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The Wisdom of Life Insurance

Family gatherings at the dinner table have always been special to me. Some of my favorite memories happened – and some life skills were developed – around my parents’ dining room table. After church on Sundays, they’d usually host another couple or two, and after dessert and taking my dishes to the sink, I’d get my piggy bank (except mine was a duck), and make the rounds soliciting our guests for their loose change. They all obliged young Dave by dropping a coin into my duck bank, at which point I’d go get my actual piggy bank for round two! Then, I’d empty them both out and offer folks their coins back. (I wasn’t the hardened capitalist I am today!)

As the months went by, I started to realize that, perhaps, I didn’t have to give the coins back after all, and I started saving up the loose change. I didn’t spend it, but I did make sure the duck and the pig were empty for each trip around the table. I look back at this as part of my development in sales.

Of course, I think of family gatherings this time of year. Thanksgiving is right around the corner and we’re preparing to feast with our friends, loved ones and family (and yes, those are three distinct categories!) All kidding aside, wherever you are and whomever you’re with, I know you’ll be comparing how this year’s gathering differs from last year’s, as folks are out and about again. There are even a few restaurants open for Thanksgiving this year who are lucky enough to have an employee available. No, that’s not a typo. I’m sure you’ve noticed longer lines and wait times as places have reopened but remain short-staffed! For me, I’m just happy to be able to wait in lines again. 

When you’re at the dinner table this year and the conversation drifts from politics to pandemics to personal finance (otherwise known as the three Ps), I challenge you, if you’re the elder person at the table, to not just talk about how your portfolio is doing, but to take the opportunity to encourage the younger folks with a little advice. No, they don’t need to hear that they should start saving already – again. Take some time to remind them of the importance of having appropriate insurance coverage in place.

Until the other folks at the table are in as comfortable a situation as you are, they’ll need to make sure their home, auto, health, disability and life coverages fully align with their life and family goals. Just as your friends and family can see your success in hosting for the holidays and you have their respect (well, maybe except for that guy…she never should have married him…), Thanksgiving is a great time to give the gift of solid financial wisdom. And I don’t mean which stocks to buy and hold. I mean encouraging everyone to make sure they’re properly protected with life insurance before they start saving for other lifestyle goals. As we say often at our office, no financial plan is complete without the right protection. 

My message is not one of stress. Appropriate insurance coverage should relieve stress!

My message is one of the joy you’ll feel in knowing that you gave those around your table advice that, if they choose to take it, could mean one less compounding factor in a sad situation for you and yours. Put it in a story as you share what you’re thankful for this year. And as always, look for our annual staff Thanksgiving letter next week as we share what we’re grateful for this year and you get to know us as more than just your financial planning team. 

Lastly, if you have any questions about life insurance, or you’d like some guidance in having these conversations, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’re always here to help. 

Article by David Smyth, Senior Partner at Family Financial Partners — a financial services firm in Lexington, Kentucky.

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