From the earliest days of my marriage, both my husband and I had life insurance. You never know what can happen in life and we wanted our children to be cared for in case of disaster. It isn’t easy to talk about our own demise and most people are very uncomfortable discussing these issues, however, there are many good reasons to take the plunge and get life insurance today, especially if you are a parent. This became even more important to me when my husband and I divorced a couple of years ago. Most agree that life insurance for parents is very important.
There are many companies that offer life insurance. And there are all sorts and types of life insurance policies out there so it is essential that you do your homework and be sure that you are getting what you and your family truly need. It may even be helpful for you to talk with a financial planner or insurance agent for advice on what your family would benefit from most. For our Australian readers there is a company that offers a variety of options, SunCorp Insurance. You may want to take a look if you are researching life insurance options. Regardless of where you live there are so many reasons for parents to have life insurance.
7 Reasons Parents Should Have Life Insurance
1) Funeral Costs
Okay. I have a bit of a funny story. Hope you don’t mind but since this is such a serious subject I just have to tell it! A while back when my divorce was almost final I decided to check out burial expenses and such so that I could plan out just how much life insurance I might need. I made an appointment with a local funeral home and went in to talk with one of their consultants. She was super nice but she kept kinda staring at me during our appointment. We discussed caskets costs, burial procedures, and all of the services that the funeral home offered. I was so interested in what I was learning but I wondered why the woman kept staring with this sad, wide eyed expression on her face. I was about to excuse myself to go check my face in the bathroom mirror and see if something was hanging out of my nose! But she had finally had enough. She asked me how long I had. Pardon? How long do I have for what? OHHHHHH!!! She thought I was there planning my own funeral because I was dying of some horrible disease and that I didn’t have any family that loved me to come with and help! Bwahahahahahaha!!! She was so relieved when I told her that nothing was wrong and that I was just trying to make a plan for my kids in case something did happen to me. Later in the appointment I found out that a basic funeral would cost at least $15,000.00. FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS. That’s a lot of reasons to have life insurance folks. She also told me that I was the first person to come in and talk to her that wasn’t a)Over 60 or b)suffering from a terminal illness. She has been doing this for more than 12 years! I think that demonstrates just how much we do not want to confront our own mortality.
2) The Surviving Spouse
If only one of you survives then insurance becomes a life line for the surviving spouse. It could mean something as simple as being able to help with a college fund for each of your children or even something as important as putting food on the table for everyone. It might even mean that a stay at home mom could be with her children at home for a little bit longer before she had to return to work or allow a working dad to get help around the house so that he could really devote himself to the kids when not at work.
3) No Survivors
There is always the possibility that both of you could be in some sort of accident and your children would be left without parents. What then? Life insurance would allow your children to be taken care of, sent to college, and/or left with some sort of fund to start life. This brings up the necessity of having a will. But that would be a whole other post so I won’t get into it now. However, having a will is essential IF you want your desires carried out upon your death. That is very important to me, which is why I have a will and have thoroughly discussed the details with my parents, sibling and children so that everyone is fully informed.
If you have any other debt (other than the massive funeral expenses your family will be faced with) life insurance can also be an amazing gift to your children. A policy should be large enough to pay any outstanding debt in order to protect your children and family from the responsibility for paying those bills.
5) Mortgage Concerns
Some people want to make sure that the mortgage is fully covered so that a surviving spouse and children will have a place to live. I’m not sure this is a priority for me but it would be nice if you could afford that amount of coverage.
6) Uncertain Future
There are some fairly stringent rules in order to qualify for life insurance. The older you are the more expensive it gets but the biggest risk is future illness. If you do suffer from a terminal illness at some point it will be too late then to obtain the coverage that would be so helpful to your family. This uncertainty alone should prompt you to seriously consider life insurance now rather than later.
7) Peace of Mind
It does give me peace of mind to know that I have a small life insurance policy. It will cover my funeral expenses, Eva’s college if she were still in school, and leave a little left over for each of my kids. They are both young adults and it makes me happy to know that if I can’t be with them physically that I can contribute to their future in a small way. Insurance is affordable, at least term insurance like I have is, so you should check it out. You may be pleasantly surprised by the rates!
Do you have life insurance? A will? Why or why not?
(Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)