Death, New Life, Insurance? My Life 19 MAY 2010

Last Friday didn’t get off to the best of starts, and technically the drive home didn’t end on a good note either.

You see, I arrived early morning at the Steenberg Virgin Active gym like I always do and as I proceeded to swipe in, I was asked to please stick to the one side of the gym as they were currently dealing with a medical emergency on the other side. There on the lower level, down the left hand side of the pool a number of screens had been put up and you could see a number of paramedics working on someone lying down on the ground. Twenty minute or so later, the foil sheets were pulled up, police arrived and a bodybag made its appearance.

You see, as Chantelle later confirmed via a newspaper article, a middle-aged man had succumbed to a rather unexpected heart attack while swimming laps.

This got me then thinking about how death really can strike at any time and now with all my family responsibilities, I really do need to make better preparations for that possible eventuality. After all, now that I have a child on the way and something was say to happen to me, how would my wife be able to cope financially, never mind emotionally and everything else that comes with an unexpected death?

So what does this mean?

Well for starters, it does mean that I really should start looking after myself a bit better. I’m one of those “if I don’t know about it then I don’t have to worry about it” sort of blokes and as such have no idea of  my current health status other than the rather informal “I feel fine” verbal test. Maybe, just maybe I guess I need to start forming some sort of relationship with a healthcare practitioner sooner than later, something I’m pretty sure Chantelle will be pretty wild about! :)

More importantly than that, I do now have to look into things like life insurance policies and the like, because quite frankly, I really don’t want to sit with a situation where if I pass away my wife and child are dropped into absolute poverty or something like that. Of course, this means a bit of legwork from my side, and also leaves me with a question or two which I guess I’ll have to make time to find the answer to.

Sigh, all these extra things to think of and plan for now that one has padded themself with a family!

But responsibility is good and providing for is one of the things that makes a man a man and for that I am pleased to be in the process of building up the next generation Lotter family.

But it wasn’t good starting the day witnessing the life of a man ebb away after something as trivial as swimming a lap in a pool. Nor was it good to witness another man lying dead in the road after being knocked down by a car on my way home…

I won't lie, the desire to continue my morning gym session was not particularly strong after the incident.

About Craig Lotter

Software developer, husband and dad to two little girls. Writer behind An Exploring South African. I don't have time for myself any more.

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  • Ryan

    Thats why I have life insurance, income protection and disability policies a long time ago. You don’t have to use him, but speak to Francios, he will definetly tell you whats the best to invest into. I know I have

    • Well, in fairness, having life insurance is not necessary until you have actual dependents. Which I now have. I have no problem with Francois, but I live to far away from him to make it convenient for me to make use of his services. Will probably look at going a direct route, say maybe with someone like Clientele Life or something like that…

      • not liking your use of the word “dependents” – implies, if you die, they die too. When we took out life insurance, we took out only enough to pay off the house, cars and kids – spouse not included.

        • Correct, though I’m applying my commentary to the instance where the income of one member of the family unit provides the bulk of the family unit income as a whole.

          I earn just over 2/3rds of our little family’s income. Should I pass away, this takes a huge chunk out of the family budget and they would be forced to lower the current high quality lifestyle that we enjoy at the moment. As any father would want, I want them to be able to continue maintaining the sort of lifestyle I currently can give them.

          As far as I can tell from what I gleaned off your info, you and your wife probably bring in roughly equal amounts into the family budget, or maybe she brings in an even bigger chunk that you. In that case I would reverse my commentary and apply it to your wife. But her passing away would have a lesser impact based on the percentage income she is providing to the family budget.

          Anyway, final point. As a man, I’ll always think I’m the alpha provider for the family and without me they will struggle terribly. I think this feeling is hardwired into any man to be honest! :)

          • well I hope that the high quality lifestyle that you provide isn’t too high that they’re thrust into the depths of abject poverty when you pass on. insurance as a means of attaining that high standard of living seems short sighted, and perhaps grooming her to be able to sustain that level herself is more sensible?

          • heh. Difference in salaries paid in different industries is too big. Quite frankly, money paid to a programmer at the moment far outstrips what you can earn running a guest house. Simple as that.

            And not attaining, but rather maintaining.

            Oh and high quality of lifestyle is perhaps misleading. I mean comfortable lifestyle. One where you are not in debt and that your resources far outweigh anything you owe to anyone.

          • I don’t know hey… unless she plans to be working for that same guest house in that same position for the rest of her life, I’m sure she can get to a “comfortable lifestyle” income level herself in that industry.

            I’ve thought about moving to knysna…. but I don’t know of any software houses there.

          • Oh don’t get me wrong, she earns a comfortable enough salary all by herself, so no hassle there – but we kind of like living super comfortably! :P

            As for Knysna, don’t even bother. We just had a developer join us from Mossel Bay because basically the market for programming skills over there is just about zero. Seriously looks like one has to stay based in the big cities if you want to make a good living off developing! :(

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