Most of us have heard the phrase “plenty more fish in the sea” in reference to people and romantic relationships, but fish and financial decisions? What is the connection?
We have found that people tend to fall into three categories when it comes to financial decisions; three schools of fish, so to speak. These schools vary in size and acumen but, although the largest school holds the most fish, unfortunately, it does not hold the greatest ones when it comes to financial decisions and planning for costs after death.
The smallest school of fish in our example contains 10% of us – the top 10% of the wealthiest in our community, in fact. These are the ones who have built enough wealth for themselves that they do not have to worry or stress about finances. They can take care of things without any issues; if disaster strikes or a loved one passes away, the financial requirements that follow are not a burden for the wealthy.
However, the people in this bracket also tend to have expensive things, some of which may still carry debt. When they pass away themselves, the cost of everything they own could become a financial burden for whoever they leave behind; the cost of a wealthy person’s liabilities is often too great for their dependents to assume responsibility of in the event of their death. So, although our smallest school of fish appear to have everything and want for nothing, they do still need to protect and maintain the value of the estate they have created. Succession plans for this 10% tier tend to include life insurance – and they usually opt for hefty cover, given the circumstances.
In the next school of fish, we find the responsible ones, about whom there is not a great deal to say. Simply put, the 30% of the community that falls into this school are the ones that have taken out life insurance, or already have some form of a succession plan in place. The peace of mind life insurance brings enables them to rest at ease knowing they are covered in the worst-case scenario. This group has no stand out financial status; they were simply proactive in dealing with their affairs, knew what future-planning needed to be done, and made it happen.
The remaining 60% of the community makes up the largest school of fish. As mentioned previously, although greatest in numbers, unfortunately, when it comes to mitigation of financial risk, this group is not so great. These are the individuals most likely to need some form of financial assistance just to bury someone they love if they pass away. They have not yet chosen to create a succession plan and, as a result, their loved ones will have to come out of pocket to deal with these costs after death.
Living in a small country such as Bermuda, this type of situation tends to hit hard and often close to home in our close-knit community. If you have not experienced this financial struggle yourself, you know someone who has. As such, we are aware of the challenges a person can come up against when there is not a succession plan in place; we have seen it up close and personal. It is up to us to take the steps to set ourselves up for the future to avoid it.
Furthermore, one of the reasons we are here on Earth is to experience life, learn from it, and not only use that knowledge to improve our own lives, but to pass on that knowledge to the next generation. This then allows them to navigate life a little better than the generation that came before them. The goal is to help make life easier for the next generation so that they do not make the same mistakes that we did.
At the end of the day, regardless of who you are and what you have to lose, everyone needs some form of a succession plan. With a life insurance policy in place, you can tick that box, or it can at least be a part of the plan. If you are already financially secure, the estate you have created will need to be preserved. Life insurance can do that. If you are living paycheck to paycheck and do not have much saved for the future, life insurance can create an estate for your loved ones from nothing. So, why not be the person you wish had come before you. Establish your succession plan and take that first step to make life better for those you leave behind.