What are you Worth?

Could you put a price on how much you are worth? What is your “replacement cost”? Of course, there is no real answer to that question. I am sure that everyone has lost a loved one at some point in their life. No amount of money could possibly bring back the ones we love once they pass on. However, one of the biggest lessons that we learned early on after my diagnosis is that it is never too early to prepare for our final days.

When our kids were really little, we were given the opportunity to get a life insurance policy outside of my employer’s plan. After talking with our salesman, we considered the cost of the plan and determined that we “couldn’t afford” the insurance at the time, but that when we had more money, we would look into it. We didn’t think it was a big deal because I had a fairly substantial policy through work on both Taya and me. We thought we were covered and that this was just a luxury that we couldn’t justify at the time.

Again, a few years ago, Taya and I were in the kitchen preparing dinner when there was a knock on the door. Annoyed, we stopped making dinner and went to the front door. To add to our annoyance, we met a door-to-door life insurance salesman. After some discussion, we again decided to decline the salesman’s offer.


Those two incidents break my heart now when I think of what I could have gotten for my family. During those two moments, I didn’t understand the value of a life insurance policy outside my employer’s plan. I thought I had done all I needed to do to provide for my family. Now I know that I was wrong. I understand now that my insurance policy at work is temporary. If something was to happen to me that prevented me from continuing my employment, that insurance policy would be gone. If I ever wanted to take another job that would further my career, I could keep my policy, but only if my new employer had a plan with the same insurance company. If not, I would either have to lose the insurance or turn down an employment offer. Having an outside plan removes barriers for opportunity at the same time as providing financial security for your loved ones.

Once Taya and I realized the value of an outside plan, we quickly got to work on figuring out how much insurance we wanted to purchase on each of us as well as each of our children. For Taya, the approval process was fairly straightforward since she has relatively good health. However, for me, we were sad to learn that the coverage I was seeking was just not available to me because of my pre-existing condition. I was able to get a small plan, but the cost was so much higher than it would have been for triple the coverage if I had taken the opportunity years earlier.

Although you can’t really tell what your replacement cost is, you can tell what your family will need if something were to happen to you. I encourage everyone to carefully consider what your family will need when you are gone. This will help you determine how much life insurance to get. If you still have questions, talk with a financial planner. Yes, it may cost money, but it will be money well spent. If you are healthy, you may think, like me, that you don’t need life insurance – that it is a luxury you can’t afford right now. I encourage you to shake off this thought and seek out a private life insurance policy. You may think you have time. We thought the same thing until about a year ago. By then it was too late.

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