It’s September 2020, the year of the global pandemic that came to be known as COVID19. The entire country shut down. When the shut down began people were losing their jobs and no one could go anywhere, not even essential places like doctors and dental offices unless it was a true emergency. Entire communities became ghost towns and worst of all, people were dying of an invisible predator. To make matters worse it is an election year. No one can agree on anything, there is rioting in our cities across the nation, and crime rates are skyrocketing. Most people are feeling less than safe, face masks have become a part of our daily lives, and almost everyone just wants to get back to our pre-COVID lives. But for all the disagreements surrounding the global pandemic, there’s one thing everyone, everywhere, can fully agree on. Life can change in an instant. If you hadn’t experienced this epiphany yet in your life you’ve been quite fortunate but no one is naive anymore. Everyone’s eyes are wide open.
September is Life Insurance Awareness month and after everything we’ve all been through this year already, it seemed to be the best time to speak openly and candidly about why life insurance is an essential part of protecting your loved ones.
Most of us don’t even think about life insurance. We are all very busy with our lives. Some of us are buying homes, raising children and pets alike, building careers, and (hopefully) living in the moment. Some are earning their license for the first time, heading to college, the military, buying their first car or renting their first apartment. There are families who go camping and boating together, to car shows and races, or in groups riding on the backs of their beloved motorcycles. And then there are those who’ve been there, done that, and are either reliving their youth now that the kids have moved on or they’re a little further along and reaching their golden years.
In each instance above, if you suddenly left this world, everyone who loves you and every dream you shared will abruptly end. The dreams you were building likely require financing and losing you, a large contributor to the dream, could mean everyone else’s dreams are gone with you.
What if the dream was to pay for the kid’s college, to pay off the house, or to buy a camp? What if the dream was to start contributing larger sums of money into a retirement account to make up for lost time after that horrible year when the furnace went in the middle of winter and everything else seemed to go wrong too?
Maybe it’s not a dream at all that has your focus but the welfare of a family member who requires 24/7 care due to a disability or disease. This person will require long term medical and financial support. Maybe the kids are still young and the house and cars are new and without your income, they will likely lose it all, on top of losing you. 2020 has put so much into perspective. So hear me when I tell you, anything can happen. Life insurance isn’t for you, it’s for those you leave behind.
It’s important to know that there’s a big difference between a personally owned life insurance policy and a work-sponsored policy. Realize, if you don’t already, that life insurance through work is a voluntary benefit. By design, it’s made to increase employee retention and job satisfaction and if you have the option to get coverage through work at deeply discounted rates (often as little as a dollar or just a few dollars per pay period), you should take it. But here’s the thing – you still need your own policy. The reason is simple. You don’t own the work-sponsored policy. If something crazy happens, say, a global pandemic….your employer may need to make some difficult decisions to keep you employed at all or to keep their doors open. If the choice is between keeping an employee on the payroll vs. lay-offs, the company you work for will prioritize what has to be cut and life insurance is often the first thing to go. Then where will you be? Will you be five years older with declining health? That could make obtaining life insurance expensive or impossible.
If you have a personally owned policy, no one can take it away from you! The rates won’t change or rise. If you become sick or acquire a disease that would make the insurance unaffordable or unattainable, you won’t be dropped.
There are several options for life insurance. It’s not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. A good agent will take the time to speak with you and do a needs analysis to help guide you to the right product. There’s Term, Universal, and Whole life insurance. A term policy is a great fit for most people, is extremely affordable, and can provide coverage for up to 30 years. Term is my go-to for young families trying to keep on budget and protect their loved ones. As you age, you can roll your term policy into a permanent policy that builds value as part of your retirement plan. If, heaven forbid, you were diagnosed with a terminal illness there are even options for cashing in (most of) the policy early to take that last vacation with your family or to ensure the money goes toward the things you want it to. The other life insurance options are often affordable too but offer different benefits.
Life insurance is for the present, when you don’t have much debt, if any, and are planning a future. Life insurance is for when debt is at it’s highest and the ones you support risk losing the home you made so many memories in together. Life insurance is also for the future, to ensure a comfortable retirement, leaving a legacy to your loved ones, and for final expenses.
So, “Why Buy Life Insurance?” and “When’s the right time to buy life insurance?” These are two questions I’m asked frequently as a professional in the industry. Friends, the answer to “why” is already stated above. The answer to “when” is always right now, or as soon as possible. Typically, you will never be younger or healthier than you are at this very moment.
I hope you learned something and I encourage you to reach out to your local insurance agent to discuss your life insurance needs. It’s never too late to explore your options. Don’t let another day go by without exploring this affordable lifeline for your family. For most people, the monthly cost of life insurance is less than one spends at their favorite coffee shop each month. That’s the straight forward truth. Don’t let it be too late for your family. This is the insurance you can’t afford not to have.
– Meryia Michaud, Insurance Agent
Licensed in Maine for P&C, Life, Health
Contact me at 207-622-0518 ext. 50004 or at firstname.lastname@example.org