Life insurance: Get some.
Even a few months after the accident, the fog was just starting to clear, if I had to go right back to work full-time while trying to single-parent, or else face financial ruin — I. Would. Have. Caved. Completely. And I am not the caving type. Knowing some life insurance was coming, even a modest amount, bought me time. Honestly, it was the financial bridge I needed between my old life, and the rest of my life.
Do it now: in 30 min or less
1. Research: get quotes online, ask at work or an insurance agent
2. Resources: go to the GYST Resources page for suggestions
5. Do it! pick a good policy & company (you can change it later)
Life insurance usually comes from your employer (though usually only valid while you work there), from your home/auto insurer, or an independent broker. Some things to consider when you’re lining up your policy:
- Your home: What would it take to pay off the house or cover your rent for a comfortable period? Plan for that amount or chunk of time.
- Living expenses: Calculate you or your family’s monthly expenses against how long you or your survivor(s) should be able to focus on healing without having to work. Make it as generous as you can, especially if you have kids or haven’t worked outside the home in recent years.
- Debt: How much do you have? Is it in your name, both names, or your spouse/partner’s name? If your name is on it, you are responsible for paying it off. If it is only in your partner’s name, you may not be.
- Education: If you want your kid(s) to go to the best college they can get into, or go to college at all, and/or if you are considering private school along the way, you are looking at major expenses. Add them up.
- Retirement: Most people are woefully unprepared for this, so was I. If your partner/spouse generates income, or is the primary breadwinner, think about what you’d need to give yourself a future cushion if that income were to go away.
- Your Sanity: Think about a number that would make you feel comfortable to get by on, and see you if can afford the monthly payment. Life insurance is not supposed to replace your retirement planning or be a financial windfall … However, get what you can afford so you feel covered.
- Note to Single-parents: If you are not around anymore, make sure your kid(s) will have some financial resources and padding to take care of things like your memorial service, medical costs, counseling, moving to a different home, state or school, etc. I know, brutal, but there may be some additional nuances to think over.