Do you know how much it takes to raise a child these days?
Are you sitting down?
That would be almost a quarter of a million dollars.
It cost $245,000 to raise a child born in 2013 until they hit 18, according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.
This is not about a luxury upbringing. This is no Kardashian-esque baby outfitted in cashmere onesies. This is not about a privileged college education, because these numbers do not include the cost of college. That’s extra. Add on about $14,000 a year of public and $41,000 for private college.
This number, $245,000, is a place to live, food, clothes, health care—the basics.
I didn’t write my essay right away. At first I was apprehensive about telling my story, about sharing what my family and I had gone through. Then I started watching and reading past entries in the scholarship program, and I felt empowered. I saw the strength of those that had taken part before me, and I saw that this could actually save families from having to go through what mine had gone through. So I sat down, and I began writing.
Both working and stay-at-home moms need protection because what they do for their families is so valuable. While a stay-at-home mom isn’t compensated for her work, if something were to happen to her, it would be expensive to replace all those things she does—from childcare to home care to ensuring the family gets where they need to go when they have to be there.
The difference between the two is that a working mother also contributes an income, which may be critical to the family financially. That means she needs to think about replacing that income when considering how much life insurance coverage she may need.
When I was 22, I moved to New York City. I’d just graduated from college and my parents agreed to support my first few months as I dove headfirst into the theater scene. By Thanksgiving, I was starting to get a footing and had some exciting gigs lined up for the end of the year. Then I got a phone call I’ll never forget.
“Daddy’s gone,” my mom said. I could hear the pain, love, shock and uncertainty in her voice. I couldn’t believe it. How could my father, at 49, be gone? All of the sudden, I felt the profound permanence of death. I couldn’t call him anymore. I couldn’t ask for his advice. I couldn’t give him a hug when I flew home for Christmas. My family had a massive, dad-shaped hole.
No one can put a value on a mother. Yet, if only my family’s financial plans had included the key ingredient of life insurance for my mother, my family’s financial position and my current academic path would now be more secure. Benefits from such coverage would have provided for the payment of her funeral service, the cost of my supervision and care over the years, my college tuition and kept us in our house.