Millennials and others crave advice — about life insuranceArticle added by Jim Katzaman on January 19, 2016
James Katzaman

Jim Katzaman

Glen Burnie, MD

Joined: February 10, 2014

Among the stories I’ve tweeted is, “One more expense millennials are pushing off.” Millennials said they didn’t think about life insurance partly because it was never offered to them.

My tweet hit a nerve, but not from where you’d think. Soon after I tweeted, one of my followers replied, “Not just millennials. My wife and I don't have (life insurance), either. We probably should, but just never get around to it.”

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I replied, “You really should look into it. Every year you wait, the cost goes up, even if you're in good health.”

“Thanks,” he said. “What's the best plan, in your opinion? E.g., should I get it through (a particular company)?”

That was when I knew it was time to take the conversation private. You don’t talk personal business out in the open, especially on social media. I told him I’d send a private direct message. I didn’t have to think about what to say. I tell every prospective client the same thing.

“The short answer for life insurance is there's no one right answer,” I wrote “It's whatever you're most comfortable with based on your needs and budget. Those are the key elements. You know what your needs are. You know what your budget is.

“For instance, there are several different ways to get $50,000 in coverage,” I continued. “What you prefer vs. what anyone else prefers are different things. The best way to know what's best for you is to sit down with an agent who offers different types of plans and works with several companies. Then you’ll you have the full range of options to pick from.”

I knew he lived in a metro area surrounded by several states. I asked him to tell me which state he lived in. Then I could suggest who he might meet with to talk about options. I’m licensed in that area, but there were high odds he didn't live in my particular state.

I was right. He lived in one of my unlicensed states. Some agents might have said, “Sorry about that. I wish you luck.” That’s not the way to do business. Follower, friend, family member or otherwise shouldn’t be hung out to dry because you won’t make a buck in the process.

I told him my company might have agents in his area and asked what town he lived in. I hope he tells me he’s near where I can refer him and his wife to a hometown agent.

Ultimately, it would be nice if this turned out to be a case that closes, and my online friend can give me referrals where I have a license. Maybe he’ll have referrals to make it worthwhile to get licensed in his state. Regardless, life insurance — like any other business — is about doing the right thing for people.

Doing a favor or offering a service isn’t “pay it forward.” You owe it to in-real-life and online friends to be a friend in return. Be honest and open. Help when you can, and don’t let a dollar sign block your view.
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