When my husband’s grandfather passed away unexpectedly in his early 40’s, he left behind a wife with several children still at home. The couple had married young, and she had little work experience outside the home. Providing for the family was a real struggle for many years. What made it worse was that they had recently decided to cancel their life insurance in order to try to get a business off the ground. It ended up being a very costly choice. At times our financial position may be such that we are necessarily living hand-to-mouth, but when we reach the point of having discretionary funds, we need to provide for future needs. Just like building up our savings, purchasing adequate insurance can make the difference between having time to plan and adjust to misfortune or tragedy or having our challenges compounded by a financial emergency.
The amount and type of insurance we carry is a very individual decision that should be based on our particular circumstances. As I have neither the knowledge nor space necessary to make adequate recommendations here, you will need to contact a financial planner or insurance company for guidance (ask friends for recommendations!), but before you make that appointment, you and your spouse will need to sit down and discuss:
- What is our annual cost of living?
- Do we need insurance for a temporary stopgap or to provide for the remainder of the survivors’ lives?
- Are there additional expenses (such as ongoing medical treatments, end-of-life care, college tuition for children, vehicle replacements, debts, etc) that will need to be covered?
- What type of funeral costs do we need to cover?
- How might inflation affect the real value of this insurance over time?
Going in with a good idea of your needs and goals will make it easier for someone to help you purchase insurance suited to your situation in life.
If you already carry life insurance, take some time this month to review your policies. Sometimes your life or family circumstances will have changed your projected needs. Contact your provider with questions or to make changes. In addition to life insurance, review your auto insurance and home or renter’s insurance policies to make sure that they are adequate but not excessive. For instance, if you have a substantial auto and home repair fund, you may be able to save money on your monthly bill by switching to a policy with a higher deductible. You may also want to prayerfully consider additional types of insurance such as long-term care, supplemental medical or identity theft protection. While these may not be for everyone, you may feel prompted to prepare in this way. Never ignore a prompting!
“Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.” D&C 64:33