A long while ago I was talking to an Insurance Agent. I called about possibly changing my term insurance carrier to see if I could get a lower rate. As usual the conversation was not just about Term Insurance for guys over 50. Unfortunately, the topic of retirement planning and insurance coverage to protect my family came up. I didn’t bring it up, you can guess who might be the protagonist in that part of the conversation.
I pointed out that I have a pension plan (a very good and generous plan). My family was going to be OK, in terms of retirement planning, or were they? The agent I spoke with pointed out that the Life Insurance that went with my pension wasn’t really that much. If I died, my wife would only get a fraction of my pension.
This statement is correct. However, after I hung up the phone I realized when you are talking to anyone selling financial services, you never are safe in terms of retirement or insurance coverage. I will plead guilty to this kind of doom and gloom dispensing, but I am not selling anything.
Let me give you a few scenarios I have been a part of over the past couple of years:
- If I talk about Life Insurance and mention that I prefer Term Insurance, the agent I speak with inevitably espouses the importance of “Whole Life” insurance as it will protect me in my “Golden Years.”
- Credit Card companies used to call me incessantly asking if I wanted to increase my Credit Limit, because you never know when something might go wrong, and I needed some extra help.
- If I am negotiating a new Mortgage Term, the topic of Mortgage Insurance will inevitably come up, because it is important to protect my family in case something terrible happens.
- When I call to talk about disability insurance, the topic of Catastrophic Illness insurance suddenly comes up.
My family is never really safe is it? I can never rest easy that I have enough insurance coverage, financial leverage or low enough debt load. While I realize that all of the cases I mention are sales folk simply trying to either up sell new services to me, or to make sure they have a bigger commission, but this does explain why I have such trepidation when I have to meet with anyone about my financial situation. I know I will be barraged with worst-case scenarios and how badly prepared I am for my retirement.