I let my whole life policy lapse... What to do?

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I had a whole life policy that I purchased in 1990 when my first child was born and I paid on it up until 2008 when I was laid off for 2 years and went through tough financial times. 
Originally I was told that after about 8 years of paying in there would be enough dividends to cover the insurance amount of about $50k. So when I quit paying I assumed the insurance would still be in effect. 

I called to today to find that the dividends have been paying for term life that will expire in 2034 for a total amount of coverage or $78k if something were to happen to me. Kinda good to know I have something. 
I was also informed that there is a  cash value of $14k if I chose that route. 

I am approaching 50 years old so I am thinking the coverage till 2034 would cover me and my family.

Family wise it is me and my 15 year old daughter at home, and three adult children ages 23,24 and 26 with the 23 and 24 year old still living at home. 

I currently have a live in girlfriend and her 12yr old son living with me, things are sometimes rocky and marriage any time soon won't probably happen. 

I know I have enough assets 401k and IRA to take care of my daughter if something were to happen between now and her finishing college. 

If something were to happen I guessing the kids would kick my GF to the curb and she would have to fend for herself and son, we've been dating for 3 years and lived together for 2 of them. 


Would it make any sense to take the $14k and use it to buy my own term life? I am almost 50 and over weight with sleep apnea which would make getting insurance difficult. 

Any thoughts would be appreciated... Thanks.

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Doesn't sound like you have much of a need for ANY life insurance.  Why not just cash it in?

Do any of your children or relatives depend on your income?

Cash out, take the $14K and go on a vacation solo. Use that time to figure out why you are living with someone you don't really love.

you have a lot of additional issues you need to decide upon.

Once you figure out those things it will be easier to determine what to do with the insurance.

Now for just a moment let's pretend that you need or want insurance. Ask an independent agent to shop your situation around so you actually know what you could qualify for and the price. You might be right that you can't get anything reasonable at this point. If that's the case and you want insurance then you need to make the most of what you got. That might mean changing your dividends to buy PUAs instead of term since likely term isn't going to "pay off" unless you are "unlucky" or your health is worse than you indicated.

raringvt said:   Doesn't sound like you have much of a need for ANY life insurance.  Why not just cash it in?
  That what I was thinking... Less than $50k on the mortgage that could be paid off easily and leave enough funds for daughters schooling. 

ledwards said:   Cash out, take the $14K and go on a vacation solo. Use that time to figure out why you are living with someone you don't really love.
  
A solo vacation with peace and quiet... Tempting.. We are taking a vacation in April GF, her son and my daughter a cruise to the Carribean. 

gnopgnip said:   Do any of your children or relatives depend on your income?
  Oldest daughter is good, my 23 and 24 year old boys are still at home but could fly the nest or be home for my youngest daughter if something were to happen. 

You didn't ask for advice of a personal nature, and this is none of my business,
but your description of the situation struck me as quite sad.

I know what it is like to be in a living situation that is a little sad, a little stuck, unsatisfactory but comfortable-ish -- and time presses on and the unhappiness slowly grows, but changing the dynamic would be difficult and wrenching for a certain amount of time, so the days go by.

When I was young, I was for periods of time in somewhat similar roles to the 2 younger kids. It's difficult.

And someone close to me was in the position of the lady, turfed out unceremoniously of her home by the partner's children when he died. (Though she was actually married to him and was supposed to be allowed to live in the home until she died, but the kids did not let her).

I feel bad for everyone in the story, particularly the 12 year old, who must know that he's in a precarious position, not being considered real family to anyone there but his mom, and he knows that if something happened to you, your kids would kick him and his mom out and his life would be turned upside down in a snap.
I feel bad for your 15 year old who is living in this house with a dual family structure, having to negotiate her teenhood with some comparative strangers being in very close quarters, and she knows that you aren't going to marry the lady and make it an "official" longterm family that she can afford to let down her guard with in order to build solid roots together with them.
I feel bad for the gf, maybe keeping the household together for 3 adults and 1 teen (which can be a lot of work/time, and emotional stress as well) who aren't part of her family, maybe tolerating the roller-coaster romantic relationship in order to have a (tenuous) shelter for her and her child.
I feel bad for you, because this is unhappy and complicated, and you deserve either to feel gloriously free and single and unburdened, or to be partnered up with a lady whom you get along with very well and maybe whom you can imagine a long-term committed future with (if that is what you want), whom your children like for real, and want to grow close with.

Maybe the pros of the arrangement outweigh the negatives for you (maybe her assistance with running your household, and just the aspect of having a person in the position of your romantic partner, any person, even if it's not someone you feel strongly about), but if you were to be single and just living with your kid(s), after a short while of discomfort, I think you might feel emotionally and physically lighter and might be able to get a little physically healthier and perhaps improve your sleep apnea and everything - the positives would gather steam and lead you to happier days.

Or, alternatively, maybe there is a lot of good fundamentally in the partnership, and it's something for which you could go to couples counseling or something for a couple of months to deepen and cultivate, smooth out the rockiness and increase the cohesion and love.

I do apologize for getting way too personal. But you are so young comparatively and have so much life ahead of you, you have so many options and can create a life that brings you more satisfaction and joy, which you deserve, and your kids deserve, esp. your youngest while she's still growing up.

Damn...that was deep and depressing...

OP: I won't add more to the WF convo as the thread already has good info, but consider a lifestyle change so that in a few years you won't have to worry as much about your health. The human mind is powerful - you can shed the pounds and it may even cure your sleep apnea.

oppidum said:   You didn't ask for advice of a personal nature, and this is none of my business,
but your description of the situation struck me as quite sad.

I know what it is like to be in a living situation that is a little sad, a little stuck, unsatisfactory but comfortable-ish -- and time presses on and the unhappiness slowly grows, but changing the dynamic would be difficult and wrenching for a certain amount of time, so the days go by.

When I was young, I was for periods of time in somewhat similar roles to the 2 younger kids. It's difficult.

And someone close to me was in the position of the lady, turfed out unceremoniously of her home by the partner's children when he died. (Though she was actually married to him and was supposed to be allowed to live in the home until she died, but the kids did not let her).

I feel bad for everyone in the story, particularly the 12 year old, who must know that he's in a precarious position, not being considered real family to anyone there but his mom, and he knows that if something happened to you, your kids would kick him and his mom out and his life would be turned upside down in a snap.
I feel bad for your 15 year old who is living in this house with a dual family structure, having to negotiate her teenhood with some comparative strangers being in very close quarters, and she knows that you aren't going to marry the lady and make it an "official" longterm family that she can afford to let down her guard with in order to build solid roots together with them.
I feel bad for the gf, maybe keeping the household together for 3 adults and 1 teen (which can be a lot of work/time, and emotional stress as well) who aren't part of her family, maybe tolerating the roller-coaster romantic relationship in order to have a (tenuous) shelter for her and her child.
I feel bad for you, because this is unhappy and complicated, and you deserve either to feel gloriously free and single and unburdened, or to be partnered up with a lady whom you get along with very well and maybe whom you can imagine a long-term committed future with (if that is what you want), whom your children like for real, and want to grow close with.

Maybe the pros of the arrangement outweigh the negatives for you (maybe her assistance with running your household, and just the aspect of having a person in the position of your romantic partner, any person, even if it's not someone you feel strongly about), but if you were to be single and just living with your kid(s), after a short while of discomfort, I think you might feel emotionally and physically lighter and might be able to get a little physically healthier and perhaps improve your sleep apnea and everything - the positives would gather steam and lead you to happier days.

Or, alternatively, maybe there is a lot of good fundamentally in the partnership, and it's something for which you could go to couples counseling or something for a couple of months to deepen and cultivate, smooth out the rockiness and increase the cohesion and love.

I do apologize for getting way too personal. But you are so young comparatively and have so much life ahead of you, you have so many options and can create a life that brings you more satisfaction and joy, which you deserve, and your kids deserve, esp. your youngest while she's still growing up.

   oppidum..

Reading between the lines you have picked many of our issues in the house, Dr Phil has nothing on you .  We are "broken"  and struggle daily with issues between her and I. My children have accepted the 12 yr as a younger brother and the 12-year-old refers to my children as brothers and sisters.  Girlfriend has anxiety which can be severe at times, I am usually the source of her anxiety, I am always on edge wondering what will set her off next.  A few months ago the GF mentions we should go on vacation as a family, in January I mention the kids Spring break is in april and we should do a cruise. She agrees and I start searching for cruises. A Sunday afternoon I find a cruise that's affordable and fits the Spring break time frame perfectly, she agrees.. The next day I book the cruise after work while sitting in the kitchen with the kids doing their homework. I call her to tell her it's been booked and all is well, she tells me she was trying to think of a creative way to tell the kids as a surprise about the cruise.  OOPS... The kids were sitting in the same room while I was booking it on the phone and knew most of the details... Ruined her surprise and now we haven't talked about the cruise in month, 45 day till we set sail.  I'll have to give more of the story this weekend when I have time..  Thanks for reading and giving your insight. 

I am not a counselor and I am only giving you my thoughts in this thread as one middle-aged human being to another. I think that is clear, but just wanted to state that.

----
OP, your situation popped into my thoughts a couple of times when I had to do a long drive earlier this week.

I do hope that things get better for all of you.

What does seem clear by your posts is that you have the resources and the strength that you will need, to transform the situation for the better, whichever path you choose to take.



---
Next I am going to be blunt, but it is not for the purposes of being unkind.

I was a stepchild / stepgrandchild (by marriage) of several different people who instantly dropped me after they divorced my parent / grandparent, so I'm not sure how much sticking power the kids' year-old verbal references to each other as brother/sister might end up having.

I am not saying that to be mean, I am saying that because it is not very psychologically helpful (quite the reverse) to put children through those roller-coaster emotional and social experiences
(if you do not cement the new blended family with an official marriage and a determination in your heart to carry on the commitment for the rest of your life; and even sometimes, sadly, if you did intend at the beginning to do that but it didn't work out that way).

Will everyone attend his college graduation in a distant state if you split up with his mother next year? If he comes down with aggressive cancer at age 18, will everyone be there in the hospital on a weekly basis for months on end, if you had already split up with his mother years before? (It does not look promising, given that you said that your kids would kick him and his mom out of your/their house if you died).

--
Your daughter should not have to walk on eggshells in her own home with a near-stranger (only knowing her for a year before living with her) who suffers from unpredictable, severe anxiety, which extends into "giving the silent treatment" for certain matters, nor should she see her father doing that. It sets up unhealthy relationship patterns for her, and requires her to cope with things that ideally she should not have to be coping with during her teenage/high school years (which have become a minefield for almost everyone in our culture).

(Your older kids who live with you don't need to deal with that either, but they are unfettered adults and it's presumably their prerogative and within their means to move out if they really wanted to.)

---
And YOU should not have to walk on eggshells in your own home with someone you are not tightly bound to.

If someone has severe anxiety and freaks out about small things, probably no other person is the "source of her anxiety", and I don't think it is helpful or logical for you to refer to yourself in that way.

(If you really are the source of her anxiety, then you are probably difficult for everyone in your life to get along with, and you might want to see a counselor about that.)

---
Only you know the full picture, and I'm sure that you have love for this woman and her son.

The first couple of years of a relationship should be a happy time, generally.

Maybe the speed was too fast, too soon, especially when combining families with children on both sides.

From the little you have explained, it does not sound that there is a future in this, and that the longer it goes on, the harder it will be to bring it to a conclusion.

Or maybe there is a future in it, but adjustments will have to be made, and it sounds like you might benefit from some couples counseling to work some things out.

If she does not want to do that, or if you want to explore some issues for yourself and get a grounding on your situation before trying to improve things with her as a couple, you can also go to "couples/relationship counseling" as a single individual - that's not unusual.

(Or you could talk with a religious authority whom you like and trust, or your medical GP, or other types of above-board advisors.)

---
You sound like a decent person who possibly does not like conflict and will tolerate some discomfort for the sake of harmony, which is a valuable personality in the spectrum of humanity, but which can make it easy for the individual to get caught moving forward on a dead-end path that he/she hadn't intended to go down and doesn't now relish the prospect of doing what it might take to get back to the main road, even though it offers more freedom, more room to breathe, more chances to choose a happier side route.

---
In any event, there are things that you can do to get healthier physically that you can undertake all by yourself without rocking any relationship boats!

I hope that you can see the sense in investing in your health by treating your body with respect and kindness -- with tough, strict kindness, for your health's sake. And for your kids' sake -- they need you to be around for a long time to come!

You are only 50, there is so much more life to live. Seize your chances and honor your blessings.

oppidum,

Again you have offered great wisdom and insight to my world, many items I have ignored or overlooked the last few years. I have been thinking about what you have written the last week and have slowly starting to implement some of the ideas.

This part really sums up my personality and dilemma:

"You sound like a decent person who possibly does not like conflict and will tolerate some discomfort for the sake of harmony, which is a valuable personality in the spectrum of humanity, but which can make it easy for the individual to get caught moving forward on a dead-end path that he/she hadn't intended to go down and doesn't now relish the prospect of doing what it might take to get back to the main road, even though it offers more freedom, more room to breathe, more chances to choose a happier side route."

After losing my wife to suicide 13 years ago I have been "treading water" just to get by and stay happy. I tolerate a lot of stuff just to avoid conflict and trying to not to have my world turned upside down again.

Again.. Thanks for your input...

letsspendlotsofmoney said:   oppidum,

Again you have offered great wisdom and insight to my world, many items I have ignored or overlooked the last few years. I have been thinking about what you have written the last week and have slowly starting to implement some of the ideas.

This part really sums up my personality and dilemma:

"You sound like a decent person who possibly does not like conflict and will tolerate some discomfort for the sake of harmony, which is a valuable personality in the spectrum of humanity, but which can make it easy for the individual to get caught moving forward on a dead-end path that he/she hadn't intended to go down and doesn't now relish the prospect of doing what it might take to get back to the main road, even though it offers more freedom, more room to breathe, more chances to choose a happier side route."

After losing my wife to suicide 13 years ago I have been "treading water" just to get by and stay happy. I tolerate a lot of stuff just to avoid conflict and trying to not to have my world turned upside down again.

Again.. Thanks for your input...

  
Dear "Lets",

I'm sorry to hear of your wife's suicide, and I hope that I didn't sound too hard on you earlier. 

Regardless of a person's inherent personality, undergoing such a tragic and unexpected level of trauma and grief can greatly affect the way a person lives, views the world, manages relationships, tries to cope.

After having such a life shock, it is only natural that one doesn't want to risk losing any stable/decent/safe aspects of one's life, even if they are not perfect, and even maybe slowly unravelling.

Adding to that is the fact that you have several kids, and your littlest one was so very young when her mom died.  I can't imagine how difficult it has been for you.

You are probably a steady, calm person who is an attractive life partner for a person who suffers from high anxiety and who makes others "walk on eggshells" to live with her (i.e., your current girlfriend), but it's not healthy for you to have to be that careful and circumspect in your most private spheres.

You probably would do well to find a secure, mature, confident partner who gives you the safety and leeway to relax and not second-guess yourself all the time.

Or, since any good partner is hard to find, it might be less stressful for you to be on your own for a while (with your kids around, of course) and focus on increasing the joy and relaxation in your daily life, allowing your heart and mind to regain their bearings, their resilience, their hope.

---
It is not that I do not know, myself, about treading water and being stuck partly due to unexpected circumstances beyond one's control and partly due to just freezing in a "crash position" and trying to simply manage to get through another day, another month, with as little friction/stress as possible:  so I'm not preaching "at" you, because I sympathize/empathize, and have plenty of my own "issues" for which I am sure other, well-meaning, people could provide glib armchair-psychologist solutions to me for!  This stuff is not quick or easy.




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