Breaking Bad's Walter White - Why No Life Insurance?
Why Do Smart People Procrastinate About Their Family's Security When It Comes To Purchasing Life and Disability Insurance?
The TV series Breaking Bad follows protagonist Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a chemistry teacher who lives in New Mexico with his wife (Anna Gunn) and teenage son (RJ Mitte) who has cerebral palsy. White is diagnosed with Stage III cancer and given a prognosis of two years left to live. With a new sense of fearlessness based on his medical prognosis, and a desire to secure his family's financial security, White chooses to enter a dangerous world of drugs and crime and ascends to power in this world. The series explores how a fatal diagnosis such as White's releases a typical man from the daily concerns and constraints of normal society and follows his transformation from mild family man to a kingpin of the drug trade.
A Doctor's Comment
A friend of mine who is an oncologist told me about Breaking Bad last weekend and I have been on a tear watching the first three seasons- yes compulsive behavior on my part bordering upon addiction. My doctor friend's real life is dealing with people with similar diagnosis to Walter White, perhaps this is why he is facinated with the show. I asked him if people's behavior radically changes after receiving a terminal diagnosis. He let me know that often the shock of learning of one's imminent death triggers behavior we undiagnosed people would catagorize as "crazy".
From Bad To Real Life
The story of Walter White, the mild mannered, highly intelligent chemistry teacher who decides to cook methamphetamine for huge sums of money can teach the rest of us an important lesson - secure an appropriate amount of life and disability insurance while one is healthy, stuff happens!
In real life, two fathers from my neighborhood died, both in their 50s with kids, one a physician the other an attorney, both men recently died grossly underinsured, leaving their families in financially difficult positions. Like Walter White in Breaking Bad, these smart and amazing guys didn't think it would happen to them or simply thought they would take care if it later.
Insurance Isn't Bad
Granted the TV series Breaking Bad wouldn't be a story if Walter White was adequately insured for life and disability coverage, but in real life why would one want to leave their family in a desperate financial position when it is so easy and relatively inexpensive to cover oneself? Cooking Meth for money isn't an option for the rest of us....
Doug Hessel is an employment benefits specialist with Johnson & Dugan and the co-founder of Hover & Hessel LLC, a firm focused on providing consulting and insurance services to individuals, Doug can be reached at either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com