Are you wondering whether you need life insurance for stay at home mom? You’re in the right place. [Related: Do I Really Need Life Insurance?]
Recently, a dear friend of mine went out late on a Saturday night to grab some last minute groceries she needed for Sunday morning. The grocery store was normally a quick 5 minute drive for her. She didn’t even have to get on a highway. Unexpectedly, an impaired driver in oncoming traffic tore across the median in the middle of the road and rammed into my sweet friend, killing her almost instantly.
My friend was barely 40 years old and left behind a husband and 6 children, the youngest of which is 5 years old. Other than a few odd jobs such as baby sitting other neighborhood kids, my friend was a stay at home mom. She chauffeured her kids to and from school, sports, church, and friends houses. She grocery shopped. She planned and cooked meals made with love. She managed the family’s finances. She mended and tailored clothes. She tutored her kids in their homework. She fixed things that were broken at home. She wore a lot of hats.
No amount of money can replace the absence of my friend from the lives of her sweet kids and husband. But it isn’t hard to see that a life insurance policy for her could have greatly benefited her grieving family.
At first it may seem easy to dismiss life insurance for stay at home mom since technically speaking, stay at home parents don’t have income. And since the point of life insurance is to replace lost income from the death of a working spouse… it may seem obvious that you wouldn’t need life insurance for a spouse who doesn’t work outside of the home. But I hope you’ll think again, especially as you consider my friend’s story.
The purpose of getting life insurance for a stay at home parent is not to replace their income, but rather, so your surviving spouse can afford to hire out many of the jobs the stay at home spouse was doing. And all of the odd jobs a stay at home parent does around the house can really add up. Did you know that salary.com gathered performed a quantitative research study and found that a stay at home mom was worth more than $162,000 per year? Similarly, on average, stay at home mom’s average working 14 hours per day (almost 100 hours per week).
If your stay at home spouse dies, do you have an extra $162,000 per year or 100 hours per week to dedicate to doing all of the jobs that need to be done?
If you are the stay at home spouse, are you confident that your surviving spouse will be able to take care of all of the tasks you were performing? Or that they can afford to hire someone to do so?
If, like many people, you would answer no to any of the above questions, you may want to consider life insurance for the stay at home spouse. There are a lot of things the surviving spouse will need to hire out. Some examples include child care, laundry, meal planning and preparation, house keeping, driving children to and from school and sports, accountant, and or an assistant to do things such as pay bills, meal plan and grocery shop. Of course the surviving spouse will be able to perform some of these tasks, but having a life insurance policy provides comfort– when your surviving spouse is grieving your death, he or she will be able to hire the help they need.
HOW BIG OF A LIFE INSURANCE POLICY DO I NEED FOR A STAY AT HOME MOM?
If you have kids, especially young kids, a life insurance policy on both parents is generally a good idea. But just how big of a policy do you need for a stay at home mom or dad? And for how long?
As for the amount, what you need is an amount that will cover the odd jobs that you won’t want to handle (or won’t be able to handle) on your own. Calculate the yearly cost of those tasks and multiply it by 10. That’s the amount you’ll want in a policy. So let’s say you and your spouse who stays home sit down and list out all of the odd jobs they perform and you determine those jobs cost about $100,000. But between sacrificing your own work schedule or discretionary time, you figure out what you could handle about 50% of that. So the odd jobs will run about $50,000 per year. You multiply that number by 10– and that is the size of policy you’ll need (in this case, $500,000).
As for the length of the policy, 15-20 years is a good rule of thumb. It doesn’t make much sense to do a policy for much longer than this for the simple reason that you likely won’t have children living with you longer than 15-20 years. I’ll point out that I highly do not recommend doing whole life insurance in general, and certainly not for a stay at home parent given what I mentioned– your kids will eventually grow up and move out meaning you won’t need a policy when they are gone.
All this being said, you might not need life insurance for your stay at home spouse in a few circumstances. First, if your kids are already close to the age of leaving home (within 1-2 years) you probably don’t need life insurance for the stay at home spouse in your life. Older kids are more capable of tasks to take care of things such as laundry, driving themselves around, and making meals, to name a few. The other circumstance in which I’d hold off on life insurance for stay at home mom is when you are planning to have kids but don’t have them yet. It’s good to be prepared but you can wait to set up your policy until your first child arrives.
If you’re looking for a life insurance policy, my husband and I personally have policies with Haven Life Insurance. You can fill out everything you need to do online in just a few minutes and see how much it will cost. For us, the small monthly cost has been 100% worth it. You can get an online quote from Haven by clicking here through our affiliate link.
Life insurance is a good idea for most and ideally both parents. Life insurance on a stay at home spouse will ease the pressure and burden in the event that the stay at home parent makes an untimely departure. Taking the time to prepare for tragedies such as this now can take a lot of burden off of your family later.
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