When David C., Davenport, Iowa, joined Modern Woodmen in 1999, he was 29. Single. Invincible.
As an advanced underwriting attorney at Modern Woodmen’s home office at the time, he thought life insurance was important. But he felt he didn’t need it personally.
David received a phone call in May 2013 that made him thankful he eventually changed his mind.
An unexpected diagnosis
David went to the doctor’s office for a physical in April. He felt fine. He was just appeasing his wife, Susan, who had been pestering him to get a checkup.
At the appointment, the doctor heard a heart murmur. To be safe, he scheduled David for an echocardiogram.
“I thought it would be nothing,” remembers David, who ran or did the elliptical seven miles a day.
When the nurse called in the middle of his work day, he was taken by complete surprise. He had mitral valve regurgitation, a disorder that causes blood to pump backward into the heart.
The importance of planning
David has always contributed to his 401(k) and funded his Roth IRAs. He has three to six months in liquid savings. He started a 529 plan for his daughter, Stephanie. He has property and casualty insurance. He has disability insurance.
But now at age 43, he was facing a potentially fatal health issue requiring surgery.
“Even with all the saving I’ve done, could Susan and Stephanie live the kind of lifestyle I want them to live if I’m not here? The answer would be no,” he says.
According to David, that’s why you have life insurance – to fill that gap.
In addition to protecting his family with life insurance, David made sure his affairs were in order and his finances well organized years ago. He and Susan have wills. They set up a trust for Stephanie. They have powers of attorney. David also regularly updates a spreadsheet that keeps track of the couple’s accounts.
One of the biggest benefits of all this planning is the peace of mind it offers. When David received his diagnosis, he had one less worry. He knew everything was in order. He knew the money would be there if his family needed it.
The ultimate selfless act
David and Susan have both questioned the time and money they spend on insurance and financial planning. It comes down to love.
“I’ve never won husband of the year or father of the year. I’m not real handy around the house,” he admits. “But this is something I can do. Stephanie is 8. If I die now, what is she going to remember about me?
“As my family looks back, this is something they can say I did right.”