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Wasted on the Young

I remember the first time I was offered life insurance.

My mom insisted I meet with an insurance agent to discuss a policy when the baby was born. At first I kind of laughed at it. I was 25 and didn’t plan on dying anytime soon. I was in good health, I worked out a few times a week, I didn’t smoke…why would I waste perfectly good beer money on some life insurance policy? Still, she persisted for months on end, so I finally broke down and met with the guy, mostly just to make her happy.

I didn’t listen to every word he said, but surprisingly, what I got out of it seemed rather convincing in places even at the time. He told me about what a policy would do for me and my family, how it was never too early to get good life insurance coverage and he even explained how I could lock my rates in at premium levels for the life of my policy by signing up. I recall the cost was lower than I thought life insurance would be, just a few dollars a month.

It all sounded fair enough, but I figured he was just a really good salesman talking up his product and besides, I was really never interested in a policy anyway. After he finished up his presentation, I politely thanked him for his time and cordially showed him the door with a promise to think about it. I think about it now more than I ever thought I would. You can click this link to visit GIO & enquire about your own policy.

As I mentioned, at that point in my life I was young and healthy, so nothing really resulted from my lack of interest in life insurance for a while. Sure, my mom was a bit disappointed that I decided against a policy, but I had a few extra dollars in my wallet every month, so it about balanced out. Life went on. I got a good job at a shipping facility, bought a house nearby, the wife and I lived in marital bliss most days, I watched my daughter grow into a beautiful young woman, life was everything advertised on the package…at least for a while.

It was a little after my 41st birthday when it happened. It was a normal day at the package plant. We were loading up a shipping container with packages when I bent down to hoist a heavy box onto my shoulder as I had been doing every weekday for over a decade…except this time, the box didn’t leave the ground.

As soon as I pulled up on the box, I felt something pop in my back and crumbled to the floor in excruciating pain. I had to be taken to the hospital where I was diagnosed with a ruptured disk. They told me I needed surgery and was out of work for the next 6 months.

I admit, I was depressed in my time off. I started to drink more. I couldn’t do anything physically strenuous, so I gained about 40 pounds in that time. I even picked up a little smoking habit down at the pub that I naturally hid from my wife. The worst part of it all was being reminded of my own mortality and the stresses of life.

I realized I wasn’t going to last forever. I decided it was finally time for that life insurance policy. As happens so often in our adult lives, my mother was proven right once again and she made sure to let me know about it.

I remembered the provider I had queried about over 15 years ago and they seemed to have a pretty good reputation still, so I gave them another call. Imagine my surprise when the same agent showed up to my door! It’s a pretty small town, so he even remembered me and asked if I had had enough time to think about the policy.

We shared a laugh as we sat down to discuss the details, but my smile slowly faded as he began to tell me how much more expensive a policy was for a man my age. I hadn’t even told him about my health issues or new habits yet, and the rate was far more than what I had been offered before. I almost backed out again, but thought of my wife and daughter and filled out the application.

I got the policy, but the rate was well over three times what it would have been had I invested when it was time, and with a slightly lower benefit. My mother let me hear about that too. In less time than I’d like to discuss, I had more than given back every penny I had “saved” by not maintaining a policy when I was younger.

I have the peace of mind that my family will be secure, but it has turned out to be much more expensive. If I could go back in time to that initial meeting, I’d sacrifice one takeout order per week for that policy. They say you never forget the first time, but my sky-high premiums remind me of my decision every month.

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