Valentines Day isn’t commonly used as an opportunity for a financial adviser (or really anyone in financial services) to post an update to a blog or do much client education. It’s been a while since my last blog post though and I knew I wanted to post something. I thought for a bit and decided I am going to use this day as an opportunity to bring up life insurance. Groan… I know… It is a boring topic. Why bring it up on Valentine’s day? Here’s why:

Life insurance is not a “needs” based product. Whaaaaaat, mind = blown. When someone goes to buy life insurance they always ask me to calculate out how much they “need”, and I sit them down and we have a conversation that goes something like this.

Do you have the most basic most primitive shelter that represents your home, or do you live somewhere between necessity and what home you want to live in, in the neighborhood you want to live in?

Do your kids go to the most basic primitive version of school, or do you live in the school district or send them to the private school or college you felt was best for them?

Do you ride your bike or take public buses to work or have some other basic primitive version of transportation, or do you drive the car you chose? (I got push back from this one time. The guy drove a freaking Mercedes. No sir, you have an upgraded form of transportation, even if it isn’t a Rolls Royce)

Why does the conversation go here? Because life insurance isn’t a “need” product. It is a “want” product. We live where we want, send our kids to schools we want, and have the transportation we want. So when we sit down to talk about replacing income for a spouse or leaving money to kids to give them a leg up if something happens to you prematurely, why do we even need to sit down and calculate what the minimum is you can get away with? If you want to sit down and calculate the minimum you think you need so your family can scrape by, I don’t think you are looking at it correctly.

Life insurance is a want product. One could argue it is even a LOVE product. It is for our spouses, family members, business partners. Every dollar of premium paid represents a promise from both the policy owner and the insurance company that should something terrible happen, homes will be kept, kids will continue to have the highest advantages, and business will continue to operate. That isn’t said enough and, say what you will about life insurance, it is an important foundational piece in anyone’s financial plan.