Life insurance should first and foremost fit the purpose—it should meet your needs. And the primary purpose of life insurance is to care for those left behind in the event of your death. With group life insurance, it’s often set at one or two times your annual salary, or a default amount such as $25,000 or $50,000. While this sounds like a lot of money, just think of how long that would last your loved ones. What would they do once that ran out?
It was a struggle, but we learned to pay bills, wash clothes, clean house, keep up our schoolwork and provide meals. In spite of this setback, we all managed to thrive: My older brother graduated high school one month before her passing and works full-time at his manufacturing job. My older sister graduated high school with honors and is currently a sophomore at Lenoir Rhyne University majoring in psychology while doing work-study.
It was some time before campers found him, unconscious and with a dislocated shoulder, but otherwise uninjured. I was overwhelmed suddenly—even though my husband was going to be fine—with the prospect of managing the future costs of raising a child without him. But there was a catch to this epiphany: I was the breadwinner of the family. If I was worried about losing him, what if he lost me? I talked to a financial advisor the very next week and secured policies for both myself and him.
I often think about what would have happened if my parents had planned for their—and our—future by purchasing life insurance. Would I still be living with my siblings? Would we be in a financially stable situation so that we could stay together and support each other in our life and college aspirations? I know my life would have been better with life insurance, but I can’t change the past, I can only change my future.
That’s that stuff for babies and old people, right? People of a certain age remember Ed McMahon telling them their grandparents couldn’t be turned down for any reason and figure that’s the target demographic for life insurance. Or, you might have been offered a small permanent insurance policy for your newborn, attractively presented with a cherubic infant on the envelope. The truth of the matter is that these are very specific insurance products—just as there are many insurance products for adults in their working years.