When thinking about insurance, it seems to me that although health insurance, car insurance or other types of insurance are important, life insurance is the most important! It is essential that the family breadwinner’s income is protected by life insurance, especially for families where their very survival is dependent on the income of either the mother, father, or both – or in some cases (such as mine) the legal guardian or family member who has stepped up to raise a child who is not their own. I was lucky that my grandmother and her husband raised me when my father was disabled by a motorcycle accident when I was just 2 years old. They loved me and nurtured me and provided for me. They both worked hard. I wasn’t aware until I was a teenager and they shared family financial information with me that they both had life insurance, along with wills and trusts. They explained that it’s all part of a big picture of loving me and being responsible. They loved me enough to put me first and were wise enough to INSURE that the financial support would continue in case something happened to them. That makes them loving, wise, responsible and proactive.
The breadwinner can either become incapacitated or die, leaving those left behind in desperation or poverty. I’m sure that, if asked, most people who work so hard to provide for their families would also want to make sure their loved ones are taken care of if something should happen to them, but the sad fact is that many people don’t stop to consider how very real that could become. Therefore, they don’t purchase life insurance because there’s always the subconscious thought, “It could never happen to me.” My grandma always said that you hope for the best but have to plan for the worst, and that’s what life insurance is all about.
I was raised in Tucson, Arizona, where there is a large Hispanic population, mainly on the south side of town. Unfortunately, most of these families usually don’t have high incomes. It is so sad to see frequent car washes on the south side with young children and teenagers holding signs that say (for example) “To pay for the funeral of Juan Martinez”. When I see this, it also makes me wonder that if they can’t afford the funeral, who is going to take care of those children financially in the future? What kind of future will they have? Life insurance is relatively inexpensive (especially term insurance) and guarantees that your loved ones won’t be standing on the corner holding a sign for a carwash to pay for your funeral!
When my dad was in that horrible motorcycle accident, the doctors weren’t sure if he would live or die. Next, they weren’t sure that they could save his mutilated left leg. Then they said that even if they saved it, he could still lose it through infection. My life and the lives of those around me were changed in an instant the day of his accident. No one anticipated it or even thought something like that would ever happen. As I said, I was fortunate that a family member stepped in to raise me … but I often think about what would have happened if he had died and there was no one to raise me or provide for me. Accidents happen every day. So, there are victims every day and orphans made every day. How many of them are protected by life insurance? One look at the constant carwashes gives you the answer.
If I were a teacher at the elementary or even high school level, I’m sure that I would be counseling parents during those parent/teacher conferences to make sure that not only are they active and engaged in their children’s education, but that they insure that their children’s education and well being continues even if something should happen to them. Most people understand how necessary it is to obtain health insurance because we need it to maintain good health – plus one catastrophic illness can destroy a family financially. We insure our cars just as a matter of course. Home insurance is required if you have a mortgage, and even renters are understanding that it’s important to protect their possessions. But when it comes to making sure that loved ones are taken care of when the income earner passes, people don’t always plan for it. Unless you are independently wealthy, it can really only be done through life insurance.
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