Life Insurance is one of those things that individuals purchase for provision and protection. When someone you love dearly (parent or spouse) takes out life insurance, you really hope that it exists solely as a “Plan B” and that it will never actually have to be paid out, because if that were to happen, it would mean that the person you love dearly has died and is no longer with you. Sadly, death is inescapable, both for the individual who died and for those who must learn to live without their loved one. My experience with life insurance has not been extensive or direct, but the ramifications of life insurance have and will directly impact my life.
Most individuals assume that college debt is a given; that just like death, it is inescapable. This is not so for my fiancé, Chris. He lost his father to a heart attack when he was twelve years old. One moment he was there; the next moment he was gone. I know Chris would give anything to have his dad back in his life, especially as we approach our wedding day. While Chris’ father is no longer with us today, he has still been able to provide for his family in a way that not many get to experience. He had the foresight to take out a life insurance policy long before his passing, and because of this, Chris will graduate from college debt free.
You may be wondering why this is important to me. As I said earlier, my experience with life insurance has not been direct or extensive, but it will directly impact my life. When Christopher graduates in the spring, we will be getting married. I will still have a year left of school, but neither of us will have any college debt upon graduation. Very few college students can make that claim upon graduation. Student Loan Hero published an article regarding student loan debt statistics:
- $1.26 trillion in total U.S. student loan debt
- 2 million Americans with student loan debt
- Student loan delinquency rate of 11.1 percent
“In 2012, 71 percent of students graduating from four-year colleges had student loan debt” (Student Loan Hero, 2016). Thanks to Chris’ father’s foresight, we will not be a part of those statistics, but it is not for lack of hard work.
Chris may have been able to rely on the life insurance funds to get through school, but he has still had to maintain a 3.0 GPA minimum. On the other hand, my college fund has not directly benefitted from this support and I have had to work my way through school to ensure that I could graduate debt free as well; it has not been easy. I do not say this resentfully; I recognize what a great loss Chris and his family endured and I would never wish this upon anyone. The funds Chris received from his father’s death could never make up for this father’s life.
The support Chris has received thus far has enabled Chris to complete his bachelor’s degree and will allow us to save our money going forward from once we get married. We will not be slaves to college debt as are so many Americans. Rather than dragging our current economy down further, we will be able to invest our time, efforts, and finances, into restoring what has been broken.
Chris will be graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Accounting. From there he will work towards his Master’s in Accounting so that he can become a CPA. In a year, I will be graduating with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Elementary Education and I will be certified to teach elementary reading and language arts in the state of Michigan. After a few years of teaching, I plan to pursue a Master’s in Special Education, specifically learning disabilities so as to become a qualified reading specialist. Just imagine how a debt free businessman and a debt free reading specialist can change the world! Rather than our money being tied up in paying old college loans twenty years down the road, we plan on using our money to give back to others in both the business world and in the education world. Rather than living paycheck to paycheck, Chris plans on using his business and economics knowledge to help individuals get out of debt and I want to empower students love learning so they aren’t afraid to think critically about tough issues, so they can stand up for and support what they believe in, and so they can excel in their passions. Sure, these things would be possible if we did not have the option to graduate debt free, but they would have been much more difficult. We would have been tied down by thousands of dollars of debt and we would have been slaves to those monthly payments.
Without realizing his potential impact, Chris’ father thought it would be a good idea to take out a life insurance policy. There is nothing that could replace his life, but in taking out that policy, Chris’ dad understood that he could still provide for his family even if something happened to him. I am ever thankful for Chris’ dad. As I stated earlier, I do not have much experience or direct contact with life insurance, but I have seen and been a part of the effects that life insurance can have on an individual and a family.
Student Loan Hero. (2016, February 11). U.S. Student loan debt statistics for 2017. Retrieved January 17, 2017, from Student Loan Hero, https://studentloanhero.com/student-loan-debt-statistics/
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