For many millennials, feeling like a grown up has never been easy. But thanks to our partners at Lifebroker, choosing the right insurance can be.
Reflections upon a decade or more of myself and my personal growth. I’m 30 years old now. I’m 30, yet, between a subtle, persistent feeling that I’m not being responsible enough and my laughably, almost petulant compulsion to basically do the opposite of anything that is ever sensible and foresightful, I’ve felt more than ever over the last few years like what Edward Norton says of himself to Brad Pitt in Fight Club: a 30-year-old boy.
This isn’t all bad. In my line of work it occasionally seems helpful, but, still…it’d be nice to feel like a grownup more often than I do. I have these moments on occasion. Probably more than I give myself credit for, actually. I knew as I approached 30 that it wasn’t a big deal, but I have noticed lately that I feel “older”. A good kind of older. My sense of values, what I offer the world and what I care about, are kind of crystallising. I’ve found as I’ve become more life-experienced that it’s a satisfying feeling to be somebody that people can rely upon, and that decisions I make have legitimate impact on people I care about. That’s what I’ve learned lately.
The worry is still there, but that youthful, almost irrational anxiety seems to finally have begun dissipating – thank God – and I’m now doing grown-up things like actually putting money into my savings account, and completing my taxes before the ATO forces me to! (Mum and Dad would be so relieved!) I haven’t drank for ages and I’ve managed to stay off cigarettes for almost 18 months.
I’ve noticed this isn’t strictly a “youth” thing as a few people I know in their late thirties and forties still discuss these issues, but once I’d passed this most recent birthday I started to become aware of just how much I’ve changed from my twenties and how different the future now appears.
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All these things considered, I decided for the first time in forever to actually book a bunch of appointments and stick to them. First was health. This was important as there have been periods where I was unable to work due to what is to be a long term issue, so I wanted to see how I was fairing. I also knew I had to sit down with my accountant and get my finances in order, lodge my older, overdue taxes (don’t ask) and figure out how I was going to look after myself and my loved ones in the future. That led to discussions with my bank to start up specific accounts and the like. (The last two suggestions were actually at my dad’s behest – credit where it’s due.)
Ticking all of these off the list: adult. Good.
The most surprising place I found myself wasn’t in a fancy waiting room or opposite some suit at a desk, however. After I spoke in depth with my bank, and upon considering the lengthy discussions I had during my first few health appointments in years, I finally swallowed my pride and went online to look for help in selecting two forms of insurance: income protection and life insurance; something I literally thought I would never do.
Now to anybody who’s curious about insurance but doesn’t know where to start – hello, “old me” – if it helps, I checked out Lifebroker, just through a word of mouth recommendation. I did this ’cause, firstly, they aren’t an insurance company, but a group who provide a free comparison service to customers looking to find insurance to suit them.
Secondly, it’s completely free of charge – it costs the same price as going direct to the insurer. You can provide your details (age, location, gender etc) to Lifebroker online and this generates a transparent, detailed but digestible table of what is available from a number of leading Australian insurers, saving heaps of time and sparing people like me from getting confused and rage-quitting.
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- Turning 30: Homeless, unmarried, childless and proud
- Wondering how to act like an adult? Don’t worry, we’re all faking it
Thirdly, ongoing or pre-existing conditions don’t automatically result in cover being declined, as applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. This is really important to someone like me; for what it’s worth, I figure concern around this has been part of why I resisted seeking out income protection and looking at insurance for so long (that and my own stubbornness, of course). I learned that every policy obtained through Lifebroker is set up so that any terminology, the level of cover and availability etc is all explained and all agreed on by both applicants and insurers before any policy commences. The process involves responding to questions regarding health and lifestyle as well as additional info outlining medical history so they can offer an accurate assessment of what insurance options are available.
There’s a satisfaction in knowing that if problems unexpectedly arise, at least I know what my options are with regard to time away from work, and what I (and those who matter most to me) can reasonably anticipate, regarding my own health and financial situation.
That wasn’t even on the list, but, ticking that off the proverbial: also, adult. Very good.
These last few weeks have laid to rest a lot of anxieties. I’ve come out the other side of a turbulent decade to find myself in a pretty good place. Knowing what’s valuable and where I stand on things to which I’ve been, up to this point, fairly oblivious, is a great feeling.
I know there will come some other big challenges but for now, this may be the feeling of being a grown up that I’d used to wonder about. We’ll see what comes next. Sans fear, and with a healthy, adult perspective on it, right?
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