Expecting the Unexpected

Monday, Sept. 24, 2018

By Jacquelyn Seals
District 13
Young Leader Committee Member

They always tell you to plan for the unexpected, but how many of us really do? 

In your early 20s, you’re just starting out after college and don’t have much of anything. You’re living paycheck to paycheck, trying to get on your feet and get a feel for this new career you’ve decided to pursue. Saving or thinking of what would happen if you died today takes all of about three seconds to run its course in your head.

All I thought was, “No more student loans!” But as the years pass and you’ve found level ground, gotten married, started a family, started a business or invested in the family business, one thing is certain – what would happen if you died today takes on a whole new meaning.

Death and disability are something no one likes to discuss, and for a long time, there seemed to be a stigma attached to discussing these topics. The reality is, in today’s economy, we can’t afford to not talk about it.

With costs of homes, goods and services that are everyday necessities continuing to increase, talking about taking care of those you love is something we all must do.

Life insurance is what will take care of your family, business and what else is left behind. It’s what replaces your income when you’re not there to provide it any longer.

Life insurance will pay your debt for that new tractor and planter you needed on the farm, or the new van or house you bought when you found out your family was growing larger. Though it will never replace you as a person, it does help take the financial burden and worry away from your family.

Disability isn’t something anyone really thinks about either. Does anyone remember those commercials with the duck? “Who is going to take care of your family if you’re in an accident and can’t work? Aflac.”  

They weren’t kidding.

How many of you are the sole provider for your family? If you couldn’t work, could you pay all of your bills and still have food on your table? A few minutes of searching and discussion can make a difference in your peace of mind.

Something else that we don’t always think about is aging. Think about your parents or grandparents. Have you ever thought of what will happen if they can’t care for themselves anymore? Maybe you’ve already seen this play out firsthand. Many times, the aging and older population end up in assisted living or nursing homes. What many of us don’t realize is the cost.

On average, the costs range from $130 and up per day for assisted living or nursing home care – that’s a minimum of $4,000 per month. 

Ten years ago, no one had heard of long-term care insurance. Now, if you don’t want to be paying more than your local school teacher’s salary to continue living with the help and assistance needed, it’s something you need to have.

You’re probably thinking you don’t need to look into something like this at your age. Think about your current situation. 

What happens if your older family member who has a major claim in your family farm or business has something happen to them and ends up needing assisted living and doesn’t have the insurance? The family farm/business asset could be leveraged to pay.

I am no insurance expert, but this is something every family should look into and find the best solutions for their situation. I know no one wants to start a conversation with their parents about “when you can no longer care for yourself” or “when you die,” but sometimes we need a good dose of reality to make sure we remember that we are protecting the ones we care for and the legacy we are leaving for them.

These are situations that have affected our family for generations, and I know we won’t be the only ones. I hope many of you will take the time to look into what is best for your family.