How would you plan the perfect vacation? Would you simply listen to a radio show on travel, and then go where the host recommends? Perhaps you would read an article in a leisure magazine on great resorts, and then visit the locations it mentions. You could very well talk to friends and coworkers about places to go and things to do, and then follow their lead.
Most people pretty much do what others say or do, and typically end up with an okay experience. If they are lucky, the vacation ends up being the thrill of a lifetime; if they are not, it turns into a disaster.
But, people who want the perfect vacation don’t leave the results up to chance. They think through every aspect of the trip and make sure every detail is in place the way they want. They imagine how the room should be… what the scenery should look like… what they will eat, and the attractions they will see. They picture themselves having a wonderful time with their loved ones; they can hear the laughter, and see the smiles on the faces of their spouse and children. They personalize the idea in their mind first, and then go about making the plan that will turn that dream into a reality. That is how they end up with the perfect vacation for them.
Most people go about buying life insurance the way they make travel “plans”. They listen to the financial experts on the radio, or read the latest books. They find out what their brother-in-law did, or ask their accountant. They try to come up with a few hard rules for deciding how much to buy, and for how long, and then tell the broker to fill the bill.
Here, too, they leave up to chance whether or not the end results will be satisfactory. However, with a bad vacation there is always next year to try again. Not the case with a claim against your life insurance policy: we each get only “one death per lifetime”.
So how do you decide what you really want from your coverage? You use the same visioning method you would use to plan that long-overdue vacation, to launch that business you’ve wanted to start for years, or to choose the place where you finally settle down. You imagine what you want life to be like – in this case for your beneficiaries.
Picture the everyday life of your spouse in this stage of her (or his) life without you. What amenities and comforts should be available? What are the special things she should be able to do? What type of lifestyle should she be able to afford?
Think about your kids: what advantages should they have? What activities should they be able to pursue that will help them really make something of themselves? They no longer have you, and money could never buy them love. But it can buy them opportunities. What should those be?
And how about your business? Under your direction and endowment it can not only remain stable, but could keep growing. Your clients deserve that much, as do your vendors, as most certainly do your personnel. Where do you want them to take your company to carry on your business legacy?
With these scenes in mind, you will find it much easier – and much more satisfying – to design your life insurance coverage.