March 23, 2023 // All
“Fear,” she said.
This wasn’t the first time I had heard this word in a session, and it definitely wouldn’t be the last. Fear, and its inexplicable control over how we live our lives. Fear of job loss, fear of health issues, fear of betrayal, and above all—fear of death. As a therapist, I walk through these fears with my clients every day. As humans, we often struggle with things that feel out of our control, and the thought of leaving our family and friends can top the list for many of us.
My work is to help my clients find peace in life’s uncertainty. That means focusing on what we can control and working to accept what we can’t. Making sure we know what boxes need to be checked off and checking them. Life insurance tops that list. Having life insurance can give us peace of mind that our loved ones will be taken care of when we pass. It gives us one less thing to worry about. One less thing to ruminate on.
Life insurance was never something I learned about growing up, nor was I interested in it in my twenties, to be quite honest. But when my husband and I chose to have children, I started to struggle with some anxiety around who would take care of them if something happened to us. I learned, in my own therapy sessions, to begin focusing on things that were in my control. So my husband and I got to work doing just that. In doing our research, we learned some surprising benefits to having whole life insurance.
First, whole life insurance provides a guaranteed death benefit, which means that the death benefit is guaranteed to remain the same as long as you pay the premiums. It won’t decrease or change over time. This peace of mind can be invaluable, as it can give you the assurance that your family will be taken care of financially, even if you’ve passed unexpectedly.
In addition to the death benefit, whole life insurance also builds cash value over time. This cash value grows tax-deferred, meaning you won’t have to pay taxes on the interest you earn until you withdraw it. This cash value can then be used for a variety of purposes, including supplementing retirement income, paying off debt, or funding education expenses. This fact was so surprising to me as a young mom, because I had no idea that life insurance could be used while you’re living. This gave my husband and me some financial peace as we grew and built. It felt like a safety net to take the risks needed to get where we wanted to be.
We now have a twenty-year-old and a sixteen-year-old. Our needs are different than they were twenty years ago. But choosing whole life insurance has allowed us to increase our death benefit to provide additional support for our college students if something unexpected happens.
Finally, whole life insurance also provides a sense of control by allowing you to pass on wealth to your family. It means you have the ability to pass on a financial legacy to the next generation. This is everything. When I chose to have children, one of the most important things to me was being able to provide for them in a way my parents struggled to do for us. That has always been a part of the fear of an unexpected death. Knowing my children would have my support, whether I am here physically or not, gives me a peace I can’t explain … but if you know, you know.
Being able to pass on to my clients the wisdom I have learned through my own journey of anxiety is so important. The “what if” thoughts that accompany you on that journey can feel so scary at first. But focusing on what we can control feels like a hand reaching out through the fog to help steady us. Death is certain. It is a fact of life, and preparing for it actually helps us be more present while we are here and alive. It helps us to be more mindful in our life and more peaceful with our death.