Living in Abundance Instead of Fear

By: David Smyth, September 17, 2018

As you may know, this month we're talking about life insurance in conjunction with Life Insurance Awareness Month. Last week, we talked about some of the ways life insurance can help you realize some of your bigger goals and dreams, even before you pass away. Today, I want to take a different angle and talk to those of you who probably won't qualify for life insurance. 
Now wait, you're thinking. What? What does life insurance have to do with those folks who can't even get it? Well, obtaining life insurance is all about assessing risk. In fact, I always encourage our clients, even those who are unlikely to qualify for life insurance, to apply anyway, because then, we know how long the professional gamblers for the insurance company (the actuaries) think you're going to live. Every client should get tested, and even if you don't take the coverage or don't qualify, it helps us anticipate how long your money needs to last. The news isn't all bad - this might mean you could live a little higher on the hog, for a shorter amount of time. And for you who do qualify, we may need to stretch your money a little longer. 
Now, before you think I'm being too morbid, or callous, there are a couple of things I want you to keep in mind, even if you're told that your life expectancy is perhaps not as long as you'd imagined. First, we humans are living longer and longer as time goes on. The life expectancy in 1950 was 66 for men, and 71 for women. By 1975, that had grown to 69 and 77. Today, that number has grown to 80 for men and 84 for women. Second, no matter what life expectancy you've been told you're facing, the longer you have already lived, the longer your expectancy.
Still, some people just look at me like I'm crazy when I suggest the idea of getting underwritten for life insurance coverage. But trust me, it's a more scientific approach than basing how long you think you'll live on how long your grandparents or parents lived. In addition to people living longer as outlined above, your grandparents probably lived sometime between the invention of stents and after the decline of survival of the fittest. Many of us have grandparents who perished in wars, or worked demanding, physical-labor jobs that likely shortened their lives. But for those of us in Gen X and younger who aren't working in mines or fighting in wars, those statistics are skewed. 
Of course there's no way to know exactly how long anyone will live. But just as a life insurance exam gives the underwriters something to gamble on, having an idea of your life expectancy helps us plan for your financial needs in retirement. We always want our client families to be properly protected, but if you can't qualify for life insurance, there are other ways our team can help protect your family, while working with the most information possible about how long your money needs to last. 

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