Less Liquor, More Life Insurance

Early last year, the hip hop world was shook by the death of West Coast crooner, Nate Dogg. Multiple media outlets referenced the singer’s financial burdens left on his family. His brother from another mother, Snoop Dogg, actually took to Twitter and social media asking fans to donate to the family in order to assist in funeral expenses and setting up a fund for Nate Dogg’s children.

This is a game you can't afford to lose

I’m not a cold-hearted person, nor do I judge the next man’s circumstances. But Nate Dogg had an illustrious career filled with hits. Amongst the flashy suits and fly whips, it just didn’t make sense to me, that a man with that type of income spanning a good 20 years, would have no posthumous plan for his family.

The fact of the matter is that this happens every day. All the time we read about a family who has lost a loved one and is now relying on the community and anonymous donors to help provide a dignified burial. Health insurance is extremely costly. Especially if you have a terminal illness, it’s common that the money will run out while you still have time on your clock. Often, people in their youth throw life insurance to the side, out of sheer delusion of invincibility. But it’s 2012 and the harsh truth that people need to stop running from is tomorrow is not promised!

We need to stop treating that as an empty phrase. We need to stop throwing it around like buzz words. I’ve watched too many able-bodied people I love and people that inspire me (most recently Heavy D) pass away unexpectedly, leaving the family flustered and stressed out over how to handle final balances.

I just recently changed my policy and had a lengthy discussion with my insurance agent about how I can continue to afford my policy amount. If you think a policy is too expensive or you don’t need it right now, you need to turn on the 11pm news in your city and count how many people died that week. Healthy people. People that thought they had their entire lives ahead of them. You could easily be a story on the news or a listing in the obituary section next week.

Contrary to how people complain about the costs, it’s fiscally realistic to fit a life insurance policy into your monthly budget; even in these tough times. First, decide the term you want and how much coverage you’d expect to need. For example, if you’re 25, unmarried, with no children, a 5-10 yr life insurance policy would cover you and any expenses that you’d accrue (college loans, business loans, car payments, etc). For a healthy 25 yr old, a reasonable policy amount would be about $60,000-$75,000.

Of course those numbers increase as your family expands. I personally have a MetLife whole life policy that only costs me $35/month. That’s a movie date with snacks in most cities!

Many people have scaled back on their monthly expenses. You have to accommodate and improvise based on the money you can count on every month. Having life insurance is an expense you can’t afford to skimp out on. Do the research and commit to a policy that works for your income. Here’s a great start to get you started

Do you currently have a policy in place? If you don’t, what’s holding you back? How important do you think it is for people to have a life insurance policy when they’re young and healthy, as opposed to the last phase of their life?

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