This post about life insurance is sponsored by MetLife. All opinions are my own.
My Dad’s Story
I was 24 when the unexpected happened.
My dad had been sick with a cough that just wouldn’t go away. He was treated in the hospital for pneumonia and then sent home a few days later. We weren’t convinced that he was ok, so he went to a different hospital for a second opinion. He never came back home. He was only 54.
After a week or so in the hospital, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. It was too late to even attempt chemotherapy, so we focused on our time left with him. We made sure he was comfortable and tried to make sure his final requests were honored.
I was 24. I knew nothing about planning a funeral or the expenses that came with it.
Luckily, my dad had planned ahead. He wasn’t married and I was his only child, so he knew he needed to help prepare for this day. I only wish I could thank him for it because it was such a relief at a difficult time.
He didn’t have a large policy, but it was enough to take care of what was needed. At the time, I was also in the middle of a divorce. I was a single mom, a teacher on one small income, living with my grandmother. I couldn’t afford to move out on my own.
Because my dad had a life insurance policy, I was able to focus on recovering rather than worrying about how to pay for his funeral. I didn’t have to stress over how to stretch my next paycheck.
His policy covered his entire funeral expenses. The amount left over was enough to help me get my own place and get on my feet. It felt like my dad was helping me the best that he could, even though he was no longer there.
My Mom’s Story
Losing one parent at 24 is hard, but losing both parents before you’re 40 is even harder.
Once again, cancer struck unexpectedly and took my mom away. I was 35. And once again, I was a single mom, trying to make ends meet. I knew the expenses involved with planning a funeral, but there was something that I didn’t know.
My mom didn’t have a life insurance policy. And she didn’t have a will.
She was only 58 and believed she had plenty of time left. Unfortunately, we never know when the unexpected will happen. Cancer can be so quick, so silent, and it can take away our loved ones before we know it.
Because our mom didn’t plan in advance, my brother, sister, and I were hit with the burden of her funeral. Not only were we emotionally broken by the sudden loss, but we were unprepared to deal with the finances. We also had to hire a lawyer to settle her estate since she did not have a written will. It was difficult to grieve and process our emotions while we struggled to sell her personal items quickly to raise money. It felt wrong and caused increased tension in our family.
I know our mom didn’t foresee this happening, and she never would’ve wanted us to have such financial hardship. Because of these experiences, I am making sure I’m preparing everything in advance for my own children.
Open Enrollment – Real Talk on Life Insurance
I hope that I have at least 50 more years to spend with my children and grandchildren, but I am not naive. I know that tomorrow is never guaranteed, and we never know what may happen.
What I definitely don’t want to happen is for them to be burdened with expenses and legal concerns when I’m gone.
Planning ahead for my children gives me peace of mind. Nobody ever wants to plan for their own death, but we know it will come one day. By making the right financial decisions now, I know my children will be taken care of in the future. They won’t have to struggle to pay for my funeral, and in a way I’ll be able to give them some financial peace after I’m gone.
Not only am I planning for myself and my own children by having life insurance in place, but I’m also having these difficult conversations with family members. My step-dad is a strong man who seems like he could live forever – but we know he won’t. He saw what my siblings and I went through with my mom’s death and has made the necessary plans for himself. However, my brother and sister have babies of their own… and while my siblings are younger than me, planning for their children’s future in case of tragedy is important to consider. There’s no harm in planning ahead, and it only ensures your family stays the number one priority.
MetLife offers a variety of insurance options including life, disability, accident, dental, and legal insurance. While all of these insurance options are important, I personally recommend learning more about life insurance and legal plans, based on my personal experiences with my mother and father. These were things that I didn’t realize were so important until faced with a situation without them. I wouldn’t want anyone else to encounter the stresses I have had due to the lack of these insurance policies.
Open enrollment is a great time to look into these services and see what works best for you and your family. You can find more personal stories on the positive impact of benefits HERE.
If you have a loved one who you feel would benefit from reading my story, please share this with them.