Part of my job is helping people get their priorities straight. For instance, I met with a client this past December who was married and had two small kids. He had no life insurance. He agreed that it was important but added, "I can't afford it right now, the kids want a flatscreen TV."
My response was "If another car crosses the center line and kills you, that flatscreen television won't be able to put your kids through college, help your wife pay off the mortgage, replace your income, erase your credit card debt or pay for your funeral."
The client said, "I just can't do it right now."
I could have continued to extol the virtues of purchasing a life insurance policy, not for himself, but for his family. It wouldn't have made a difference. His priorities were out of whack. It was Christmas and he wanted to make the family happy for the short term.
I came to two conclusions after this meeting. 1. For some reason, this generation fails to think in the long term. We don't plan for others that will come behind us, only for what gives us gratification now. And 2, people can "afford" what they want to buy.
I'm not saying that this young man was a bad person. He obviously loved his family by wanting to make them happy at Christmas. My job is to try to convince this person that an extra $40-50 each month was going to keep his family, that he loved so much, in their home if he was to die unexpectedly. In a case like this, he wasn't going to budge and really didn't want to pressure him.
He really wanted to buy that TV. But why didn't he want to buy life insurance? Maybe he thought he wasn't going to die anytime soon. Or maybe because it's an intangible product, whereas a TV has lots of buttons and can offer some instant entertainment gratification. A life insurance policy will only satisfy others.
When we buy life, disability or long term care insurance, we get the satisfaction of knowing that if something should happen to us, the others around us aren't burdened with bills or taking care of us. In other words, can you sleep comfortably knowing that your family will be okay if something bad happens to you?
As an insurance agent, I have to help my clients find the right path to financial security. Sometimes the client doesn't want to be helped. I hope this gentleman's wife and kids can help him learn what his priorities are before it's too late.
Stay healthy and let us know if we can help you with your insurance needs.
Chris Castanes is the president of Surf Financial Brokers, as well as a professional speaker helping sales people be more productive and efficient.