During a visit at the couple’s Blandon, Pa., home, Patrick identified an even more pressing insurance need. With a daughter ready to start college, a second child, Eric, entering high school, a mortgage that had grown over the years and other debts, Patrick asked the Custeads how long it had been since their life insurance needs had been reviewed. Mark wanted to sidestep the topic because he didn’t think they could afford more, but Kathy knew it couldn’t be dismissed.
Mark, a respiratory therapist, and Kathy, a nurse, made a good living and enjoyed a comfortable, middle-class lifestyle, but their financial obligations were considerable. So with their agent’s help, they completed a life insurance needs analysis, which showed that both needed to substantially increase their coverage. At Kathy insistence, they went ahead with the purchase.
That spring, Mark suffered from stomach pains, and the diagnosis was devastating: pancreatic cancer. He passed away five weeks later at age 45. Proceeds from Mark’s insurance were used to pay funeral expenses, medical bills and credit card debt, and allowed Kathy to take time off from work to grieve.
An investment account funded with insurance money provides Kathy with a monthly income to help with mortgage payments and everyday living expenses. Money has also been set aside to help fund the kids’ college costs.Kathy has made many difficult adjustments since Mark died, but financial sacrifices haven’t been necessary thanks to the decision to buy more insurance. "It’s been a big worry off my mind," Kathy says.