September 8, 2012


'Cake Boss' Buddy Valastro as a boyBecause my dad didn’t have any life insurance, I had to drop out of high school to run the family business. I worked 12-18 hours a day, six days a week. I was the first one in and the last one to leave. — Buddy Valastro

It’s Life Insurance Awareness Month once more. This year, the ‘Cake Boss’, Buddy Valastro, shares his experience. Buddy’s father died three weeks after getting diagnosed with lung cancer caused by smoking. His dad was 54. Buddy was only 17. (In contrast, my son is 18 and left home for university last week).

Unlike NBA player Lamar Odom’s mom or actress Leslie Bibb’s dad, life insurance was not in place to help the family cope.

His Own Words

click to watch on YouTube (and then come back!)Watch Buddy explain in his own words. Restrictions prevent the video from being embedded. Here is the link (opens a new window).

Why Not?

Why didn’t Buddy’s dad have life insurance?

imageMaybe he thought he didn’t need any because he had a business. Maybe he didn’t “believe” in insurance. Maybe he hadn’t found an advisor he could trust. Maybe he didn’t think he could die so young. Maybe he was procrastinating. Maybe he thought the coverage was too expensive.

What’s certain is the unnecessary damage caused.

The family persevered but imagine what they went through. The business could have failed. Buddy may have lacked the skills or interest to run it. Life insurance would have make a big difference.

The Tragedy

It turns out that Buddy’s father had life insurance until shortly before he died.
The irony of the situation is that my dad owned life insurance for many years. When my family started having kids, my dad bought life insurance but about six months before he was diagnosed [with cancer], his policy expired and he didn’t renew it.

I’m not exactly sure why. Cost might have been an issue. My dad was 54 years old and he smoked. So coverage was getting more expensive. He was also a very busy guy and probably thought it was something he could do later.

Whatever the reason, if there had been life insurance, I know things would have been a lot easier. I could have hired more staff, worried less and had a little time to grieve. — Buddy
Insurance only helps when it’s still in effect.

Buddy’s Buddy

Because of my experience, I bought life insurance as soon as my first child was born and as my family grew, I bought more. Now that the business has really taken off, I’ve worked hard with my advisor to add more coverage to make sure that everything I’ve worked so hard to create will get passed on the next generation. — Buddy
Buddy learned about the importance of life insurance and has his own coverage. Let’s hope he’s also protected with income replacement insurance and critical illness insurance.

Podcast 185

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PS Two months ago, Buddy’s mom was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). She’s 64 and there’s no known cure. Best wishes for her treatment.

1 comment:

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