This is part 2 of a 12 part interview with Dennis Crawford.
Andrew: Yeah I can definitely see where you’re coming from on that, because my dad passed away when I was thirteen so literally it was one of those situations where you needed an income..
Dennis: Yeah, very real example then yeah.
Andrew: Yeah. So you know our family was compensated more than fairly and we were more than able to cover costs and live comfortably for ten years or so.
Dennis: It takes a lot stress off of.. I mean there’s much stress attached to that event, imagine that event for.. your mom and I forget do you have siblings?
Andrew: Yeah my sister.
Dennis: Yeah so imagine the stress for you, your siblings, your family basically. I’m sure it was intense enough with the early loss of your father let alone the early loss of your father and you’re now on the street kind of thing because you don’t really have any other physical options. That scenario unfortunately does play itself out. There are some very basic government protection kind of thing but it’s pretty meager at the end of the day, and there’s certainly an existence you wouldn’t wish upon any of your family if they were hyper dependent on your income if your savings hadn’t manifested yet and you died early, that could cause some significant hardship. Not just hardship in the here and now, but it could change the entire course of direction for the upbringing of yourself and your sister in that regard, right? You could have been a very much a different person than you are today, I’m not saying better or worse but it could be a very different movie playing itself out here if you didn’t have a way to bridge financially speaking that early death of your father.
So yeah, it’s important stuff. It’s not an exciting topic, it’s as much exciting as paying to replace your dishwasher. It’s a pretty dry conversation, and some people have a natural aversion to examining to coming to grips with the reality of their own death but like I said it is a reality and we don’t want to live our lives thinking about this and reviewing our insurance portfolio every month but to sort of have these considerations take a look at the land and put some sort of backstop in place, whatever you want. It’s a conversation that sure in my experience, it’s often been a combination of what you would like to have protecting your income in a capacity and what you would want to pay for.
You know and everyone strikes a balance on those two criteria so if you and I did a casual kitchen table needs analysis you might say well it would be really great to have five hundred thousand dollars of life insurance coverage on myself to cover this contingency but I see the premium on that is this much a month, and my desire or capacity to pay that amount per month is not here. So you would tailor whatever you need for your own specific circumstance and understand there is no right or wrong answer.
Dennis: In a perfect world statistically speaking, you’re going to live a long, long time anyway. Like you and I sitting here today just using average male non-smoker life expectancy numbers, we’re expected to live somewhere between 78-80 years old for people in our age category. Interestingly enough you have a lower life expectancy than I do because you still have to bridge the years between whatever you are today… thirty something.. thirty-one, thirty-two am I about right?
Dennis: You have to bridge the distance between thirty-one and forty-eight, those are all the years you have to survive to have the same mortality that I do ignoring anything else health-wise going on with you or with me. So I find that kind of an interesting wrinkle that most people don’t realize.
On the insurance front, I mean the system is.. it’s easier on younger folks because statistically your mortality is lower. The likelihood of you dying today in the next 24 hours is statistically less than mine. It can climb a little bit in your twenties so in your younger years, your late teens and early twenties, when life is fast and you got the party scene and everything else, mortality is a little higher but when you get married and settled in it kind of drops and then you reach a turning point along the line when your age starts to increase your mortality. And that’s an exponential increase right, so somebody 79 years old has significantly more mortality risk to them than I do at 48. And as you would imagine, that’s reflected in their insurance premiums as well so..
Andrew: Yeah. I guess this is a bit of a sidebar, but there are communities where people live to be 120. It’s mostly unheard of outside of America. Also our diet is a contributor, the water we drink is a contributor, there’s just so many factors.
Dennis: Absolutely. Stress levels, I think diet, diet is obviously a huge factor. I mean I’m reading statistics, I imagine you’ve seen them as well that it’s expected that the current generation will be the first generation ever that’s not going to live as long as their parents statistically and I think you can attribute that directly to the quality of the food supply. You know we’re eating artificial food to a higher and higher degree and that’s not the way this thing was really designed, right? So it’s an interesting observation anyway.
Andrew: Definitely. So what were kind of the three key things that helped you be successful in what you do?
Dennis: Well I guess in what I do because I’m very.. in my positioning I’m very entrepreneurial so there’s nobody with a hammer to me saying “Be here at eight” or “Don’t leave here til five or you have to work next Friday or you can’t take holidays”. So I’m very much my own man that way the way I’m configured. And the trick is not to hang yourself with that same rope. The failure rate in my business as with your business I imagine for people who enter and attempt it is very, very high, something in the 90 something percent I would guess.