Jim’s own life story is a perfect example of why every family needs life insurance. It’s not a tale he likes to tell, so this is my first post in the insurance section of our blog.
When Jim was in his mid-thirties, he was raising a young family with his wife Carol. They moved from Queens to Westchester to give their children Ashley and Nick a better school system. They were working hard to afford their new lives. Then, Carol had a massive and fatal heart attack. She was young and beautiful— and she had an infection that she didn’t know about, one from a recent gum surgery that had traveled to her heart.
Ashley and Nick were nine years old and five years old when Carol died.
Jim struggled as a single parent to provide for the family on one salary. They had planned the move to Westchester based on two incomes. Carol had life insurance that helped, but it was not enough to replace the income she would have earned over decades. Ironically, they were talking about getting more life insurance just before she died. As Jim learned, sometimes you need the insurance a lot sooner than you think.
I met Jim a decade or two later. By then, his children were adults living independently. We weren’t planning to have more children. We still bought life insurance to replace the income that would be lost to the survivor if one of us dies. The insurance secures our financial plans. It is a foundation of our retirement income planning.
Replacing income that will be lost to your survivors if you die is a primary purpose of life insurance. It helps families weather life’s ups and downs and provides peace of mind.
Experts say that only 1 out of 7 people have enough life insurance for their families. Don’t assume that you have enough. Either talk to a savvy planner or do the math yourself. There are good calculators available online for free.
We used one calculator on the website of the nonprofit organization called Life Happens:
Family needs change over time. We recommend redoing the math every year or two to be sure you have enough insurance to take care of your family’s needs. At some point, as the children get older, you may even find yourself reducing the insurance amount.
Don’t put off thinking about life insurance. Do it now. Very few of us are planning to die today, but some of us will. You may not have until tomorrow to take care of it.
Learn more about life insurance on our website here: