7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Buy Life Insurance

why you shouldn't buy life insuranceThere are many types of goods. There are convenience goods like fast food, shopping goods like clothing, and exclusive goods like luxury items. And then there are the unsought goods, things that are people are generally aware of, but they don’t get super excited about unless they happen to sell them. Among the list of unsought goods are funeral services, fire extinguishers and life insurance.

Life insurance is a tricky subject that a lot of people have divergent opinion about. As a former life insurance salesman, I’ve heard some really fun ones. But overall, there are some people who don’t feel like they need life insurance who have legitimate concerns that should be addressed. Here are some of the reasons (random and normal) that I’ve come across of why you shouldn’t buy life insurance.

You have guns

I sat across from the table from a guy once and we were talking about his financial future. He seemed like a normal guy until I asked him what his thoughts were on life insurance. “I’ve already got life insurance.” I started to ask him about it and he cut me off—“My 12 gauge and my AK-47 are my life insurance.” …….OK……. I waited for him to laugh, but it never came. He was dead serious. And I hope I never see his name in the newspaper.

You have no dependents

This is generally the argument used for people who are single, unmarried and don’t have kids. And I don’t blame them for not thinking they need life insurance, because once you have dependents is generally the time you start looking at getting it. But if you were to die, your dependents are not the only people who will be affected financially. Who is going to pick up the tab for your funeral? Even if your parents can afford it, is it fair to leave that to them? For me, having the coverage at this point is more about taking responsibility for yourself than anything else. Even if you have the money in the bank, there are so many variables and costs that could be associated with something bad happening that personally, I felt better having a little insurance as a buffer. Although I guess if you don’t like your family…let’s not get into that.

You don’t have kids

My wife and I are in this boat right now, and I’ve been told that having life insurance at this point is unnecessary because if I were to die, my wife could care for herself, and vice versa. And aside from the argument above about having no dependents, it really depends on what you want to do. For me, I want to make sure my wife never has to worry about money if something happens to me. Other people feel differently, and that’s fine as long as both spouses are in agreement.

You’re young and healthy

In my mind, this is the most dangerous of all the reasons because your change in age is predictable, but your health can change in the blink of an eye. Just a couple of weeks ago, one of my wife’s friends from college gave birth and the next day her husband died. Over Thanksgiving break he contracted a bacterial infection in his heart that slowly killed him. Because of the symptoms, it took doctors too long to figure out what was really happening, and it ended up taking his life.

The truth is that if you’re young and healthy, that’s the best time to get life insurance, because your premium is based on your age and your health. It’s easy to think that you’re invincible and that bad things won’t happen to you, but death and sickness are no respecters of persons. Also, locking in a lower rate now can save you a lot of money in the future as things change.

You can’t afford it

There are generally two reasons why people can’t afford life insurance. First, because the premiums are high because of their health or other circumstances, and second, because there’s no room in their budget to even afford a lower premium. This can be tricky conversation to have sometimes, especially when you are dealing with higher health-based premiums. Honestly, if you can’t afford to get the coverage you want, don’t let that stop you from getting as much as you can afford. When you have people depending on you, something is better than nothing.

As for the budget constraints, I would wager that almost every single one of us could cut something out of our budget, no matter how frugal we think we are being. It boils down to what your priorities are. If you have a family that depends on you and you choose McDonald’s over protecting your family each month, we may need to have a little chat.

You’re a homemaker

I got this reason a lot when I was an insurance agent. Sadly, it came mostly from the husbands, who obviously undervalued the value of what their wives do. Let’s think about it for a little bit. You may be the one earning all the income, but do you really realize the monetary value of everything your wife does to hold down the fort at home with your crazy kids? And what makes you think that you’re just going to hop on back into work the day after the funeral? Some people are out of commission for months. They simply can’t function. You really have no idea how you’re going to cope with the loss of the most important person in your life, so just take care of it and stop trying to act like a hero.

Rapture is coming and we’re all going to hell anyway

Believe it or not, someone told me this, except I was the one going to hell because I didn’t believe in rapture. I couldn’t help but laugh, which, I’m sure, dropped me down a couple of levels of hell in his mind. But really, sheeple  people, even if rapture is going to happen sometime in our lifetimes, life insurance is for when the stars align and you get hit by the donut truck when you’re jaywalking on Leap Day, not for when you live a long and healthy life that ends with you being lifted into heaven by angels and puffy clouds (although, technically there is whole life insurance for that. That’s a discussion for another day, though).

What are your thoughts on life insurance? 

(photo cred)


13 thoughts on “7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Buy Life Insurance

  1. To me the no dependents argument is extremely valid, if and only if, you have a nest egg that can cover your costs. While it may not be in liquid cash at the time of death, as long as it can be cashed out a reimburse your loved ones I don't see a problem with this,

    Personally we do not have any life insurance outside of what our jobs offer. We have reached a point where we can self insure and that is the route we are going to go. My grandparents did this, my parents are doing it, and now we are doing it. That being said I don't think life insurance is a bad idea, we are just lucky enough to be in a position where we don't really need it.

    1. The nest egg definitely makes it more reasonable to go without it.

      As far as self insuring, if your goals match with what you have in liquid assets, I’d say go for it. But are those funds strictly for that purpose or are they earmarked for something else? If for something else, what would you have to give up in order to just stay afloat?

  2. I am pro life insurance, including for children. Like all insurance, it is gambling, but with life insurance one wins either way. Psychologically, I feel it protects from the death insured against. Realistically speaking, death is very expensive. I am personally opposed to cremation and feel that many people who go that route do so because it is slightly less expensive, and I find that a terrible reason to do it. I can see how people are traumatized when they have car washes in order to pay for the final disposition of loved ones – and knowing what it costs, it makes me feel very sad and hopeless for those people. The churches won't help them.

    Life insurance to replace lost income just makes sense. We have life insurance through my husband's job, at a very good price, and on both of us.

    1. Agreed on all points! I definitely plan on getting some on our future kids. And I've never thought of doing cremation just because it's cheaper. Sounds like a sad decision to have to make

  3. We fall into the excuse of not enough room in the budget. With student loans eating our paycheck every month, it is hard to make room for any extras – no McD's here! But, we get a small amount of coverage through work benefits and will *hopefully* up it from there someday….gotta pay off that debt first!

    1. Debt is a dream killer! That really sucks 🙁 Are you guys putting extra payments toward the student loans? If so, I'd consider using that to get a little more coverage. If you die, those extra debt payments aren't going to do you any good. But if you're scraping by with just the minimum payments, that's really the best you can do and we'll just hope nothing happens 🙂

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