About a month before Apollo 11 was due to launch, Neil Armstrong and his colleagues found themselves in a dilemma.
Due to the high-risk nature of their jobs, and the real possibility that their trip to the moon could turn out to be one-way, they were unable to obtain life insurance.
So, how could they provide financial security for their families?
Then they had an idea: they autographed hundreds of covers – they’re envelopes signed and postmarked on important dates, knowing that these would be worth a lot of money should they fail to get back to terra firma.
Which, in a strange way, led me to muse as follows.
I am an Independent Financial Adviser, which is why when at a social gathering or wherever, people ask me what I do, I find myself hopping nervously from foot to foot and perspiring ever so slightly.
Let’s face it – I have to – the financial services industry has suffered a pretty poor press over recent years.
A bolder spirit might look them in the eye and say, “I’m an IFA”, but not before having identified the nearest exit.
My own experience is that such heart-warming frankness invariably causes the enquirer’s eyes to glaze over in fear of a boring diatribe about pensions and investments.
What do I tell them I do?
I tell them that I help business owners and individuals provide financial security through the arrangement of appropriate insurance policies that pay out should something horrible happen.
If this produces a glimmer of interest, then I explain further: I set up Assured Life Advisers to promote life assurance as a fundamental part of financial planning. Life insurance underpins most of our plans in life and provides financial security – peace of mind, if you like – should the worst happen.
That is why it has a fundamental role in most financial plans.
Most of us work hard and plan for a financially secure future, including a comfortable retirement surrounded by friends and family.
But what if something should get in the way of that?
Something horrible and perhaps indiscriminate such as a critical illness – or death?
Life insurance provides a safety net which, although it cannot ease the pain or suffering caused directly by life-changing events, it can provide the assurance that the effect of those life-changing events need not be catastrophic.
I often say to my clients “I hope your life insurance is the biggest waste of money you’ve ever spent” in the hope that – like the life vest under your airplane seat or the defibrillator at work – it never sees the light of day!
But, should the worst ever happen, that life insurance policy could perhaps be the wisest investment they ever made.
Happily, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the Moon before returning home safely. The covers remain highly sought after today and can exchange hands for as much as $30,000.
But most of us aren’t going to the moon.
There are far more prosaic and accessible solutions nowadays for providing financial security.
Whilst we can’t send you to the Moon and back, here at Assured Life Advisers we can guide you through the process of assessing your risks and implementing appropriate and affordable solutions to provide you with the financial security you need for your plans to remain on track.
Unless you’re an astronaut, in which case: keep signing the covers.