Why I stopped procrastinating and got life insurance

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Life moves pretty fast.

If you don’t take a second to look around a while, you might miss it.

Ferris Beuller


I’m a proud 80’s baby, so watching Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was an integral part of my childhood experience.  The quote above is one of many iconic lines from that film.  The first time I heard it, I’m sure I had no clue what it really meant or what Ferris was implying.  It was just another snarky and oddly insightful quote from a wise, smart-aleck high school kid.

But as a husband and now father, hearing that line doesn’t make me laugh at all.  Rather, I get a little emotional as I look at my son’s face, reflect on what he used to look like just a few months ago and try to imagine what he may look like even a few years from now.  I know this is a useless exercise, but I suppose this is just what parents do.

We’ve started the year with a bang at CampFi.  Aside from the wonderful people we met, it was a great time for us to reflect as a couple since we had a good 10 hours in the car together.  We spent some of that time binge listening to podcasts but most of it was spent  talking, healing and reconnecting.  Naturally, because we’re money nerds we started running through the budget and our never-ending to-do list.  Like many of you, we got a little anxious thinking about all the $hit that we said we would do…but didn’t.

In one of our conversations, we swore that we would knock out some of these things before February since we’re bracing for a busy and wild 2019.  We KNOW that if we don’t get it done early, there’s a chance it might slip well into the end of the year or never happen at all.  One of those things was insurance and in full transparency, I was the one holding up this process.  Specifically, it was me that needed to get my life insurance policy finalized.

When I had a corporate gig, one of our benefits was a basic life insurance policy that paid out one year salary.  We had the option to carry over that policy after I quit, but chose not to because we knew we would be consolidating all of our policies soon.  But as it has the tendency to do, life got in the way, procrastination crept in, and slowly but surely it all got pushed to the back-burner.

But then the ugly side of life happened, and I knew I needed to take this more seriously.  For the protection of others, we’re going to be a little vague but hopefully the sentiment is clear.

In a nutshell, we got a little bit of a health scare from someone very close to us.  While we didn’t have many details to go on, we did know that it felt serious and was one of those things that could “go either way“.  To be honest, we’re still in the middle of it and bracing for good test results while the reminder of life’s fragility hovers over us.

A few days later, we got some absolutely horrible news that someone else in our family experienced the sudden loss of a parent.  While we weren’t related or particularly close to the person that passed away, the loss dealt a heavy blow to our hearts because we know and love those that were deeply impacted.  Their pain…is ours.

You know that old saying about things happening in “threes”?  Well, to top things off this week, we came pretty close to that happening.  Just minutes after I dropped my son off at daycare I drove into traffic and missed colliding into another car by a few feet.

To be honest, I don’t know exactly what happened but I believe the combination of being distracted, the sun beaming in the direction of my blind spot and a speedy driver coming around a bend were to blame.  This would not have been a mere fender bender; it would’ve been life-changing and could’ve possibly killed someone, including me.

So as the weekend came rolling around, you can imagine, we all wanted nothing more than to sit our a$$es at home, throw something delicious on the grill and just relax.  We just wanted was to be and feel safe around eachother.  As we put Baby r&R down for his afternoon nap, I took a second to scroll facebook and came across an advertisement for Ethos Life Insurance.

Ethos logo

I don’t normally click ads on my timeline but something told me to dig in because I had never heard of the company.  What I learned was absolutely amazing.  This new insurance-tech company is revolutionizing life insurance by offering low cost, fast approval and great coverage.  From a business perspective, they’re competing against the big, old companies that take FOREVER to approve you, go to great lengths to upsell you on policies you don’t really need and then have the nerve to offer poor customer service.

Even as we were consolidating insurance with our current provider, we experienced a bit of this in trying to get quotes.  This was part of the reason why I procrastinated with following up on the life insurance policy with them because I knew I would be starting a long  drawn out process of paperwork.  But the recent events was just the kick in the butt I needed to get it done.

So out of pure curiosity, as Baby r&R napped, I dug further into Ethos and was pleased with what I saw.  They are a startup, backed by people I deeply admire [Will Smith, Jay-Z and Kevin Durant], looking to grow and willing to shake things up.  So what intended to be a simple inquiry, turned into a less than ten minute approval of a term life insurance policy that I was able to do on my phone.

After answering a handful of questions about my health, medical history, and checking a few boxes, I walked away with a great policy.  No blood tests, no physical exams needed!

This is where the tech arm of Ethos comes into play.  The reason they’re able to approve policies so quickly is because they use proprietary algorithms to determine your risk instead of the long, drawn out, paperwork heavy process the older companies use.  To say the least, I was impressed with the process and everything, I’ve read about them so far.  But most importantly, I was excited for what I had just done for myself and my family.  When I die, I ensured that my family would be well taken care of for the price of what I’d spent the day earlier on a round of drinks.

I've been to many funerals and the only thing that makes the loss of life worse, is knowing that it may also lead to the financial ruin of a family. Click To Tweet

The process reminded me of how easily people [myself included] let tiny frustrations, resistance to change or basic unfamiliarity of a process get in the way of them literally changing their family tree.  If I didn’t brake soon enough just a few days ago, I could’ve died a card-carrying member of the 40% of Americans who don’t have any form of life insurance.

But now, I can rest well knowing that I got something marked off my to do list and can look into my beautiful son or wife’s eyes, knowing that no matter what happens…everything will be ok financially.

I’m not the most flexible guy in the world.  So since I can’t actually kick myself in the butt, allow me to kick yours by saying, if you don’t have life insurance… don’t be like me.  Don’t procrastinate or avoid the process because you have a long to-do list—everybody does.

Ensuring that your family has the money they need and aren’t put into a position of financial ruin when you pass away is critical.  Secondly, if you’re looking for a simple and quick solution, I highly, highly recommend checking out Ethos.

Please, please, please…spread the word for the culture, for yourself and for your family.

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3 comments

  1. I like this article… been considering life insurance after leaving my last job also. The corporate structure makes it so easy to sign up for life insurance and 401k that you take it for granted and now, being independent will take alot more awareness on my part!

  2. This is a great article. It’s always a funny feeling when you look back on procrastination. In hindsight, I’m always thinking, “Wow, can’t believe I pushed that off.”

    Glad to hear you’re covered through Ethos – term life policies are pretty flexibility and cost-effective, so nice choice. Companies like Ethos are very interesting to me since they’re making insurance easier. I wonder if they’ll open it up to other forms of insurance like auto or home?

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