After my oldest was born, her dad and I proudly made sure we ticked every prescribed financial item on the universal to-do list, including life insurance:
- Open a 529 college savings account — CHECK!
- Have six-months cash savings so I could scale back my business to part-time and stay home with her (since he made most of the money at his corporate job, which supplied all of our benefits — CHECK!
- Buy 10x our annual income in a 30-year term life insurance — CHECK x2 (one policy for my husband, one for me)!!!!!
Eerily, just a few months after buying life insurance, my ex suffered a near-death accident that upturned all of our lives permanently.
I’m here to tell you first-hand: BUY THE EFFING LIFE INSURANCE.
It’s not expensive. A 20-year, $500,000 policy can cost a healthy 35-year-old woman only $21 per month. Even if you get tons of child support or your parents are rich, you need life insurance – just maybe not as much.
We all know we’re supposed to buy life insurance when we have kids, so just making that purchase relieves so much guilt and negative energy. Just buy the life insurance, OK?
Even though I rested easy at night knowing my kids would be covered by a cool mil in the event that something happened to me, I recently re-evaluated my insurance at Haven Life, an online life insurance agency which made headlines as being the first of its kind to allow you to buy life insurance entirely online without a medical exam (for qualified, healthy applicants.)
Thanks to their very easy-to-use online calculator, I realized that my earlier, blind assumption that I needed 30 years of coverage because it was the most I could get was simply wrong. I really only need a 15-year term length now. Why?
My kids are 6 and 8. In 15 years they are on track to have completed college. Plus, by then I expect to have paid off an apartment that should be worth more than $1 million, and a sizable investment portfolio, also of about 7-figures — both of which I plan to leave to my kids.
Why the heck do my then-adult kids need MORE money? Gifting people tons of un-earned cash is not in my value system — as a parent or human. I believe in hard work, hard knocks, figuring it out yourself and the pride that comes with that. Even covering my kids after age 18 is a stretch to my maternal values, and I plan to make them pay for a large portion of their college educations.
So, I reevaluated my life insurance, and a 15-year Haven Term term policy costs me $35 per month. My old 30-year policy with my previous carrier was $635 per year, or $52.92 per month.
I canceled my old policy, and applied with Haven Life.
By knocking off 15 years from my life insurance coverage to only have what I really need, and reducing my monthly premiums, I will save $7,670 in premiums. The whole process took about 20 minutes. Plus, my insurance is now in-line with my values.
The post was created in partnership with Haven Life, but views expressed are my own.
Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (DTC, ICC14DTC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC
Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post’s ‘Must Read” list.
Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer.
A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Read more about Emma here.