Three Questions To Find Out If It May Be Time To Make A Change
Recently, my husband was reviewing our monthly bills when he commented, "I really hate paying these whole life insurance premiums every month."
It was a casual comment - he was more annoyed than hateful - but just the fact that he had emotion around the topic caused us both to take notice.
The Gift of Annoyance
My husband's annoyance over paying our monthly whole-life premiums was actually a gift. It started a conversation to explore changes in this area.
We made an appointment with our financial advisor to ask about the right next step for us.
At the very start of our meeting, our financial advisor asked, "What was your original purpose when you purchased these whole life policies?" This one question brought us back to 21 years prior, when we first acquired our three policies...
One of the policies we acquired from my in-laws, who had originally purchased it for my husband when he was younger. When we married, they were able then able to transfer the policy - and premium - to us. As newlyweds, we then took out additional policies on each other, primarily because of our shared underlying beliefs:
- Life insurance supports our financial status in the event of a loss.
- Having insurance is an important step toward responsibility.
Getting back our financial advisor's question, the original purpose was to help pay off our home (at the time) should one of us have an untimely passing. This choice made sense for us at the time and for the next several years.
Fast forward to today...
In our current season, we own our home - no mortgage. We built-up savings and other investments beyond our 401K. We're funding a 529 plan to help with college expenses, and we have other forms of life insurance, one of which was offered as an employee benefit while employed.
Since the original purpose (to pay off our home) was no longer the purpose of the whole life policies, we next looked at our foundational beliefs:
- Life insurance supports our financial status in the event of a loss. We still believed in this, so in addition to the term life insurance offered through our employers, we purchased term insurance not dependent on our employment.
- Having insurance is an important step toward responsibility. This belief had been realized over the years. We had taken additional steps to become financially responsible, and the whole life policies were no longer needed.
We were ready for a change. My husband hasn't complained about paying the premiums since.**
What A Story About Whole Life Premiums Has To Do With You
Chances are, there are areas in your life right now that are causing feelings of annoyance and frustration. It may not be life insurance - it may be something related to your job. Or maybe you've been volunteering in a certain way for years, but it's no longer giving you the joy it once was. Maybe you want to start giving back, but aren't sure where to start. Maybe it's your health. Maybe it's a relationship.
Those feelings are a signal to you that something may be out of alignment; that a change is needed. Paying attention to these signals can lead you in a different - more aligned - direction.
I want to offer three questions you can ask to get beyond annoyance/agitation, in your life or work.
Three Questions To Ask Yourself (The Answers May Surprise You)
1. Where are you feeling annoyed/agitated?
- If you're not sure, take a week (or a month) and observe yourself. See if you can spot a theme or pattern around when your emotions start to escalate. Pay attention to the tension.
- In our story, our signal was my husband's emotional reaction to paying the monthly premiums after all this time.
2. What are your beliefs around this area of agitation?
- In our story, our beliefs were around the need for insurance. These beliefs didn't change.
- What did change was the type of insurance that would better align with our needs/beliefs, and reduce the agitation and annoyance.
- Oftentimes, we're stuck in a way of doing things that started for one reason, but now things have changed and it's causing the friction. It's likely coming from our foundational beliefs causing friction with something not aligned with our current situation.
3. Who can I talk to to get another perspective?
- While you are the expert in your own life, there are other experts who can - and want - to help you consider the best options for you and your current situation. In our example, we looked to our financial advisor.
- Depending on your situation, you may want to seek perspectives from:
- Colleagues at other companies who do similar work. Networking conferences are great for finding these contacts.
- If you are the owner or leader within an organization, companies who specialize in people development, such as Your Clear Next Step, can offer ways to keep your business and people moving forward in areas where you're feeling agitated.
- A physical trainer, nutritionist, or health coach can help with your physical health.
- A counselor or life coach can help you create a plan to make positive progress in your own life areas.
- A relationship counselor/coach who can help you move forward with important relationships.
- A financial advisor or coach to help you get on track with your financial future
- And SO MANY MORE!
It can feel uncomfortable/inefficient to take time to ask for different perspectives. It takes a little investment on your part.
The alternative is doing the same thing over and over and getting more and more frustrated (which, I believe is the definition of insanity.)
As I look back on my life, the times I made the most important changes started from feelings of annoyance/frustration. Sometimes it took me to the point of being resentful/angry to really know it was time for a change.
Pay attention to the tension. Then, take action!
If you're looking for specific help but not sure where to start, I'd be happy to serve as a starting point. Contact us to start a conversation.
What are your frustrations? Join the conversation in the comments below or on social media!
**Our decision to cancel our whole life policies and invest in term insurance was personal to our situation. Please consult your insurance/financial advisor to determine the life insurance/financial solutions that are right for you.
This is adapted from a post originally posted at www.cilifecoach.com in 2022