Finance

Money Week: Death

July 4th weekend 2012, it was as hot as you could stand and we were in the middle of the best summer of our….year. Oh what a time we were having! (That was back before adoption, so home was a lot quieter 😉

We had gone camping, just the three of us and it was a blast. Crystal has this thing where she tries to cook everything on a fire, and better than what she already does at home and let me tell you, she’s is good!

It had been an incredibly busy season for us, but then what isn’t busy anymore. Because of the intensity of busy, I had decided beforehand, no phone, no email, no contact for those days away. Sunday morning, as we were packing up to head home, I broke my email fast and checked messages. Isn’t it during a time away like this that it seems the worst happens?

To my horror, I had a message in my inbox about a friend of mine that died the day prior in a freak accident. He had gone ocean kayaking with his wife and two young children. He got caught in an undertow, pulled out to sea and drowned. His body washed up on the beach the next day! When I was in college, this guy was one of the guys who lived on the floor I supervised. I had grown to know him, prayed with him and was very excited about his future.

After he got married, they had their first child and she had some sort of cancer in her young life. It was heart-wrenching to watch them go through this. Crystal and I did what we could, even sending them over $1500 at one point to assist in their bills.

When I read that email that morning, my second thought raced to life insurance. What in the world would this young mom do now? If he didn’t have life insurance, she’d be in a load of trouble and fast!

That’s where my connection with the story ends, but personally, for me, it begins.

When we got home, I contacted a life insurance company and began working to increase my coverage to a million dollars. For me, that’s what I felt would be necessary for my wife and son to be okay if I suddenly was not there anymore.

In the years since that, since our life has changed by 4 more kids, I have further increased that amount as well to a number I feel my family would need for them to survive and not have to worry. That’s what life insurance is for–peace so that if something were to happen, that something is not made much worse by not having money.

So what should you do?

1) Figure out how much you need.
Rule of thumb is that you should have 8-10 times your annual salary. If you make 40K yearly, 40X8/10=320/400K.

2) Research where you should get it from.
I’ve had really good success using Zander Insurance.  They are straightforward and very easy to use.

3) Term or Whole?
Insurance should just be insurance. Therefore, I’m all about term. Get it for as long as you can at the price point you can afford, for the coverage you need.

What about you? Is this something you have considered or avoided?
Have you seen a story where someone really could have benefited from having life insurance but didn’t make that choice ahead of time?

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