The first time I observed such a loss was in 2010. I was deployed to Iraq serving as an Operations Officer for a HIMARS Battalion (i.e. rocket artillery). We had soldiers all over the country ready to meet the indirect fire support needs of US and Iraqi forces. We got a call around 2000hrs (8pm) from one of our platoons just north of Bagdad. One of our soldiers was killed in an auto accident on base. We found out several weeks later information that compounded the loss. The soldier did not change the beneficiary designation on his SGLI Life Insurance Policy before deploying. As a result his ex-wife received $400,000. His wife and son did not receive any life insurance proceeds.
How would such a loss impact your family? How would they feel? How would they recover? Imagine all of the things they could do with that money. Sustain their current life style, pay tuition for education, vacations, take time to travel and be with family, fund future business opportunities, provide a charitable or community gift, maintain economic mobility and repay outstanding debts. If something happened to you, how would it economically impact them?
Perhaps your family would have to move, downsize or change lifestyle without those funds. If you enjoy supporting your community, charities or organizations, just think, what if they had such resources to support their mission and goals?
Recently, I had a client who suffered from a diminished mental capacity. He did not leave his family instructions about a life insurance policy he had purchased over 30 years ago for their benefit. His guardian with financial power of attorney missed several premium payments and as a result his $500,000 policy lapsed. He passed away 8 months later.
Lacking the ability to execute on our goals happens. There are days we are going to come up short. Misusing resources, forgetting our goals and priorities happens. It is part of life. Sometimes it is a short term issue with limited cost and limited consequences. Other times the cost is extremely high, irreversible or down right tragic or criminal.
Don’t take life insurance policies for granted. You have options.
Permanent life insurance policies can be complicated (Whole Life, Universal Life, Adjustable Life, etc.) and have moving parts you might not understand or otherwise forgot how to manage after purchasing. Additionally, the company that issued your policy might have been acquired, making adjustments and serving of your policy more difficult. For this reason, save yourself the time and get a professional who can help you understand all of your options.
Can you imagine paying for a service, tuition to college, tickets to an event or vacation and just when you are about to use it or need it, the benefit disappears? On mass, life insurance companies are not the best at checking in with their clients. Additionally, your employer is not likely to ask you on an annual basis to update your beneficiaries either. Most agents are not paid to service your contract, just to sell it. As a result, it is common to find life insurance policies that are limping along and coverage will lapse if the policy is not updated or amended.
Don’t let your benefits slip away from your financial plan, strategy and beneficiaries. Take the time to review your group & or individual coverage with a professional. If you have questions or would like a second opinion, feel free to contact me for a no-obligation consultation.
Kit Lancaster is a Financial Advisor and Certified Financial Planner Professional from Chicago, IL. He enjoys working with young professionals, families and business owners who have a desire to be financially successful and desire courses of action, education and perspective to aid them in accomplishing their financial goals. Kit holds regular educational events in Chicago and online. If you would like to schedule a no obligation consultation or receive more information on his next event please contact him by phone, email or the link below.
Copyright ©2018 Sterling Edge Financial All Rights Reserved.
Registered Representative, Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC to residents of AZ,CA, CO, FL, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, NY, OH, OK, NY, OR, TX. Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Cambridge and Sterling Edge Financial are not affiliated.
Check out the background of firms and investment professionals on FINRA's BrokerCheck.
Life insurance products contain fees, such as mortality and expense charges (which may increase over time), and may contain restrictions, such as surrender periods.
Trk # 1809531 and dofu 6/2017