September is Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM) and I asked my friend and customer Brenda Boitson to share her story on why she is passionate about educating people on the importance of life insurance.
When my husband died I was 24 and neither of us had life insurance. Three weeks prior we learned that FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) was approaching its 12 week limit and we would lose my husband’s work issued life insurance policy. With his cancer diagnosis, there was no possibility of being approved for any life insurance policy. It was too late.
When I was 22 and marrying my husband I never would have imagined that at 24 I would a) need a life insurance policy or b) that it would be too late to purchase a life insurance policy for my husband. We were both young, active and healthy enjoying our newly married lives. While both of us had experience death and serious illness with our parents, we did not believe we needed to worry about long term planning for quite some time. We both wanted to be established in successful careers and buy a home before making decisions about our long term wishes and financial goals. To us, life insurance was a perk that came with his great new job as an HVAC repairman. We believed that his work life insurance policy would offer us enough protection until we became more established.
In the past year I finally went through the process to place a life insurance policy on myself. I do not own a home. I do not have children. My largest debt are student loans from community college. To the average 20-something it doesn’t seem necessary to have a life insurance policy. Now that I know the costs of funeral expenses, having to process end of life affairs, and the possibility of high medical bills due to death or illness, I know that a life insurance policy is a necessity, not a perk.
Life insurance for myself was simple to obtain and inexpensive. It was a quick and painless process that involved meeting with my insurance agent, having an at home examination, and paying the bill. Now that I have this in place, I know that if I died, my family would have the financial means to be able to pay for my funeral, pay off all of my bills and debt, and have some extra money for what I term the ‘death fund’. This can be everything from affording some time off of work, paying to travel to see family in other areas of the world, going on a vacation to escape it all; whatever the choice, I want my family to have options when I die.
As a young adult, especially if you are married or a parent, life insurance is important to protect yourself against the ‘what ifs’ in life that you hope never happen. The assumption that it will not happen to you is naive, and the best way to protect your family and ensure a more stable future is to speak to your insurance agent about life insurance. Go with someone you trust, and it will make the experience much more pleasant.
Learn more about Brenda on her blog at http://crazywidow.info/. Also support Brenda’s non-profit organization Keepin’ it Kevin to promote awareness and provide research funding for Angiosarcoma cancer.