When I was 17, my father, who was just 52 years old at the time, was diagnosed with colon cancer. Sadly, his cancer progressed and I watched him become sicker and sicker. Finally, when I was 19 and my father was 53 years “young,” he lost the battle to cancer.
Although I was too young to appreciate it at the time, looking back now, I can see how fortunate we were that our life insurance agent had always been looking out for us—even if my parents thought he may have been a little too eager.
My father was a big believer in owning what he purchased, no “renting” for him, so he had purchased whole life insurance policies. Of course this was in the day when folks didn’t have a lot of money, and a high paying job was considered $40,000 a year.
I understand now that if weren’t for the persistency of our family’s agent and my parents believing what he preached, the outcome for our family would have been much different. There’s a lot of craziness that could have happened. Instead, the claim was paid and my mom was able to maintain her financial dignity by paying off debts that were a result of my father’s treatments. She was able to keep simple things like Christmas and birthdays a fun and happy time—even without dad.
The experience of the power of life insurance has had a far-reaching effect in my life. I was just 19 when my dad died, and to be honest, I didn’t truly grasp what life insurance had done for my family at that time. But when I was 26, after starting out in another career, I came “home” to life insurance. I am now an advisor and, much like our agent did those many years ago, I help families plan for the future—whatever it may bring. I help them understand that people want life insurance for what it does, not for what it is.
I don’t need to make up the importance of life insurance; I lived it. I know that people buy life insurance because they love someone. And I’m living proof. It could have been a lot different.