My dad died at the young age of 38 from colon cancer. At the time he died, my parents were woefully underinsured. They only had a small life insurance policy from their credit union and another small one from my dad’s employer.
At the time, my mom was a stay at home wife whose only job since she married 16 years prior was as an at home day care provider. Now she had two young kids, and the primary breadwinner was gone.
My dad’s life insurance policies were enough to pay off the house and to give my mom enough to survive for about a year. There was no extra to invest. The money was all gone in a year, and that’s when my mom was being very conservative financially.
She’s retired now, but she never did recover completely from the financial blow my dad’s death brought. Her money was always tight, and even in retirement, it’s very tight. Sometimes I worry if she’ll have enough retirement.
I Learned My Lesson About Life Insurance
When our first child was born, I insisted that my husband and I get life insurance immediately. We each took out 20 year policies for $500,000. We pay around $70 a month for these. Now, those policies are 9 years old, and our youngest is only 3. The policies will end when she’s just 14.
My husband and I plan to each take out another $500,000 policy apiece for 20 years sometime this year. That will provide our children with life insurance until the youngest is 23.
When I told my mom this, she balked and insisted that because we’re still paying down student loan and credit card debt, we don’t have money to pay for life insurance.
I was shocked, and told her that we couldn’t afford not to have life insurance.
Think You Can’t Afford Life Insurance? Think Again
My mom’s way of thinking isn’t unique. It’s human nature to put off for today what you think you won’t need for tomorrow. If our new life insurance policy costs another $70 or $80 a month, yes, that would be money that we could use instead to pay down debt.
But I’ve seen what life is like when there is very little life insurance to fall back on. If you think like my mom does and think you can’t afford life insurance, think again. You can’t afford NOT to have life insurance.
Here are some ways you can come up with the money you need every month:
- Stop eating out or reduce the number of times you go
- Cut the cable or reduce the number of channels that you receive
- Quit buying so many clothes. Decide on the minimum amount of clothing you need and don’t buy extra
- Cook your meals from scratch.
- Pick up a small side job that will pay your premium. There are plenty of work from home jobs.
Term life insurance is not that expensive if you’re relatively young and in good health. To say you can’t afford it is often short sighted. You can’t afford not to have it should the worst become a reality.
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