I belong to an industry organization called Life Happens, which is a nonprofit organization with the specific purpose of educating and helping consumers to take personal financial responsibility through the ownership of life insurance and related products, including disability and long-term care insurance.   

The Life Happens – Life Lessons Scholarship Programs assist young people seeking a
college education who are struggling financially because their parent died, leaving little
or no life insurance.

March of 2017 and March of 2020,  I was asked and signed up to be a judge under the Life Lessons Scholarship Program and judge 35 young adults who lost a parent with no or minimal life insurance.


They had to describe how the loss of your parent/guardian impacted your college plans (e.g., your ability to afford college, attend the college of your choice, etc).

Explain how the lack of adequate life insurance coverage (or no coverage at all) impacted your family’s financial situation.

Comment specifically on how things might have turned out differently for you and your family if the person who died had adequate life insurance coverage.

Also, indicate what you have done to provide for yourself and/or other family members because of financial challenges
your family has faced.

It was moving, heartbreaking and brought tears to my eyes to hear their stories about the loss of
a loved one at a young age without life insurance and how it changed their young lives forever.  

Sadly, each one of these young people knows and understands the value of life insurance, how
important it is and the huge difference it can make in the lives of a family and loved ones.

Here are a few of their stories and comments:

Life insurance may seem unnecessary when you are young because everything is going so well and death is the least of your concern, but the fact is that you never know what tomorrow holds so you have to be prepared for the unimaginable.

I have developed an appreciation for life and the importance of living it to the fullest.  I understand that life insurance isn’t seen as a necessity by many, especially when you are young.  You don’t want to think of when you die or when your family members die.  I have come to determine that life insurance isn’t for you, it is for those you love who are still living and wanting to pursue their dreams.

Life insurance is thought to be something that is not necessary because no one thinks that they are going to die.  And when they do unexpectedly, as my dad did, they leave behind a heartbroken family with no money and no idea what to do.

I always knew that my dad was sick, but I never knew how sick.  But on a hot Friday afternoon in August of 2014, at the tender age of 16,  I received the news that no child should ever have to hear and learned that my best friend was gone.

The months that followed his passing were both a whirlwind and a nightmare.  My mother and I were forced to downsize to an apartment in a different town and we were unable to even afford a proper funeral and burial without the help of my aunts and uncles.  I was also forced to change my college plans and attend my state university.  If my dad had purchased life insurance, it would have at least helped ease the financial burden we were left to bear.

Day to day life is difficult because I no longer have my best friend with me.  The pain of losing your father when you were both so young is excruciating.  My dad never planned for this.  No one ever plans for tragedy and because no one talks about it or plans for it, families everywhere are left with heartache and little money to continue living their lives without their loved one.

When you lose a loved one, your life is changed forever.  You will miss them forever and nothing will ever be the same.  We all go through difficult times and we all come out of them stronger.  We learn from these times and gain new knowledge.

From this tragedy, one of the many lessons I have learned is the value of planning and life insurance.  No one wants to talk about their death, but if you don’t you will leave your loved ones to not only suffer the loss of you, but you will also leave them in a financial panic.  Having life insurance is a fallback that is so beneficial to have and I cannot stress enough how not having any really made a huge difference in my family’s life following my father’s passing.

Life moves on as always, indifferent to the suffering of individuals.

Marc Maretsky Personal Insurance Services based in Beverly Hills, serves all of California and the United States.  I help my clients acquire life, disability, long-term care, and critical illness insured solutions, as well as enroll them into Medicare when eligible.

“No matter how fast technology changes our world and everything around us.  I believe the personal touch and a human voice are more important than ever.”

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