Sunday, October 28, 2012

The best life insurance plan...

is to keep breathing and remain among the living.

Life insurance always makes for an interesting discussion as, let's face it, what we really are doing is planning for death, not planning for life.  Many look to the "experts" for guidance when approaching death planning; I question the qualifications of these "experts" for this very personal decision.  To start, these "experts" are, more often than not, also life insurance salespersons (or sales consultants or whatever glorified title they may be going by).  All too often we listen to "experts" whose judgement is impaired by self interest.  At best, these "experts" are only able to suggest appropriate insurance based on "bean counter" quantitative measures.  For example, these bean counters may suggest that you need insurance in the amount of 1 year's salary (or 2 years or 3 years) and/or they may suggest that the insurance cover certain obligations such as a house, child care and the hole in the ground for your corpse...blah, blah, blah...

Here are my thoughts and philosophy when it comes to life insurance:

1.  Get the information, but think for yourself.  Don't "cut a check" the same day that you get the information.  If the "sales consultant" wants your check immediately after discussing your options, run, don't walk.  Newsflash... after you stop running and have a day or two to think it over, that sales consultant will still be more than happy to take your check if you decide it is the right thing for you.  (If you have a heart attack and die while running, well then, that will teach you to take my advice... after all, I did say "think for yourself...")

2.  Bet on your living.  While it is understandable that you want to care for your loved ones, focus your energies on your life with your loved ones.  Invest your time with them and they will be much better rewarded than any financial legacy that you could possibly leave.

3.  Insure against catastrophe.  I have enjoyed lively conversation with friends and co-workers about the amount of insurance that should be carried.  Many of these seem to adopt a "you can't have too much" philosophy.  I disagree.  My death should not be like hitting the lottery or Publisher's Clearing House showing up at the door.

4.  When you're planning YOUR life insurance, keep in mind that you'll be the dead guy.  This is not to say that I take the attitude that "it won't be my problem, cause I'll be dead."  I care very much for my family and wish them all well.  I also believe in their resilience and ability to figure it out.

5.  Place the purchase of life insurance appropriately on your budgetary priority list.  Don't forego living in your quest to plan for dying.

Yes, I have life insurance and yes, it is sufficient to provide a starting point for my loved ones, but I'm going to do what I can to make sure they don't collect any time soon.

...and for more fun & bizarre reading...

Superfreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance (Illustrated Edition) (Google Affiliate Ad)

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