In Which I Nag You To Buy Life Insurance
What keeps you up at night? What kind of dark horses go galloping around your brain at 3:30 a.m.? Lately, my horses are: what if someone asks the kids to prove the existence of God, and they can't, because we gave up on Aquinas? I haven't printed out photos in six years! I'm not sure I ever taught them about sonata form, and now some of them think Cake is actually a good band! I never thanked Nora's mom for making us food when the baby was born, and I'm still not sure which Nora's mom it was! We'll have to change schools. And so on.
Happily, I no longer wake up wondering how our kids will pay for funeral expenses if we die. Yep, the Fishers have life insurance.
For a long time, we just flat out couldn't afford it, at all. You can't get premiums from a stone, no matter how hard you squeeze. When you're poor for a long time and then your finances improve, it take a while for you to re-prioritize and make sure you're skimping and splurging on the appropriate things -- so I only recently realized that there is now absolutely room in our budget for medium-sized policies for each of us. It's enough that if one of us dies, we can pay for the funeral and have a few years to figure out a plan for the long term, and if both of us die, whoever cares for the kids will have more than a few years. We'd like more, but at least we have our foot in the door, and we can buy a second policy later.
So, I'm just doing my job to pester you, especially those of you with young children. Probably your friends would set up a GoFundMe account if you do drive off a bridge or a meteorite hits your bedroom, but what if they don't? This is not how you want to live your life. You know you don't.
I really hate it when people say, "You have no business having children if you don't have life insurance!" or "How can you claim you love your family if you don't have life insurance?" Hey, things happen. Life doesn't always work out in a sensible order. Lots of non-horrible people don't have life insurance. Just consider this your reminder, you loving parents, to take a look at your budget and see what you can do. And remember: if at all possible, insure both parents, including a spouse who doesn't work. If the working spouse is the survivor, he'll need to pay someone to do whatever work the non-earning spouse once did.
If you're just starting out looking for information, it can feel overwhelming at first; but in about two hours, I went from knowing absolutely zero about life insurance to knowing more or less what I wanted; and after a couple of conversations with agents, using my patented Don't Be Afraid To Sound Stupid If It's Important To Get Information technique, I filled in the rest. Here is a decent overview of what it's all about. Ask your friends for recommendations about which company they use, and ask them if there's an agent they like. It couldn't hurt to make some calls and see what you can manage. The younger and healthier you are, the better price you will get.
Go ahead, make some calls! It won't kill you! And if it does, at least you'll be insured.