My uncle’s friend had decided to discontinue his life insurance; the form, unsigned, was sitting on his bed when he had a heart attack and died. Because he hadn’t yet signed the form, his widow received the life insurance payment, which helped her survive and live a comfortable financial life after his death.
My parents didn’t feel that they could afford life insurance, but they did take advantage of the free policy my dad was eligible for at work, as well as the free policy at their credit union, which was a good thing. My dad died of colon cancer at age 38, just four months after receiving his diagnosis. There was enough life insurance for my mom, a homemaker, to pay off the house, but there wasn’t much left beyond that. A good life insurance policy would have given her money to invest so she could have continued to stay home with my brother, who had cerebral palsy and needed care throughout the day and night during his lifetime.
Because of my experience with my father, my husband and I signed up for life insurance when our son was just an infant. I have seen what life is like without the safety net of life insurance, and it isn’t good. My mom has struggled financially in the 26 years since my father’s death.
Why We Pay for Life Insurance
My husband and I wanted to make sure that if one of us died, the other would be able to invest the money and live off the interest. At the least, we wanted to have an amount of time where we could focus on caring for our family and not worry about money.
The life insurance will help pay for our children’s college. If I die, the money will help my husband hire a caretaker for our children; if my husband dies, the money will allow me to continue my freelance career, working from home, and supplement my income so I can provide for the children.
Death Is a Reality—We Just Don’t Know When It Will Happen
No one wants to think about dying, but we all are going to. Hopefully we live long lives, but just take a minute to face the scary possibility of something happening to you or your significant other. How would you survive financially? How would your spouse? If you both passed, how would the legal guardians provide for your children financially?
If you don’t have life insurance, these questions become very difficult to answer. If you do have life insurance, you may feel pain at thinking of the loss of your spouse, but you won’t be concerned about the financial aspect of such a loss.
Life insurance is now more affordable than ever. You may think you don’t have the money to buy it, but I urge you to evaluate your expenses. We are trying to pay off debt at gazelle intensity. Sure, the $77 we pay every month for life insurance would be a nice chunk of money to put on our debt, but that is short-term thinking. I prefer to pay down debt just a bit more slowly so I can pay our life insurance premiums and know that our family will be taken care of financially if my husband or I die early.
Do you have life insurance? If you don’t, what is holding you back?
This originally appeared on Melissa’s blog Mom’s Plans.