By Marie Ardito
Co-founder, MA Retirees United (www.retireesunited.org)
All of us want our kids and grandkids to be healthy. We pray in the months and days before their birth for a healthy baby. We rejoice when both mother and baby are well at birth and we become the child’s chief pediatrician as they grow.
One thing time has shown is that what appears to be a healthy baby at birth can be a youngster born with some mutated gene or birth defect. The effects of these genes and defects may not make themselves felt until a child is into their teens, twenties, forties or even later.
There are more than 4,000 different kinds of birth defects, ranging from minor ones that need no treatment to serious ones that cause disabilities or require medical or surgical treatment. According to the March of Dimes, one out of every 33 babies born each year in the United States has a birth defect.
Each year approximately 40,000 babies are born in the United States with a congenital heart defect. Thousands of them will not reach their first birthday and thousands more die before they reach adulthood. There are an estimated two million CHD survivors in the United States and more than 50% are adults.
There are dozens of other defects that a person can be born with that makes them have problems later in life as far as illnesses. At the time of discovery the problem could make the person not eligible for life insurance, or at the least have to pay very high premiums.
The intent of this article is to get those of you who are parents and grandparents thinking of a wonderful gift to buy for the little person in your life--- a life insurance policy. I am not a salesperson but an observer of what is going on around me.
During a recent conversation with a bank manager, the discussion came around to life insurance, as I knew Savings Banks had SBLI that can be inexpensive for what they offer. I was familiar with the twenty-year payment life that is paid up in twenty years, with reasonable yearly payments, and if you have the dividends keep reinvesting in the policy, you will keep increasing the value of the policy. She told me about the one premium insurance that was new to the market at the time. For a few thousand dollars, depending on the age of the person and gender, one premium pays in full for a policy that will increase in value over the person's lifetime.
Many receive life insurance from their employer while they are working. In many instances the insurance ceases, or decreases, when one leaves the job or retires. At that time to buy a policy on ones own would be expensive and all too often the person may not be insurable. The policy one buys for a youngster will stay by them throughout their lifetime.
It is sad to see the family of a person who died having a fundraiser because they did not have life insurance and the family could not absorb the cost. It is sadder when this happens with a youngster.
This is just written to give you food for thought. We all hope this will never happen to us and that we will have no need to have a child or grandchild need such protection. But what we hope for and what can happen are two very different things. It is better to have taken the precautions and not need them than to need them and not have taken them.
Life is unpredictable and uncertain. Just think about it!