Ah yes… September. The air is cooling, the leaves are coloring, NFL Football is back (way to start the season off right, ‘Skins! #NOT), and most importantly – It’s LIFE INSURANCE AWARENESS MONTH!!! OMG! CGW! (Crowd goes wild) OTM! (over the moon) TGIS! (thank goodness it’s September)
I know I know, you waited all year for this month to come and now that it’s here you don’t know how to control yourself. Join the club. The club of BEING INSURED, baby – yeah! (okay okay, I’ll stop)
In all seriousness though, life insurance is pretty important. (Important if you’re BORING! Okay for real this time – no more yokes. I mean Jokes.)
It really is important :) Especially if you’re married, have kids, buying/own a home or assets, or pretty much just don’t want to get screwed in the off change that you die one day. Which, surprise! Will happen. Hopefully not until all debts are paid off though and you’re living the good life down at the beach with 16 of your grand kids burying you into the sand. (Another reason to retire early, right?)
But here’s the thing. You already KNOW all this. Some of you smarties have already sucked it up and covered yourself and your family, but a good majority of you have not. According to this minfo-graphic (“mini info graphic” – coined first here!) by goodneighbors.com via State Farm Insurance, only one in four of us are picking up life insurance by one of these main events:
All four of those check marks are mine because they’re exactly the reason we picked up life insurance for each other ourselves. We had just bought a house in the summer of 2007 (real estate could never go down, right?) prompting us right out the gate, and then by the next Spring we’d be getting married (prompt #2) and shortly thereafter working on our new beautiful family (prompt #3). So we each picked up enough coverage to wipe out our entire mortgage and keep the future of the Money household safe and secure – at least financially.
It’s funny to think about how much money we spend on something that we hope will never come, but it’s one of the best ways to protect your wealth and make sure you’re not leaving behind a trail of mess for your loved ones to clean up. The last thing they want to be doing is figuring out how to pay off all those large debts you’ve left behind while they’re grieving for your loss. I like to think of it as one last gift to bestow upon them as you make your way up to Candy Land ;) And what a great financial lesson to leave with them too! (Do you think there’s blogging in the after-life?)
Now, I’m not gonna be your mother and tell you to stop what you’re doing and go buy yourself some coverage, but I am going to channel your dad and hand you an eBeer while sternly telling you “it would be wise” to look into this today, son/daughter. Don’t rush out and buy something you’re confused about or not even sure you need (contrary to popular belief not everyone technically does need life insurance, though it is always beneficial!), but do spend a few moments today – 15 minutes? – reviewing your current situation and whether it’s worth looking into more or not.
What’s changed over the past few years? What’s changed since the last time you GOT insurance? What would happen if you vanished into thin air like that fateful day on The Leftovers?
This goes very much for myself, too. Since picking up coverage those 7 years ago we’ve tied the knott, started an online business, grew our net worth by hundreds of thousands, and of course welcomed 2.3 new kids into our world (cats count, right?). What we picked up then might not match what we need today, so I’ll be chatting with the wife about this as well :)
In fact, here’s what we have now to give you a better idea:
- J. Money: $350,000 of Term Life Insurance (30 years @ $30.99/mo, via USAA)
- Mrs. J. Money: $350,000 of Term Life Insurance (30 years @ $24.57/mo, via USAA)
(Why do women always pay less for insurance? Those beautiful creatures…)
It’s literally been two years since I last paid attention to this – ever since my last riveting post on Life Insurance Month, where I changed it to M.M.L.P. Insurance: Mo’ Money, Less Problems! Haha… – so the timing couldn’t be better. Even us money bloggers need to suck it up…
Here’s a refresher from that post on why life insurance is so important:
- When you die, it’s going to cost money. Who, will depend on you.
- The money can be used to pay off mortgages, debts, full rides to college!
- It’s good to give your family complete peace of mind.
- It’s good to give YOU complete peace of mind! While you’re still alive!
- And more importantly, you can forever ward off all questions from your nosey financial blogger/parents going forward. Possibly the best reason :)
So. What are you going to do as soon as you finish reading this most exciting article I’ve served up for you today? Drink some coffee? Okay, sure. Leave a comment about how brilliant and funny I am? Fine, I’ll allow that. Oh oh! How about taking 15 minutes to review my wonderful life and whether or not I’m happy with my insurance coverage? Ding Ding Ding! We have a winner!
You don’t have to make a big deal of it, but I do urge you to put down The Facebook for a few and mull it over. You kids have it easy these days… Back in my day I had to walk uphill – both ways – to the life insurance company to talk about my options. All while barefoot, and in the snow!
PS: If you have no idea what amounts of coverage you’d need, check out this handy calculater from State Farm: Life Needs Calculator. It’ll help put things in perspective more.
UPDATE: Got a great message on Facebook about *Disability* insurance too: “Also worth mentioning, it’s super important to have disability insurance. I’ve read that it’s actually more common for people to need that but yet far less people have it. If you can’t work for an extended period of time (like a year or more), disability insurance is a lifesaver… Years ago, I knew someone who was in a terrible car crash & couldn’t work for 6 or 7 months. He didn’t have long term disability insurance, & it really messed him up financially. The small premium is worth the peace of mind, if you ask me!” ANOTHER GOOD THING TO CONSIDER!
Disclosure: This blog post was written as part of a sponsored program for State Farm to raise awareness about the importance of life insurance. All views expressed are entirely my own (do you think State Farm is that funny? ;)), and were not influenced (at all) or directed by State Farm (fo sho). You can learn more about this blogger program and life insurance at GoodNeighbors.com, PlantingMoneySeeds.com, and by following #StartLiving on Twitter.
[Photo by meddygarnet]