According to the man, who shared his story to Reddit as Defiant_Theme4812, his parents had been keen to keep the policy in place, as the payout would “set them up for life.” However, he is unmoved.
A study conducted by the Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association (LIMRA) in January 2021, found just 52 percent of Americans have some form of individual or workplace life insurance.
While close to half of the U.S. adults polled in the study appeared to be without life insurance, the value of having a policy in place has been put into stark focus by the experience of Defiant_Theme4812 who discovered he was terminally ill at the age of 28.
According to his Reddit post, the policy has been in place since he was 18, and, because of his age, his family will receive “an eye watering amount” when he dies. However, in recent months he’s begun to have second thoughts.
Though he has been living at home with his parents after receiving the diagnosis, he said they “haven’t had the best relationship growing up” and he’s often felt like they only did the “minimum required by law” in raising him.
Eager to enjoy his final few months, the man said he has been “investigating cash outs” on insurance policies and has worked out a deal where his parents would receive enough to cover his funeral with a little left aside.
In turn, he would get enough “to rent a nice condo near the beach, nice meals, maid service, some great experiences while I am well enough, and some in-home care nursing towards the end.”
His parents, however, had been banking on that money to buy their house and finally live comfortably. They have told him they have already made “a lot of sacrifices” to look after him at home and that cashing out means they will have to keep working.
Despite these pleas, their son appears determined to go through with his plan. “I get that it would be the noble thing to help my parents out, but I don’t want to,” he wrote.
His stance earned plenty of support on social media. Commenting on the Reddit post, ChapSteve711 said: “Your parents are looking at you as a post-mortem ATM…Take the money and spend it how you wish.”
Beneficial-Way-8742 was similarly scathing of the mom and dad’s approach, writing: “What kind of parents wouldn’t want to give their dying child the world, if they could??? Unbelievable.”
Sprinkle_and_sparkle, meanwhile, lamented: “Where there’s money…there’s family not too far behind,” with Youre_on_mute adding: “It’s an ugly look…the money was never intended for them. It was for a future family that will not happen now.”
But while Reddit users appeared firmly on the side of the man, others could see things from both sides. Ginger Liu, an entrepreneur and Ph.D. researcher, previously cared for a terminally ill family member and recalls how they “wanted to make sure that those who were left behind were secure.”
Liu told Newsweek: “The parents are right to block him, but there needs to be a compromise because the terminally ill person also needs his wishes respected. They should offer him what money they have so their son can enjoy himself or get a loan.”
She also suggested they explore fundraising as a means of bankrolling his final few months and ensuring they too are looked after. “If they have no money, then start a Crowdfund. They can also set up a charity so that other people can fund their son’s adventures and he can raise money for a good cause,” she said. “That way, their son will be a hero and his parents can retire.”
Newsweek reached out for comment to u/Defiant_Theme4812 and could not verify the details of the case.
If you have a similar family dilemma, send an email to [email protected] with your first name and general location. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.
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