Life Insurance: Insuring Your Future
If you own and run a business and you have a family, one of the most important things you can do to protect your family is to purchase as much life insurance as possible, as early in your career as possible.
I was given two pieces of advice many years ago which have served me well. The first piece of advice came from my father. He advised me to never expect the company you work for to support your family in the event you die unexpectedly. Hence, the need to accumulate enough insurance coverage to support your family if you are not around.
The second piece of advice was offered by my grandmother, who was a long-time, successful life insurance agent with New York Life Insurance Company. My grandmother advised me to buy Term Life insurance early and to maintain a practice of accumulating life insurance over the course of my career.
As a young person on a budget, you can buy “Term” insurance and gradually convert the Term policies to “Whole Life” insurance, as your finances allow. The main difference between Term and Whole Life insurance policies is that Whole Life builds up a “Cash Value” over the life of the policy. As the cash value of the Whole Life policy builds, it can be used to fund your children’s education, if circumstances require. However, if you can leave the cash value alone and allow it to build up, it can be a help to you and your family as you move into retirement.
Try to develop a plan when establishing your life insurance program. For me, I bought a new policy each time I passed a life “milestone”. I bought my first life insurance policy shortly after graduating from college. Then I bought another one when I was married. After that milestone, I bought another policy when we built our current home. When each of our three children were born, I bought another policy.
The last policy I bought was when I turned 49 years old, as I was advised it is tougher to purchase a policy beginning at age 50, as a person begins to encounter age-related conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, etc. For me, I was lucky to have received the advice from my father and grandmother so many years ago; since, at age 52, an application for one last policy was denied, when I was diagnosed with elevated cholesterol and hypertension. Fortunately, by age 52, I had accumulated enough life insurance to insure my family’s future, without having to rely on my company’s success without me.
Remember—buy life insurance early, and establish a plan to build up life insurance coverage over the years, so as to “insure” your family’s future.