We all know the health risks of smoking followed by the dent it can put in the budget just to buy cigarettes. Did you also know that it costs smokers more money when they apply for life insurance, like it did for us? Who knew there would be such a significant cost difference for life insurance for a smoker and non smoker as you will later find out. It’s been over a year now that we butted out (January 29, 2102) and are both still smoke-free today. We will always give thanks to all the support along the way from not only each other but external motivation such as family, friends, our family doctor, the pharmacy team and of course The Smokers Helpline.
The Smoking Memory
As time went on smoking became less of a habit for us and more of a memory and now we don’t even think about it. We won’t lie and say that if someone sparks up a smoke that the smell is captivating because it still is. We smoked for quite a long time and every smoker knows that the first inhale is the best of a newly lit cigarette. When I’m at work it no longer bothers me when I’m yapping outside with colleagues and they are having a cigarette. In fact the more I continue to smell it the happier I am that I no longer have this habit. There have been many times over the course of the winter that we both have been thankful to not have to stand out in the cold just to get our fix. Addicting, you bet it was, but breaking the habit was the easy part the hard part is sticking to it.
Benefits of Quitting Smoking
The health benefit was our top priority followed by the monetary gains we would have simply by not having to fork out almost two hundred dollars every month. Over the course of the year that added up to more than a couple of thousand dollars that we willfully just blew away. One motivation to keep living the smoke-free lifestyle is when we see friends who smoke and their constant “need” to have one. We can see how the addiction can take over someone’s life like it did ours. We don’t talk about quitting smoking to those that smoke unless they bring it up. Honestly, when we smoked we knew what we were doing, we’re not idiots and neither are those that are addicted to smoking. I’m sure there are many smokers online who are going to read this blog post and wish that they too could give up smoking today. They can, but they need to have a will to succeed and a desire to live. That’s what came over us, not someone telling us we had to quit. I don’t think we initially set out to become a smoker (I mean, who does?) but now know it was a mistake that did cost us in many ways.
When we initially quit we had our yearly review with our financial advisor whom we told about us quitting smoking and our desire to live a healthier lifestyle. He was just as happy as our doctor was about it and not only from the health benefits aspect. He told us that if we could stay smoke-free for one full year that we could be re-assessed and potentially listed as non-smokers. If accepted they would put us in a new class and a new life insurance policy drawn up. How exciting is that if we can potentially save more money? We both started with life insurance about 4 years ago with a 25 year term life policy just to cover our bases in case something should happen. As long as the house and funeral costs were paid we were happy enough with that. We didn’t need to have millions of dollars in life insurance plus we didn’t have any dependants at the time nor do we today.
This was another motivation and what we needed to continue through not smoking or wanting to pick one up and light it throwing all our hard work down the toilet. It only takes one cigarette to set us back and we knew that so we had to think ahead. It was always in the back of our minds about saving a bit of money in our budget because we are always looking for ways to improve. We had no idea how much we would save so we went on our merry way and waited for one year to pass.
One Year Smoke-Free
One year had passed and we booked our annual meeting with our financial advisor who had all the paper work ready for us to fill out for our new life insurance policy. I’ll admit we said a couple of times that we better get a good reduction in rate with all the paper work we had to fill out again. We were skeptical yet optimistic because we knew that we never cheated, not once. We didn’t have to have any type of testing done although if they required it we would have been more than happy to oblige. In fact we almost wanted them to check because we were so proud of our accomplishment.
Even though the paperwork was somewhat daunting (nothing is as bad after you fill out pages and pages of forms to become a Permanent Resident in Canada) it was so important to make sure that our medical history was accurate and up to date. There’s all those horror stories we hear about people who file a claim for life insurance only to find out something was missing or inaccurate. We didn’t want to be those people so we took the time to make sure everything was correct. They told us that the underwriters would likely call our family doctor which was perfectly fine with us. We went on our way with the hopes of hearing back soon the results.
Life Insurance and Smoking- The Results!
We received a phone call last week from our financial advisor who wanted to congratulate us on being approved and we are now rated as non-smokers in our new policy. The best part is that the new monthly expense for our budget has gone down so we are no longer paying such high life insurance costs.
Here is the breakdown:
- To Buy Smokes Approx $196 a month or $2352 a year
- Smoker Life Insurance Policy: $135.05 for the both of us
- Non-Smokers Life Insurance Policy: $70.43 for the both of us
Yearly as smokers we paid $1,620.60 to pay for our life insurance policy and the new yearly cost is just about half that amount at $845.16. Over the course of the next 21 years the policy will cost us $17,748.36 instead of what would have been $34,032.60 in premiums. What a huge difference and we were excited to make that change to our life insurance category in the budget. We will take the money that we are saving from our life insurance and put it in our savings account for now. We may just use it as our “rendezvous money” as one of my fans suggests to do with money we don’t spend each month in our grocery budget. That sounds like a plan and that way when we save enough money we can treat ourselves to a trip back to Europe to travel and see family.
Sometimes it’s the small things we don’t think about that add up in a big way for the budget. It truly was a lifestyle change for love, health and money for us. Although quitting smoking is not as simple as it sounds even if we made it seem that way, it’s not. I can only hope that those that do smoke make the decision to quit for their own personal reasons. They may also save money not only from not buying cigarettes but see the cost of their own life insurance policy go down.
Have you quit smoking and received a reduction in your life insurance premium?
What motivates you to stay smoke-free?
You can read our Quit Smoking Series Below
- The Cost of Smoking on your Health and Budget
- Quit Smoking, Save your Health and Budget week 1
- Quit Smoking, Save your Health and Budget Update Week 2
- Quit Smoking, Save your Health and Budget Update Week 3
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Photo Credit: Freedigitalphotos.net/StuartMiles