Sunday, January 20, 2019

Final notice

These days, getting the mail makes me a little nervous.

I think my age has something to do with it.

I got a piece of mail the other day from my former employer, The New York Times, which owned The Dispatch, the newspaper for which I worked 30 years before I retired in 2006.

Getting mail at this time of year usually means tax stuff.

This was not tax stuff. This was my annual notice that my life insurance benefit has been reduced. Again. It happens every year.

The $100,000 policy I signed up for when I was a working stiff back in my glory days is now down to $42,200. Last year, it was $60,800, so the annual drop-off rate appears to be accelerating at an alarming clip.

I'm sure actuarial tables are involved in the calculations somehow, but at this rate, I'll hardly have anything left for Kim to bury me with.

In fact, at this rate, I'll be owing them money in a couple of years.

Wait. What? I thought I was giving them money all these years. You know, those little forgettable deductions taken out of my paycheck that I hardly noticed.

I'm wondering if my insurer knows something about me that I don't. Clearly, my insurer is anticipating my impending death, which I guess is what insurance companies do. I guess they want to make sure that when I die, Kim has nothing extra left to, you know, live on.

There is some good news, though. My annual contribution for my shrinking coverage has dropped from $46.95 per month to $32.54 per month, which means my pension got a little bit larger. A tank of gas every two weeks larger. Thanks for that.

•  •  •

The insurance notice wasn't the only one I got.

Sports Illustrated, a magazine I've subscribed to since I was a junior in high school, sent me a second renewal notice that my subscription is about to expire. (There seems to be a lot of expiring going on around here).

I never got a first notice.

But it seems I can play a little game here. The second renewal notice said: "Because time is now a factor and you've been a loyal subscriber, the publishers of Sports Illustrated have given official approval to send you up to 9 ISSUES FREE! Renew today!"

I've been a subscriber for 51 years, so you'd think I'd get a cheap alarm clock or an ill-fitting sweatshirt or something from them just out of sheer gratitude. But nine free issues sounds acceptable. I think it's because of the word "free." I'm a sucker for anything that's free.

Maybe I can get my insurer to give me nine years of life insurance coverage for free. You know, just out of sheer gratitude for making all those payments for so long.

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