In my previous article, I introduced the idea that far too many people expect money to do for them what it cannot do. Money promises to do an awful lot, but the result doesn’t always pan out as expected or hoped. The short list of unreliable promises money makes would have to include the following:

1. You’ll be safe.

2. You’ll be secure.

3. You’ll have peace of mind.

4. You’ll be somebody.

The previous article dealt with the first two items, and now I’ll address the latter two—money delivering peace of mind and making us “somebody.”

Money Promise No. 3: You’ll have peace of mind.

Without this promise, the insurance industry would disappear. The insurance product lineup promises peace of mind—presuming, of course, that you don’t already have anxiety issues. I’m a big-time believer in (and advocate of) being properly insured. If you were to become ill or disabled, get in an accident or suffer damage to your home, you would have enough trouble to be concerned about and certainly don’t need financial strain layered into the scenario. There is some solace in knowing that physical items can be replaced, but insurance has its limits.

But if you’re expecting lasting peace of mind from your insurance products, I’d encourage you to read the contract carefully. Far too many contracts have finite exit ramps to assist the insurance company out of their purported obligations. Years ago, I was driving my vehicle down the interstate on a 100 degree summer day when the road buckled directly in front of me. My lane turned into a ramp with rebar sticking straight up in the air. The car was totaled. I needed a different vehicle, and at the time, I could hardly afford to pay for two cars at once.

When I took the claim to my insurance company, the agent informed me that this strange occurrence of the highway buckling in intense heat was an “act of God”—thereby relieving the insurance company of its contractual obligation. Apparently, God, when not answering prayers and attending to the world at large, is out blowing up highways for kicks. As it turns out, the “peace of mind” promise hinges on people believing what they are told—and sold. Read the fine print carefully.

I brought this topic up to a noted lawyer whose business is to litigate with insurance companies that are reneging on their promises. He informed me that the general public has no idea how cleverly policies are written in the insurer’s behalf—though made to sound as if they are to the policyholder’s benefit. If you want to know who writes the most reliable policies, you only need ask a lawyer who knows firsthand who pays and who doesn’t.

A look at the anxiety levels in our culture indicates that peace of mind is quite elusive for the masses. Being properly insured will not keep a person from worrying about misfortune or market fluctuations. Anxiety is an internal, spiritual issue that when tethered to the immaterial, manifests most often around the material. Here’s an overview of North Americans’ penchant for medicating stress:

• 43% of North Americans take mood-altering prescriptions regularly.

• Paxil and Zoloft (two of the more popular anti-anxiety medications) ranked 7th and 8th in the top 10 prescribed medications in the U.S. (according to

• According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 40 million American adults suffer from anxiety disorders every year.

• 25% of North American adults will have a major depressive episode at some point (according to

Most of the medicated populace has enough money to pay for their daily needs. Money simply does not solve the stress—outside of the fact that it pays for the pill to block the stress symptoms. Money can only do so much. If it is peace of mind you seek, do not lose sight of the fact that peace is rooted in spiritual sources. Material or chemical antidotes (money or medicine) can only numb symptoms—they will never have the power to address the core problem.