Here’s the thing with life insurance: You know you’re supposed to have it, but you probably don’t because you think it is not affordable. Guilt and stress ensue. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Mama, you’re not alone …
A recent survey found that 69% of single-parent households with kids at home are without life insurance, compared with 45% of married-parent families.
I understand why this is — single moms are often poorer than married moms, so there is a sense that there is less to invest in insurance. But something else is going on. When you feel like you don’t have enough money, it is hard to remember how critically important you are to your kids.
I don’t care how broke you are, single moms need life insurance. Chances are, your kids are financially dependent on you. If something were to happen, even if once Social Security kicks in, your kids would still need more financial support. The crazy part of this story is that life insurance is not very expensive.
For as low as $19 per month, you can get up to $1 million in coverage — plus sleep easier knowing you are taking care of your family. I endorse Haven Life, which is backed and wholly owned by MassMutual — a top-rated life insurer, which gets a Better Business Bureau A+ Rating. They offer great online tools like a calculator and quote page, friendly support and highly competitive rates.
The basics about how single moms can buy affordable life insurance
1. Buy term. That is just a flat rate you pay each month or year for a fixed term — usually 10, 20 or 30 years. Don’t mess around with whole life insurance — a type of savings/investment policy that is complicated and not a very good deal.
2. Figure out how much you need. I just went through Haven Life’s, life insurance calculator that did a great job of summing up my financial and family situation. As a general rule, you want to buy enough to pay off debt and support your dependents until they are through college. One general rule of thumb is to multiply your current income by 10 (so if you earn $80,000 per year, you would need to buy $800,000 worth of life insurance).
3. Get a quote. The whole process takes less than 20 minutes:
4. Buy now. Yes, you will get a price break if you quit smoking or get your weight down to a healthy number. But you also pay more with each birthday (the older you are, the more likely you are to bite the big one, after all!). Plus (have you been listening to me here, ladies?!), you need coverage now. So just buy it. This is as much for your peace of mind now as it is for your kids later.
5. Don’t let your policy lapse. If you do, your coverage will be canceled and you have to start the whole application process over — and prices are likely to jump.
Disclosure: I make money from some links in this post.