When hearing that someone sells insurance or is a financial adviser, your reaction may be an inward groan. After all, insurance is intangible and associated with periods in life when things are bad. And future financial planning forces us to look at our present economic health and what that might mean going forward.
In short, something to be avoided.
I am acutely aware of these attitudes and as a result I approach my clients with a sympathetic ear. In one way or another, most of us have been there.
In my process of offering a variety of insurance vehicles, I help my clients assess their risk tolerance, because this provides the foundation for all decisions they make going forward. And I know that it varies with regard to the individual and will likely vary over time, as it should. Before they make any investment of their hard-earned funds, and only after we have gone through the process, do I show them how Life Insurance can be an excellent primary investment and savings vehicle for the long haul.
While life insurance, as a general product, is often thought of as merely an end unto itself, I show them that Whole Life Insurance is a smart, yet conservative, way to have a growth savings plan while also ensuring income protection. And that it can have a substantial impact on one’s life.
The profound effects of Life Insurance and Financial Planning have touched me in a way that I understand and appreciate, parti as I am now part of the business.
I had the good fortune to have a wonderful and carefree childhood where my emotional and material needs were met. Sometimes, realizing that I was so fortunate made me think that it might not always be like this, that some cosmic other shoe would drop.
Sure enough, at the age of 24 when I was living on the other side of the world inHong Kong, working for Louis Vuitton and living an adventure, I received a call from my mother telling me that my Dad had Stage IV lung cancer and had perhaps only six months to live.
That other shoe was devastating.
My parents had a loving marriage, my sister and I were always best friends, and my mother and father were my heroes. My Dad was a robust and healthy man who worked out five days a week and rarely had a cold. But as well know,cancer does not discriminate, and in the end his healthy life style didn’t matter.
We spent less than six months as it turned out, watching my Dad quickly deteriorate, losing his ability to walk as the cancer had attacked his spine, or to do much of anything for himself. In short, to physically stop being the manI had always known.
Once,in the hospital, away from my mother’s earshot, he told me that ” I don’t want her to see me like this,” and I watched as he cried in front of me for the first time. A week before he died, I told him what an amazing father and husband he was and thanked him for the 25 years we had together. After that, I remember him lying in his bed in Hospice care, fighting for air and not conscious. I matched each breath to his, trying to feel his struggle. I wondered if he knew I was next to him.
And then he was gone.
It is difficult to explain to those who have not suffered the loss of an immediate family member, especially when experienced at a young age, the strain it places on the lives of those who remain. One burden that my mother, sister and I did not have to bare, however, was financial. My Dad had prepared everything. He had outstanding Long-Term Care coverage that allowed for respite in-home help for my mother when caring for my Dad 24/7 became too difficult. His Life Insurance policy allowed my family to grieve a horrible loss without simultaneously being burdened by debts and financial hardship.
The material quality of our lives continued and it was all thanks to his careful financial planning.
My story is one of many and most certainly not the saddest. I had my father for 25years, and for that I remain grateful. I have watched clients lose a loved one just a few years into a marriage, left with young children to raise and years of financial burdens ahead of them. These are all things we don’t want to contemplate. A loss we may imagine will never happen to us,even if we’ve witnessed or heard about it happening to others.
I view it as my job to have these tough conversations with my clients, while simultaneously understanding how difficult it may be to start them. But I assure them that, ” we’re only going to talk about this once, and then you’ll be protected.” My Dad’s willingness, unbeknownst to me, to have that conversation so that his family would be protected is what motivates me to help people do the same.
Contributed by Laura King, Financial Professional with Capstone Partners Financial and Insurance Services, LLC Mass Mutual – California/Nevada Agency 4695 Macarthur Ct Suite 1000, Newport Beach CA 9660 mobile 415-999-1082 direct 949-225-4433 CA Insurance License #OL97315