For most people, when they think about life insurance, they start to get
overwhelmed. We get it, we’ve been there. And that’s why we went to a
financial professional for guidance.
Mike James is the Executive Vice President, Head of Life and Wealth at
NFP, a leading global insurance broker and financial services consultant. A
Boston native, born and raised in the Roxbury neighborhood, Mike’s “give
first” approach continues to have a positive impact on organizations,
people, communities, and outcomes. He is motivated by opportunities to
connect people with solutions—and according to him, life insurance
ownership is a great opportunity for everyone.
“Most people think life insurance is something that only has value upon a
death of a loved one,” says Mike. Death benefits are certainly important, but permanent life insurance also provides for cash accumulation in a savings manner inside the policy. He adds, “There are different flavors of life insurance, term or permanent, that you may prefer depending on your
Here’s some additional perspective from Mike on the “why” behind
considering life insurance.
Life insurance and its value should be considered by everyone. It is
especially critical in the Black community. “Particularly for women as they
statistically live longer and ultimately become the stewards of a family’s
financial future.” Mike says. “This puts them in the driver’s seat for
understanding the value of life insurance.” So, if you don’t have life
insurance today, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t revisit it as situations
change. There are a variety of life insurance solutions that can meet your
specific needs at different stages in your life.
Life insurance brings certainty at uncertain times. “My dad passed away,
and he was the head of our household,” Mike says. “He had a life insurance
policy that was paid to my mom, which helped us with our family’s financial
obligations.” He explains that permanent life insurance was an asset for his
family. If you buy it early enough and it has a cash building component, you
can accumulate meaningful value. In fact, Mike used some of the cash value
from his life policy to help with his children’s college education.
His in laws have life insurance policies with a long-term care component. As
primary caretakers for his in-laws, he and his wife are now able to tap into the long-term care benefit if his in laws should have a long-term care need.
“The reason I’m a fan is that life insurance has evolved with me throughout
my life,” Mike says.
Mike told us that he has many family members and friends who ask, “Why
do I want to pay for life insurance instead of saving, investing, or buying
something else?” And for him, it’s about the short term and long-term
benefits. “I try to get people to think more broadly. It’s not easy to do,
which is why you need an educated professional who can educate you on
the real value of owning life insurance.
As a starting point he advises, “If it is offered through an employer, get as
much as you can justify. It is typically easy and non-invasive when acquired
alongside your employee benefits. For those who can’t get it through their
job, it’s critical to get it outside of the job. Our industry needs more people
in communities that can talk intelligently about the benefits of life insurance ownership.”
If you’re ready to explore life insurance ownership, there are a number of
ways to get started. “If you have a relationship with a financial institution or
professional, I encourage you to inquire about life insurance today. If you
don’t have an existing relationship, NFP is a global insurance broker, and
we can help get you connected!” Mike says.
To get help finding the right life insurance for you, get an estimate of how
much coverage you may need, and how much it could cost, visit Nationwide.
Nationwide, NFP, and other third-party companies mentioned in this article
are separate and non-affiliated entities.
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