December 4, 2018

Another Gift Giving Season: The Greatest Gift Continues Giving

By Richard J. Schillig, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF
Independent Insurance and Financial Advisor

As we approach another gift-giving season, I want to share with you an article we prepared several years ago and repeat here again. Let me make a suggestion on providing the greatest gift. Give the greatest gift to spouse and family members that we can possibly give. The greatest gift is the gift of having our affairs in order. During these enrollment periods; Medicare Annual Enrollment Period began Oct 15 and ran until Dec 7. For non-Medicare folks (people not yet on Medicare), The Open Enrollment for individual major medical insurance began Nov 1 and ends on December 15. During these periods we meet with lots of folks to discuss various insurance issues related to healthcare.

One insurance topic many folks gloss over is life insurance. Regardless of age and status of our lives this insurance – life insurance – is a necessity. It is a necessity for our survivors. Life insurance is a gift and should be considered as part of the Greatest Gift. Please allow me to again share with you readers a couple of experiences with life insurance over my career.

During my very early career in the insurance business, I called on an over-the-road truck driver. I prospected this guy for quite some time and eventually, this truck driver said to me “Dick – if you want to see me…..since I am over the road – the only time I can see you is on Sunday. Well with a young family and just beginning a new career I agreed and took that Sunday afternoon appointment that resulted in a nice life insurance sale. The truck driver who also had a young family thought life insurance was important for his family and purchased the insurance plan. I really don’t remember the amount of life insurance but it was a considerable amount. I made a nice commission on that sale. But 4-5 months later on a weekend night at home, the phone rang. In answering that phone the guy identified himself as my truck driver client’s father-in-law. His daughter was married to the truck driver with the 3 young children. This guy told me his daughter’s husband – his son-in-law – was killed in a trucking accident that morning. He wanted to know if I was the insurance agent that sold his son-in-law that life insurance months before. He wanted to know if the life insurance was good. Of course, life insurance was good. As a matter of fact because of the accident the policy was worth double the initial face amount…….it was a double indemnity …….accidental death benefit. I don’t remember the amount of the life insurance but I do remember attending the visitation for this deceased truck driver and while in the receiving line I heard someone ask if the wife – now a widow – if the wife and kids are going to be OK financially. The father pointed directly at me and said thanks to this guy they will be OK financially.

More important than anything else that life insurance kept that full-time homemaker widow and young children in their home as the mortgage on this newer home was completely paid off as well as other debts cleared. In addition, the life insurance provided a monthly income stream for 10 or 15 years.

This story is with a young family. Life insurance was essential for this young family. It proved for me the value of life insurance.

In subsequent years I experienced the value of life insurance for others regardless of their age or life status. Life insurance can be used to provide not only debt reduction and continuation of income as in the truck driver story but also used to provide terrific flexibility in planning for retirement. Pensions and/or retirement plans can be increased with life insurance. Life insurance may also provide for special

needs children or grandchildren. Life insurance may greatly improve the transfer of cash assets from parents to children and/or grandchildren with very favorable tax ramifications. Life insurance often funds today’s very high cost of education. Newer life insurance policies can now provide for help with long-term care costs. Having our affairs in order is the Greatest Gift. Life insurance is very much part of our affairs. Life insurance needs to be included and is an invaluable inclusion in your affairs.

Persons of Medicare age often totally ignore and totally overlook life insurance thinking no longer needed. However, the need for life insurance at Medicare ages can be just as important and is critical in having our affairs in order.

Richard J. Schillig, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF is an Independent Insurance and Financial Advisor with RJS and Associates, Inc. He can be reached at (563) 332-2200.

Filed Under: Finance, News, Retirement