good possibility. Lose the house? Have to change their lifestyle? Forget about college? Hello! The answer is yes. If you’re having trouble wrapping your mind around that concept, seek out a widow, a single mom, and ask her what it’s like and what difference say $500,000 might have made.
Bottom line. People in other countries try to find ways that they can buy life insurance in our country because it is so cheap. They want a piece of our “insurance poor”. Men in this country are historically self centered and not willing to step up to the plate when it comes to their responsibility. Guys, you can’t save enough money to equal life insurance protection and, even if you could, you wouldn’t. Fix your priorities and put responsibilities ahead of self gratification.