Shortly after our son was born, we scheduled an appointment with our financial planner. We wanted to discuss our options for my 401k, since we'd decided I wouldn't be returning to work. As we were talking, he asked us what we were doing about my life insurance. I must have looked at him funnily, because he quickly insisted that SAHMs need life insurance, too.
SAHMs need life insurance, too
The thought of life insurance hadn't even crossed my mind. I'd always just carried the basic life insurance, through my employers, for all of my working life. Throughout my pregnancy with my son, who will be 13 this year, I had every intention of returning to work after my maternity leave was over. Then, he was born with special needs.
We would have to arrange for specialized care for him if I returned to work, because none of the daycares would take him. His skin came off very easily, as you can see in his pictures. So easily, in fact, that the nurses at the hospital advised us not to put clothes on him. He had his first surgery, on his right “popeye” eye at just 7 days old, had to have multiple ointments and creams, and a special tool to pick his nose since that bulb syringe was useless in his tiny nostrils.
We did the math, and I would have only made $20 a MONTH going back to work, as an RN, so we became a single income family. What we didn’t think about, at first, was that I would also lose my company provided life insurance. We soon realized that stay at home parents need life insurance just as much as the wage earner does. Not to replace their wage, but because the surviving spouse can't quit their job to do all the things the stay at home parent does.
We realized that it's extremely important to talk with a financial planner or an insurance agent associated with a Field Marketing Organization to determine how much insurance you actually need, and what kind, for a stay at home parent. Agents that are affiliated with an FMO often have a wider product selection for their clients, which means that they can better meet your insurance needs.
What You Do Is Valuable
We do carry life insurance on me. While I may not bring home a paycheck, my financial contribution to our lifestyle IS substantial.
As a homemaker it is my job is to take care of my family, my children, and my home. I cannot be easily replaced. Here is just a sampling of what I do…
- parent our children
- play with our children
- teach our children
- read to our children
- referee our children when necessary
- shop for groceries
- plan menus
- prepare meals and serve them
- clean our home
- decorate our home
- wash, fold, and put away laundry
- organize our home (okay, so this is my weakness)
- run errands
- shop for clothing, household items, and more
- provide prayer, first aid, and kisses for boo-boos
- prepare for and entertain guests
- homeschool our children
Nearly thirteen years (and three children later) we know that Hubs would have to hire several people to keep their lives running if something happened to me. He'd have to hire an entire team to make it run smoothly.
We think we owe it to our children to hope for the best case scenario (I am around for a very long time) but plan for the worst case scenario (I leave this earth too soon, and someone else has to meet my children’s needs). I personally think a homemaker is worth his/her weight in gold (that means today I would be worth over $7 million), but figuring out how much life insurance I need could feel like a daunting task.
Are you a stay at home parent? Do you carry life insurance?