If you want to make sure your family is financially secure after you're gone, you need to consider life insurance.
This blog post was written as part of a sponsored program for State Farm. All views expressed are entirely my own and were not influenced or directed by State Farm.
As a parent, I think about a lot of things related to my son, and how he will grow up. What career path will he take? Will he contribute to his community in a meaningful way? How will he manage his money?
I also worry about what would happen to my son if I were to pass on prematurely. When I read stories about children and young adults whose parents pass on early, I worry about what could happen to my own son. Would he be financially secure if I died before he was able to legally (and practically) take care of himself financially? What would happen to his college aspirations?
In my case, the answers aren't too scary. Even during my marriage, I was my family?s primary breadwinner, and my life insurance policy reflects that. As a divorcee, my responsibility to care for my son's needs are even greater. I still have that policy, but I've changed the beneficiary to my son, and I'm saving to help him with his college expenses. I'm reasonably confident that my son will be just fine — at least financially — if I pass on unexpectedly.
Life Insurance: For the People You Love
When deciding how much life insurance you need, it's important to consider how your loved ones will manage their lives without you. It's more than just funeral expenses. It's about monthly groceries, clothing, and, perhaps, helping with college costs or some other secondary education.
Breadwinners aren't the only folks who need life insurance coverage, though. It's also important to consider coverage for stay-at-home parents. Just because someone isn't pulling down a paycheck doesn't mean that significant financial contributions aren't made. What would it cost if you had to hire others to do the things your partner does?
Since my divorce, I've had to be more conscientious about my parenting situation. If I plan to leave town on business, I need to make care arrangements for my son because his father isn't there to take over. I'm fortunate that my son is older. He's mostly responsible for himself, to the point that when I had food poisoning a few weeks ago he was able to fix his own dinner and get his homework done without my nagging. He helps keep the house clean and takes care of the yard.
The loss of a partner changes the dynamic, and if my son were younger, the need for daycare, help fixing meals, and help cleaning the house would become overwhelming. Life insurance for a stay-at-home parent is vital to help you handle the changes that come when a partner dies. It's going to be emotionally stressful and physically draining. Having a little financial help can go a long way. Plus, the insurance can also help your child pay for college later, or meet other goals.
Are You Struggling Due to the Loss of a Parent? The Life Lessons Scholarship Might Help
If you know the reality of losing a parent, and the stress it can put on your finances — as well as your emotional health — you can alleviate some of that pressure with the help of a scholarship. The Life Lessons Scholarship Program is open to those who have experienced the death of a parent or legal guardian. It's a yearly scholarship, and for 2016, the submission deadline is March 1, at 4:00 p.m. Eastern.
Life insurance is an integral part of long-term financial planning, especially if you hope to address the unexpected. Get coverage now, so your family is taken care of later. And if you have experienced the devastating loss of a loved one, and it's impacting your financial ability to move forward with your education, consider applying for the Life Lessons Scholarship Program.