Last week I was talking to an Insurance Agent about possibly changing my term insurance carrier, to see if I could get a lower rate, and (as usual) the conversation was not just about Term Insurance for guys over 50 (that was the topic I wanted to talk about), unfortunately the topic of retirement planning and insurance coverage to protect my family came up (no, 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) so my family was going to be OK, in terms of retirement planning, or were they? The agent I was speaking with pointed out that the Life Insurance that went with my pension wasn’t really that much and if I died, my wife would only get a fraction of the money in my pension.
This statement is entirely correct, but it still annoyed me because 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 (yes, I will plead guilty on this, 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 when talking to various financial service folks about various topics:
- If I talk about Life Insurance, and bring up that I prefer Term Insurance, inevitably the agent I speak with 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, suddenly the topic of Catastrophic Illness insurance comes up.
- And on, and on, and on….
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, is it? 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.