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It Won’t Happen To Me

Melissa Gerhardt, CFP®, CEPA®, ChFC® | November 13, 2020

Have you ever thought, “I won’t get hurt. I don’t get sick. I’m not dying, this can wait.”? And then the unthinkable happens.

Many people do say these very things, even though they have a friend or family member that has experienced an unexpected diagnosis or sudden tragic death.

It is called Optimism Bias and is a normal reaction to negative life events.  I have hundreds of stories involving people who should have acted on financial planning advice, but this one really hit home years ago. Although I had permission to share, their names have been changed.

November 2012 – Jane was 26 and Mike, 27, she was in her second trimester with their first child, the wedding was 1 month away.  I mentioned that they should consider life insurance now that there was a child on the way and a wedding coming up. They said, “We are too busy right now. We’ll do it after the wedding”. 

TWO Months later… I brought it up again and Mike brushed me off.  He said behind the scenes, “It won’t happen to me, I’m very healthy”.  And he was healthy guy. Looks can be deceiving.

TWO Weeks later… Mike was diagnosed with cancer. He had no life insurance or disability insurance – and now with this diagnosis, would not be eligible to not get any.

May 2013 – Mike was in the hospital receiving treatment and missed the birth of his child.

Jane did not get a maternity leave because she took the time with Mike before the birth of their child.  Jane had to support the family and be the rock.  The cancer and the treatments took a toll on Mike. He was never able to be a “normal” husband or father to his wife and child.  He was unable to work or support them. 

October 2014 – Mike died just before turning 30 years old.  He left his family with nothing. 

This story is REAL, and these things do happen.

Before you say or think “it won’t happen to me”, look at your spouse and children.  Taking action now and getting the right insurance in place can make the difference in your family’s future.

Your disability or death will break their hearts.  Don’t let it break their finances as well.

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Melissa is an Advisor with Legacy Planning Partners providing comprehensive financial planning and financial services to business owners and individuals. Alongside the team of advisors and staff in the Lehigh Valley, she is committed to providing her clients with professional service and assistance in securing their financial future. Melissa provides guidance in the areas of business family succession planning, financial strategies, retirement solutions, insurance solutions, investment management, estate planning, and education funding for children.

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