It was a cold morning of about 20 degrees. The sun was shining with beautiful blue skies. I thought, isn’t this the perfect setting for this discussion: at a snow-covered cemetery. Today, I want to talk about what we don’t know. We don’t know what we don’t know, and I want to talk about a watch that I’ve been wearing for the last 30 years.
The watch is a Swiss-made watch that I bought while on tour through Lucerne, Switzerland with my wife three decades ago. I almost didn’t buy it because I couldn’t comprehend that I that had to spend $360, which you may think is not that much money. Three decades ago, for me, $360.00 was a huge amount of money. Had I not bought it, my wife has repeatedly said that she would have bought it behind my back. It’s a beautiful watch. Yet, other than telling the time, it doesn’t tell me the date. It doesn’t tell me what my blood pressure is. It doesn’t tell me if I had good sleep last night or bad. It doesn’t tell me how many steps I have in for the day. It simply does its job. It tells the time. In fact, it has little individual gears that I can actually watch. Any time I look down at my wrist, I can see that it’s working. It’s doing exactly what I want it to do.
I do have to wind it every day, which I actually take a little bit of joy in doing because it reminds me that this is a permanent time piece that I receive a compliment on nearly every week. Just earlier this week, I received a compliment from a bank teller. They said the watch was oh so beautiful. It was nice to be able to tell her the story of this watch that I have been wearing for over 30 years.
The reason I want to talk about something that is permanent and lasted over 30 years is because today I left the house early to attend a wake. This was for a long-term client. In fact, 30 years ago, this year, I put together a permanent life insurance policy for this individual. A policy that would last through the test of time, during good times and bad times. It did the job. Exactly what it was supposed to do.
People are looking for watches with all the bells and whistles today. My watch doesn’t provide access to my email. It doesn’t do any of those cool things. It just does its job. The life insurance policy that we put together 30 years ago, while she was in her 20s, lasted the test of time. Unlike term insurance, which can last 10, 15, sometimes 20 years, and then there comes a point where you have to re-qualify to be able to keep the coverage that you want. With permanent whole life insurance, it stays with you for the whole of your life. Even if you live to be 121, it will be there.
The reason that I’m here at a wake is because some lives don’t make it to those long, enduring years. Nobody expects a person in their mid-50s to pass on unexpectedly, but the policy that we wrote 30 years ago did exactly what it was supposed to do. It will see this person’s life through. It will assist the family as it was originally created to do. It’s a contract that follows through with the provisions that it promised. No bells. No whistles. No cool things to make it an awesome, eye-catching product. No, it just simply does what it’s supposed to do.
Today, I’m hearing the song birds in the background, looking at the new fallen snow, and realizing that we all need to make decisions in our life for the betterment of our family to protect those that we love. Sometimes this subject is boring, but when I think of the conversation I had earlier this week with that bank teller, complimenting me on my watch, I think of term insurance that people buy that is programmed specifically to pay out seldomly. When it has exhausted its life, but your life continues, the bells and whistles of that product are pretty useless.
Instead of a product with all the bells and whistles, receive a compliment for purchasing a classic product that has lasted the test of time and that will accomplish exactly what you want it to do, whether that’s 10, 15, or 30 years down the road.
This is the story of our lives. To live the fullest life possible, we need to feel comfortable knowing that in the end everything will be all right. As I went through the line today to hug family members and to shake hands with friends, I knew that I set something up years ago that meant promises would be kept.