Financial Planning for Geeks

I HAD to Write about Life Insurance…Please Read it Anyway!

- Insurance

We all know people who have died unexpectedly and we all know something could happen to us at any time. None of us is immortal, as much as we hate to think about death.

A color drawing of the harbor in Lisbon, with 13 ships tossed around in the treacherous waters
Treacherous waters call for life insurance!

Hello everyone,

In recent blogs I’ve been trying to motivate you to get started on your own financial life planning (if you haven’t already). Now I need to get specific about life insurance. Please don’t nod off or delete this just yet!

During my time as a planner, I have had a 30-year-old man die in an accident, a 90-year-old woman die of complications from Alzheimer’s, and a 56-year-old man die after a short illness. My own ex-husband died when he was only 47 years old. He was remarried and had two young children when he got a rare form of leukemia. I have plenty of these stories. 

So why am I telling them to you? It’s not to depress you, believe it or not. It’s to scare you! Yes, I will admit that I want to scare you…into thinking deeply about this and taking action on it right now.

We all know people who have died unexpectedly and we all know something could happen to us at any time. None of us is immortal, as much as we hate to think about death. 

So if you’re still working, please take some time and think about who depends on the money you earn. You don’t want your partner to have to sell your house, you want the kids to be able to go to a good college, and you don’t want anyone to have to panic because there’s no money coming in when they are already distraught. Reach out to me or your insurance agent to find out how much coverage you need, and then please get that in place! 

If you’re not working anymore, no one is depending on your income but there are still some reasons you might want life insurance. You might want to leave someone a legacy so they have an easier time getting started in life than you did. Your loved ones might need to pay taxes when you die, there might be legal expenses associated with settling your estate, and at a very minimum something will need to be done with your body. Please don’t leave that bill to someone else. And If you’re curious about how much it costs to die in your state, read this.

Yes, your heirs will inherit your assets, but do you know how long it takes for them to actually receive the money? Do you want them worrying about final expenses or charging funeral costs on their credit cards while they wait for probate to finish? According to LegalMatch, probate can take anywhere from a few months to a few years, depending on the complexity of the case. 

My point is that life insurance usually pays out within a few days of when you file the death claim. That’s ready cash for your loved ones when they are already stressed and grieving, so make sure you take care of this.

Oh, and by the way…these are all great reasons to get your estate planning and long-term care protection handled, too.

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Penny Farthing

I, Penny Farthing (non-wizarding name Kerry Read ), actually have a day job in the world of finance. This blog came into being because of my deep and abiding love for geeks and Personal Finance.