By Gary Shelton
Wesco Insurance Agency
Another one bites the dust. These are song lyrics from when I was in high school, if that helps you date me. My birthday is in December, so I always get to turn a year older and see another calendar year come to an end as a double play. An elderly gentleman at the gym (where I go to make different things hurt) wears a T-shirt that reads “I thought getting old would take longer”. I laughed when I read it, because although I am not quite to the so-called Golden Years, I am to the point where I can see them on the horizon.
It’s true that the older you get, the faster time goes by. I am a firm believer that you can gain knowledge at any age, but you gain wisdom over time. There is something about experiencing obstacles personally that puts life in a different perspective. As you get older, you become involved in more people’s lives (or maybe more people become involved in yours), so you get the opportunity of not only experiencing your own situations in life, but you get to be involved in so many more people’s obstacles. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? Maybe my experiences will be helpful to you.
My wife and I recently updated our life insurance, hopefully for the last time. A twenty-year term policy is a LOT more than it was the last time we bought one. Another little reminder that I am getting old. I still believe that with proper planning, term life insurance is the best way to go. My experience would say to buy it while you’re young and lock the premium in for as long as you can, typically 30 years. Buy more than you think you need. It’s cheap while you’re young, and you will need more as you advance in your career and your situation changes. Remember, the goal is to no longer have a need for life insurance by the time you reach retirement age, when life insurance is the most expensive.
Our youngest child moved out of our house and into an apartment last year, so we have been empty nesters for about a year now. Yet, another reminder that I am getting old. He is a college student under the age of 24, so my homeowner’s insurance policy will provide him some property and liability coverage at his new apartment. He is still on my auto insurance and my phone plan. He is not completely independent yet, but we are getting there. My goal as a parent has always been that my children put their trust in Jesus Christ, and that they become self-sufficient adults.
Thanks to Obamacare, or The Affordable Care Act as it is laughingly named, my children can remain on my health insurance until they turn 26. This means my youngest is still the recipient of this little taste of entitlement. My oldest daughter, who is now 28, was able to obtain group coverage through her employer. In the current health insurance environment, this is almost always the best way to obtain coverage. If you cannot obtain group coverage through your employer (or even if you can), I am an advocate of Health Savings Accounts, or HSA’s as they are commonly called. I often recommend people to purchase a high deductible HSA plan and then contribute the maximum amount allowed by law into the HSA account. That way you will have the funds needed for the high deductible if something happens, and you will grow a tax deferred savings plan if you remain healthy and don’t use the funds. HSA account funds are NOT “use it or lose it”, as many people erroneously believe. HSA’s are most appealing to those who are seeking additional tax deductions.
The reminders that I am getting old just keep coming, but this is a good one. Our oldest daughter made us grandparents in 2018. Kinsley Nycole is the most beautiful child I have ever seen. Pam will be known as LOLLY and I will be known as POPS for the rest of our lives. This, without a doubt, is absolutely the greatest thing about getting older. I purchased life insurance on all my children shortly after they hit the ground, and I will make certain that it is purchased on my grandchildren, even if I must buy it. Buying life insurance on children seems awkward, but it is wise for numerous reasons. First, and being brutally honest, it is expensive to die regardless of your age, and people of all ages die.
Secondly, a person’s health and medical diagnosis can change in a moment, leaving them uninsurable when it comes to life insurance. Buying life insurance on a healthy baby prevents this possibility later. I will keep the policy on my children as long as I live, so that I can have peace of mind knowing that I could take care of the situation financially, God forbid, if it were ever necessary. That alone is reason enough for me to have it.
Appreciate each day, for tomorrow is not certain and time truly does fly. Proper planning and good choices can make next year your best year ever. Choose to love. Choose to give. Abe Lincoln said it best when he stated “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or we can rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” Choose wisely. HAPPY HOLIDAYS from Wesco Insurance Agency.
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