I don’t blame you if you find the idea of combining a message about life insurance with a message about Christmas a bit – well – unseemly. But while our thoughts are focused on the blessings of family, I’m going to cross that line for a few minutes.
Until confronted with it, none of us like to think about death. Yet – it remains the most constant certainty in life. That means we all have a life insurance plan of one kind or another. Too many are on the WYSIWYG (wizzy-wig) plan: What You See Is What You Get! If they were to die today – their family would be left with nothing more than what they have – which – for the average American family, looks like this:
• One income would go away – worth $46,000
• Average burial expenses would cost the family $8,500
• Average remaining credit card debt – $15,600
• Average remaining mortgage balance – $155,200
• Average savings (combined) $81,000
• Average bank balance $700
Now of course you may be far from average – but let’s consider what happens to this “average” family as they mourn your passing.
1. With essentially no liquid savings – they sold your car to pay for your $8,500 funeral – but it was only worth what you owed on it, so they put the funeral on a payment plan. Oh well – at least they got rid of your $380 car payment.
2. The house goes up for sale because there’s no way they can handle the mortgage payment without your salary.
3. Your $81,000 401k balance was rolled into your wife’s IRA – but she had to take out $50,000 so that – after tax and penalty, she had the $28,000 she needed to pay off the credit cards, the funeral expense, and leave her with three months of mortgage payments while she crosses her fingers that the house sells in that time.
4. The $800 rent charge for the tiny apartment they found seems reasonable – but it’s just $120/month less than the old mortgage – which means no more sports fees or music lessons for the kids.
5. At least she still has the $31,000 left from your 401k – to last her for the rest of her life – and put the kids through college (one of your dreams).
You get the point. Mr. Average American has a life insurance plan – it just sucks. And it all could have been taken care of with a $250,000 life insurance policy that would have cost maybe $50/month.
We all get the exact outcome we plan for – meaning we all have a life insurance plan. But with real life insurance being so inexpensive and accessible – and the only sure way to know that your family’s future is taken care of if you’re not here to do it yourself – does the idea of life insurance as a Christmas gift really seem all that unreasonable?
Merry Christmas to all.