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Do you know this man?

POSTED: June 6, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Have you heard about the faithful husband who loved his family and would do anything for them? He had a beautiful wife and two young children. When his financial advisor talked to him about insurance, they sat down and figured out that he needed $700,000 worth of life insurance. He didn’t have a lot of extra money, but he knew it was important.

So he purchased a policy to protect his family. He also contributed to his 401(k) at work and opened a Roth IRA which he contributed to monthly. He made sure that his wife and two children would each receive money from the life insurance and retirement plans should he die. In fact, he was right on track for retirement. He did everything right when it came to taking care of his family. He was a good man. His family grew and he had two more children. He set aside money for college for all four of them.

Unfortunately, one day he came home and found a note. His wife had decided to leave. She left him and the children behind. Well, life moved on slowly, but eventually he remarried. He found a woman that loved his four children like her own. And she loved him deeply. Over the years his children married and had children. The man had seven grandchildren and he was very proud of them. He and his wife had a long, happy life and grew old together. When he got up in age he had a heart attack and died, leaving his faithful wife, four children and seven grandchildren behind.

They all missed him dearly. When his wife called the insurance company to get the money from the life insurance policy they had some bad news. You see, the husband had never updated the beneficiaries on his policy so the life insurance company would have to mail checks to the ex-wife and the two kids. “But I’m his wife and he has four children,” insisted the widow. “I’m sorry, ma’am, but your name is not on the policy and there are only two children listed here,” says the man at the insurance company. The same thing happened with the 401(k) and the Roth IRA. So his ex-wife and two oldest children got all of the money. His faithful widow and two younger children got nothing. Not a penny.

That man lives in our county. In fact, he lives in every county in the United States. His name may be different and the details may not be the same, but the money that he worked so hard for is not going to the people that he wanted it to. It is going to the people that he wanted it to go to 30 years ago. It is going to someone who betrayed him. It is going to some of his family, but not all of it. Or it is not even being claimed because the person who should be receiving the money doesn’t know where to go to get the money… Are you this man? Is your family in for the surprise of a lifetime?

There are a lot of things that demand our time and attention. There are few things more important than loving our families. The bible says that, “Anyone who does not provide for his relatives and especially for his immediate family has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8). Take some time today and make sure that your family does not get the surprise of a lifetime. Check your beneficiaries on your life insurance policies and retirement accounts. Make sure that your will is updated. I can tell you this, many families wish that their deceased loved one had taken the time.  

Jeff Hupman is a financial advisor with Christian Values Investing. You can reach him at 748-9321.

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