Tuesday, September 20, 2011

As long as we're being silly: Bruce Banner, CLU

MSN had a rather silly little post the other day, wondering if Batman needs life insurance:

"A survey asking which fictional characters need life insurance suggests most of us don't know much about coverage."

After reading the article, it's apparent that the author still doesn't.

Let's do a little fisking, shall we?

First up, the strange case of Batman. His alter ego, Bruce Wayne (who lives in stately Wayne Manor, of course), is quite well off. One might think that his vast assets would mitigate the need for life insurance, and that's just what the article says.

Trouble is: that's quite wrong.

Life insurance is not just for estate creation, but estate conservation. Given the profligate spenders in DC, Mr Wayne would most likely have a team of estate planners and attorneys scouring the books for ways to minimize estate taxes and the like. Permanent life insurance is a perfect fit for such cases.

Next, Peter Parker (aka Spiderman) gets the Investopedia treatment. The article notes that although Peter may well need coverage, his dangerously swinging lifestyle might make it difficult to come by.

Never fear, though: Peter's job as a news photographer probably grants him access to worksite insurance products (think Aflac and the like), including simplified or even guaranteed issue life insurance plans.

And although the article is about life insurance, we'd be remiss if we failed to point out that Aunt Mary ought to be considering some Long Term Care insurance for herself.

The piece has an obligatory reference to Harry Potter, as well. Here, it notes the lack of dependents who would suffer financially from his premature demise at the hands of Lord Voldemort. While that may indeed to be true now, we know that he eventually gains a spouse; what better way to protect his future insurability than with a life insurance policy bought, and priced, at a young age?

Following Spidey and Harry, we turn to Fred, Wilma and Pebbles (and don't forget Dino!). Of course, Fred most likely has at least some group coverage thanks to his employment at Slate Rock and Gravel Company. He should also have at least some life insurance that he actually owns, and which is not dependent on his continued employment.

Hot on the heels of Fred & Family we have the Queen of Big Hair, Marge Simpson. Here, I agree with the Investopedia folks:

"Marge also needs more life insurance than the aforementioned superheroes; her nonfinancial contributions provide vital services to the family."

That's because, as a stay-at-home parent, her income value to the family is non-trivial. In fact, it could be the equivalent of over $120,000 a year. That's a lot of Duff Beer.
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