More than a million millennials will be celebrating their first Mother’s Day this year, but fewer women than men have a life insurance policy to ensure that their little one(s) will be financially protected in case of a sudden passing. A study by Artemis Strategy Group shows that only 4% of women are not involved in household financial decisions, with the remaining 96% either sharing in, or are primarily in charge of, financial decisions. Though the data indicates that women are often in charge of the financial planning for the family, life insurance coverage has traditionally focused on men.
Why Life Insurance Matters
A recent study shows that while women place high importance on planning for retirement and their family’s future, they face challenges that prevent them from reaching their financial goals, including a lack of time and relevant information pertaining to the best ways to budget for the future.
As more women climb the corporate ladder and have children, they are now becoming more interested in educating themselves about their financial well being. In addition, married millennial women who are the primary financial decision-makers say they take on this role because they are more knowledgeable than their partners (66%) or because they enjoy making financial decisions (49%).
Here are a few important factors to consider when choosing a life insurance policy that best fits the needs of you and your family:
1. Life insurance is one of those things that no one likes to think about because it means you’re losing someone—but you need to be prepared for unexpected circumstances when you have kids.
2. There’s a misconception that stay-at-home parents don’t need life insurance because they’re not bringing home a paycheck. But stay-at-home parents are indispensable to the family—in fact, it’s estimated that the average stay-at-home parent would earn $162,581 for everything they do, including things like hiring a nanny or paying for daycare.
3. It’s important for moms to know that term life insurance is more beneficial and cost-effective than whole life insurance and other offerings. Term life insurance policies are set for a fixed amount of time (10, 20, or 30 years), ensuring the costs are lower than any other type of policy. For example, a healthy 30-year-old woman can purchase a 20-year term policy worth $250,000 of life insurance coverage for as little as $13 per month. This would ensure that her children are covered through adulthood.
How Moms Can Calculate How Much Insurance They Need
It’s important to not over or underestimate the amount you need. A basic needs calculator can help you do the math. You can use the DIME method—Debt, Income, Mortgage, and Education—to calculate your expenses to get a ballpark number.
As your child grows, so will the expenses they bring. It can cost up to $233k to raise a child (and that’s before college). It’s becoming more common for adult children to live with their parents into their early 20s as they establish themselves. Their financial needs such as student loans, rent, and living expenses should be taken into consideration when you’re thinking about how much coverage you actually need.
Being a new parent can be overwhelming. From the new routine—sleep, feed, repeat—to balancing all the other important chores and demands of pre-baby life. Something that shouldn’t be hard or stressful is ensuring that the family is set up for a healthy financial future. I encourage new parents (and even older parents who haven’t yet considered it) to get educated about the importance of life insurance and make certain that a policy is in place so your family will always be taken care of.