When my sons were just six and seven years old, I became a divorced, single mother. Having worked in insurance previously, I was aware of the importance of life insurance and bought a universal life insurance policy for myself to protect my family financially.
Unfortunately, just five years later, circumstances changed, which added some extra financial burden to my budget. I needed funds and cashed in the policy. Two years after that, I began my American Family career with a now-retired agent and purchased life insurance again, this time for myself and both of my sons. Sometime later, another priority came up, I needed discretionary funds, and I decided to let the policies lapse.
I've experienced a heart-related health issue, and while I’ve improved to “mildly affected” status, I was also diagnosed as an adult diabetic, as a result of one medical test. I live a healthy life today with no real problems.
However, in a nutshell, due to a combination of factors, including not completing medical testing recommended by my cardiologist to help prove insurability because of the expense, I decided not to pursue obtaining life insurance again. As a result, I am not able to provide the financial safeguards through life insurance that I would like for my sons.
Because of the value I place in the benefits of life insurance and understanding the importance of insurability while young and healthy, I did purchase 10-year level term life insurance policies for both my sons, and kept the payments paid and the policies active. Over time, I also began the process of converting a portion of the term policies to purchase 20-pay whole life insurance policies for them. I’m thankful that I did.
I never imagined my son, who is now 27, would have a major seizure out of the blue at age 21. To this day there is no definite reason why it happened, but he’s now diagnosed with epilepsy. Thankfully, my son is on the best seizure meds available, and for all intents and purposes he’s a healthy, active, young man. Although still insurable, it’s comforting to know that he already has life insurance in place.
We’re really enthused about life insurance here at the Michele Weber Agency. As a life-licensed American Family agent assistant, I use my personal experiences to tell the story when selling life insurance in our office. I believe my first-hand knowledge is appreciated by everyone, especially younger, newly-married folks.
I tell my customers – and it’s my message to you as well – buy life when you’re young and healthy, and keep it in force. That way, in case something happens to you that limits or prohibits you from purchasing more life insurance later in life, you will at least have some life insurance in place.
I like how American Family Life Insurance Company is creating easy-to-apply-for products for busy customers. The auto-life discount, when applicable, is also nice to discuss. The important thing is to get thinking about and making life insurance part of our lives.
The year was 2006. In early spring, my brother Isaiah and I had taken off to Mexico with the Azusa Pacific University "Team Luke" outreach program. Our goal while we were there was to set up mobile clinics to offer basic medical care.
After crossing the border back into California, we received a phone call from my sister informing us our dad had been diagnosed with colon cancer. The loud engine of the old Ford pickup we were driving went silent as we both sat lost in thought of the possibility that this could actually be true. How could the "Superman" in our lives possibly be susceptible to this disease? Needless to say, it was a long trip back.
Flying home the next day, we realized it was not only true but also a lot worse than we all thought. My dad was in stage four of the cancer with no hope for reversal. His options were undergo chemotherapy and live 18 months, or do nothing and live 12 months. Because he only had a short time left and because he didn’t want my 9-year old sister to see him suffer, he opted to not do chemo.
There are a few things in life a 22-year-old child should never have to do and one of those is help your mom pick out your father’s casket when he is days away from death.
Unfortunately, that was my fate. But I remember heading to the funeral home with no worry about the cost of Dad’s funeral because I knew he had life insurance. I only had to think about picking something that I knew he would love but never see.
Dad’s funeral was beautiful for a funeral. My sister sang, my brother read the eulogy and I spoke about how this Assembly of God minister was now rejoicing with his Father in heaven. How we all conjured up the strength to do these things I’ll never know. Dad was escorted to the cemetery by a line of motorcycles (one of his many ministries).
I’m telling this story to let you know that not once did my family have to worry about where the money to take care of the funeral, headstone, mortuary, cards and other expenses was going to come from. The last thing you want to worry about on such a tragic day is where you are going to find the money to take care of everything and to take care of yourself after all is said and done, while the pain of the loss is still so fresh. But Dad left us with the comfort of knowing it was all taken care of through his life insurance.
Death is not something anyone wants to think about, but we all need to. My father not only set my mom up to be financially prepared for a few years, he also instilled in his children the knowledge that we also need to plan for the future with life insurance. The beautiful thing about this story is that it is now 2013 and my mom still has life insurance money to help her. My dad showed his love to her even in death.
Life insurance is so important for everyone – young or old. How much more can you let someone know you love them by insuring their financial future? Our family has seen the full benefit of life insurance, and I hope by reading my story, many more people may be able to reap the benefits as well.
Editor’s note: Need more information about life insurance? Check out our 10 reasons to buy life insurance. Or give our Life Needs Calculator a try for help estimating the right amount of coverage to ensure your dependents are financially stable.