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Ask Dave

A Whole Life Father-In-Law

Doug bought term life insurance from his father-in-law. This year, he offered to attach a whole life policy at a discounted rate. How does Doug politely turn him down?

QUESTION: Doug in Indianapolis is calling because his father-in-law is a life insurance salesman. Doug bought a term life insurance policy from him a couple of years ago, and this year, they offered to attach a whole life policy to it at a discounted rate. His father-in-law thought this was a great idea. How does Doug politely turn him down?

ANSWER: You’ve just got to be very gentle and kind and have reasonable boundaries. You don’t believe in the product, so don’t buy a product that you don’t believe in. If your relationship with him is dependent on you buying things, that’s not a relationship. That’s prostitution. You can say, “I really understand this is what you do for a living. I really understand that you think it’s a good thing. You understand that I don’t. We still love each other. I still respect you, and I still think you’re a good man, but I’m not going to be buying anything that is a cash value policy.”

This is about him respecting your boundaries, and it’s really hard for him to because he believes so strongly. Explain that you understand how strongly he feels about this but that you feel just as strongly, and you don’t want to get involved in those kinds of products. And the sad thing is, you’re paying too much for your term life insurance as well. Usually, the kinds of companies that sell whole life insurance seldom have a good deal on term. If you want to confirm that, go to Zander Insurance’s website and put your numbers in, and then you’ll see what I’m talking about. But even if you want to overpay for your term, I’m okay with that in the name of relationships here.