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    Clickable dictation at various speeds is available at the bottom of this page. The transcript of the dictation appears here as well.

    A friend of mine just explained why annuities are a really bad idea. (You should know my annuity is with a life insurance company, hence the connection.) Nevertheless, life insurance is a good thing as described in the piece below.

Gregg Speed Building, Gregg Publishing Company, 1932, p 80-82

A Popular Fallacy
          “You have to die to win—that’s the trouble with life insurance!”  There’s a popular fallacy for you!  Life insurance is not for the man who dies.  It’s for the living, himself included.  Out of the earnings of his best years, it helps him meet emergencies, such as sickness and old age, as well as providing for his dependents after he has gone.
          For example, an old gentleman died in New York not long ago, who had $7,000 in the bank, on which he drew 4 per cent interest or $23.33 a month.  He had not been ill—there was no obvious clue as to the cause of his death.  It was slow starvation.  He wasn’t a miser, but he didn’t want to draw on his principal for living expenses.  He was apparently afraid he might live too long.
          Within three blocks of the old gentleman’s room is a life insurance company.  That company would have taken his $7,000 and paid him an annuity of $60 a month as long as he had lived.
          Sixty per cent of all the payments that life insurance companies make go to living policy holders.
          Insurance is one of the great business tools.  It assures stability to a business by removing the hazards of death and the consequent dissolution of business managements.  It is the most important single agency for supplying capital to business.  It supplies 22 per cent of the funds used by railroads, 6 per cent of those used by public utilities, 14 per cent of the money for public bonds, and 40 per cent of the money for farm and city mortgages.
          William Howard Taft, one of our great chief justices of the Supreme Court, had this to say about life insurance:
          “Life insurance is a wonderful aid, especially to those of us who are dependent upon salaries and professional incomes.  It is the only way by which we can make our lives happy in the thought that we are putting by something so that those who are dear and near to us may live on after us and not feel pinched when the breadwinner is gone.”
          William Howard Taft’s policy history shows the soundness of his advice. . . .
          Back in 1900, eight years before his inauguration as President of the United States, Mr. Taft took out a life insurance policy.  It was a twenty-payment life policy like hundreds of others issued that year—the typical policy of a typical American.
          This contract became paid up in 1919.  From then on, though no further premium payments were required, Mr. Taft continued to receive a dividend check each year in increasing amounts.
          At Mr. Taft’s death, his widow was paid the face of the policy—plus two post-mortem dividends and interest from the very date of his death. . . .—The Union Central Life Insurance Company

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