Monday, November 14, 2005

Life Insurance 101

Now that we are 40-somethings and home owners and deeply in debt, H & I decided it was time to make sure we are on the right track as far as retirement, life insurance, and all things involving how we will pay for our lives in the nursing home. This stuff is not interesting and costs money without any fun involved whatsoever so we had been putting it off. Needless to say, we had opened a couple of insurance policies back in the 1980’s (when we were newly married, anxious to dive in to our life ahead and when we still somewhat liked each other…j/k!!) and kind of left it at that for nearly 20 years. I guess we figured we had plenty of time to make millions in our careers and save enough money for our later years. I think we are now realizing we are soon going to be old fogies and we are not even near the million-dollar bracket. Duh. So anyway, we went to our insurance agent the other night to get things *organized*.

One item we discussed was life insurance. The big question being, what amount of life insurance do we need or require? Since I am the one who handles all of the bills and H has pretty much avoided the whole household finance thing from day one unless it involved budgeting for a new tool or construction project, this got kind of interesting.

Insurance Guy: H, how much money do you want WTC to have if something happens to you? Think now about funeral expenses, paying off debt, and living expenses for her when you are no longer around…

H: $3,000.

Insurance Guy: $3,000? With 3 zeros?

H (looking completely clueless but trying to sound like he knew exactly what he was saying): Yes…that should be plenty, don’t you think?

Insurance Guy: I’m glad I am not married to you.

WTC: Welcome to my world.

After we discussed my living in complete poverty upon his untimely death thus convincing H that perhaps he may want to up his dollar amount if he wants hot meals and clean laundry (not to mention sex) for the remainder of his living days, we moved on to rates for the life insurance policy amounts we had finally chosen. There were three categories of rates: Smoker/Drinker/GoingToDie, OverweightMiddleAgedButNonSmoker, and ExtremelyHealthyMustEatGrapeNutsAndTofuandJogSeveralMilesDaily. After showing us the rates, Insurance Guy made a major faux paux:

Insurance Guy: Here is the SuperPreferred-Almost Free Rate that WTC will receive since she falls into the ExtremelyHealtyMustEatGrapeNutsAndTofu category. I don’t think she will even need the physical…we’ll just put her right into that one…geez, how many miles do you run a day? Hmmmmmm…H, I am pretty sure you will need the physical. You don’t smoke, do you?...welllllll, we’ll put you in OverweightMiddleAgedButNonSmoker and see what happens. You may be on the line of Smoker/Drinker/GoingToDie but we’ll see.

H got this horrified look on his face and I believe I saw steam coming from his ears. He knows full well that I am the one who not only smoked for several years but he can literally set the clock by my cocktail hour. There is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY he can possibly be in a higher category than me. I smiled smugly and wholeheartedly agreed with Insurance Guy.

This week, while we wait for the health-screening folks to call us, H is in all-out health and physical fitness mode. He has exercised, shunned alcohol, and has eaten oatmeal for nearly every meal. He is utterly determined to be in the same category as me and completely defy Insurance Guy. Meanwhile, I stand by with my martini and dream of how I will spend my well-earned $3,000.


Christine said...

$3000! OMG, I'm laughing so hard. So sweet... On the other hand, what am I laughing at, at this moment, I wouldn't be getting diddly, having no life insurance. Love your H's health kick too!

Stacy said...

This is a best of post you know!
Greg would be so clueless as for what to set aside.