Life Insurance

[deleted account] ( 30 moms have responded )

For those that do not know, my father died just 2 weeks ago today. He was sick for a long time. I was his caretaker for 2.5 years until he literally pushed me away and made his friend his health care proxy but that's another story.

As my brothers and I feared, Dad had no life insurance at all. He had no assets of any kind, i.e. automobiles, stocks, bonds, annuities, etc. There is possibly $1200 in his bank accounts combined and we think his pension will give us maybe $500 for a death benefit. None of his children are wealthy or even close to it. I dont' have any credit anymore thanks to my divorce and my foreclosure. Same goes for my oldest brother. My older brother fronted a good portion of the funeral.

His funeral was very sparse because we simply couldn't afford anything else. So for a cremation, 2 hours at the funeral home, 4 certified death certificates and the newspaper notice, it was $2400. My brother spent extra on a bagpiper for me as it was one of the few things that really connected me and Dad. That was an extra $200. Plus a brunch at a local pub owned by family friends who gave us ost of it as a gift but still we ended up paying $150 (which I know is not a lot but when you don't have it...). There will be no gravesite because to open a new grave is $1200 not including a stone. To bury his ashes on top of his mother or brother would be even more. No kidding. To dig the hole would be $900 plus an 'accomodation fee' (apparently exclusive to the Catholic Cemetaries - shocker) of $600 plus a vault for $200. So $1700 not including marker to do that. We're going to scatter on my Uncle's property in Pennsylvania up in the mountains. Oh and I bought flowers just for the children and grandchildren for $100 because I simply dind't have any more money. There was no church service because the local Catholic church would be an extra $500 plus $150 for the organist (my 2nd ex husband was a church organist so I know how much they charge).

I don't give a damn about any money for me. That was never the type of person I was or am. However I'm so upset that he adamantly refused to get any policy at all. All we would want was enough to cover this. All 3 of us live paycheck to paycheck and with my illness, I often don't get full checks.

So I guess my point is that Life Insurance isn't a luxury. It's essential! Altogether, myfather's very small, very quiet service cost $2850 which I know in the grand scheme of the world isn't a lot but if you don't have it, it might as well be $285,000!

I remember we had a thread quite a while back about life insurance for children. I remember being very confused that people thought anyone who had a policy on their children was money grubbing and morbid. Those people are wrong! I have $5k on my son through work. That would only just cover a similar service plus grave or tomb. Plus I think about my own mental health shoudl I lose my son. I know I wouldn't be able to go back to work for a good while because I would be totally destroyed. I would need something to keep me going till I could go back.

For myself, I would never want my loved one saddled with expenses they coudlnt' afford and I want nothing more than what I did for my Dad. Then I would want to know that my son was not left destitute. So while I've always had the maximum insurance available thru work, I'm going to be buying an additional policy as soon as we get the funeral paid off (along with my very late rent so I could help my brothers.)

Life insurance is important. Even the cheapest service can be fortune if you're broke to begin with.

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K - posted on 12/09/2012

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My maternal grandfather died when I was just a baby. But he left behind 5 school-age kids. They were always poor, relying on the church, government assistance, and our family's help to get by.



Jen, you're situation is sad, but it would have been a hundred times worse had your father passed while his family was still young. When we had kids what happened to my grandmother stayed with me. We have $300,000 of term life on me and $500,000 on DH. For 20 years, until the kids are grown.



Bottom-line: if you are a family breadwinner and have minimal savings you need life insurance to cover things you were providing. It can cover lost income, provide financial security, pay off the mortgage, pay for college, and at the very least, the final/burial expenses.



I know a lot of people put off buying it because they think it costs too much. Which is ironic because, these days, term life insurance is cheap. (There's a free quote engine at Quality Term Life http://www.qualitytermlife.com where you can compare rates from well-known insurance companies. And they don't ask for contact info before showing you the quotes.)

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Jenn - posted on 12/12/2012

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My mother in law has no life insurance. Well, she did, but before she was diagnosed wit dementia she let it lapse for too long to recover. So we have burial policy for her. Cremation and a service. No one should have to be stuck scrambling to bury a loved one while grieving at the same time, but it happens. We have policies on everyone in our family, children included. It is worth the peace of mind.

Kathy - posted on 12/09/2012

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Don't be too hard on your grandfather. He may have his own reasons for not having life insurance. We have very little in terms of private insurance (although we do have equity in the house, and some insurance through work) because my mother was shafted on life insurance when my father died, and my husband worked in banking for years and knows how difficult insurance companies can be. We do not choose to give them our money.



It would have been nice if he had put aside some money for a burial, but (and no disrespect intended) I am not sure that is his job. Some of that may have depended on if he had any money in the first place. In my family the children usually do pay for the funeral of their parents with help from any death benefit, etc. When my mom passes away, I expect I will pay for a good chunk of the funeral, and I will get very little in terms on any estate (she has none). I don't expect her to put money aside for her funeral as she has no money.



I am sorry for your loss.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 04/29/2012

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That's terrible Hope. So sorry for you sister and BIL (and you). How sad, to lose a baby (or any child). :(

Jodi - posted on 04/29/2012

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Hope, from my understanding, that isn't a given. It is only available if you qualify for certain Centrelink benefits (eg. Family Tax Benefit), and is only worth whatever is about 14 weeks of that benefit. So if you are on minimum payments, you wouldn't get very much at all. Some people may only qualify for less than $500.

[deleted account]

Here in Australia if a child dies the government gives the parents bereavement payments. It adds up to a few thousand. My sister and Bil lost a baby last year and they received enough to keep them going for a couple of months. The funeral for a 7 week old was nearly $3000 and that did not include a burial.

My husband has I think $70000 insurance. I have non, probably should think about that.



Sorry for your loss and all the best.

Stifler's - posted on 04/29/2012

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We don't have insurance on the kids either if they died we'd still be around to pay for their funerals.

[deleted account]

My husband has real life insurance, I have a very small policy (cancer survivor, damn near impossible to get more than a few thousand to cover the funeral). Our home, cars, and all are paid for, and we usually pay cash so there is only utility and living expense to worry about--it would be tight, but my income would cover us even without the insurance, but I'm glad we have the insurance. If I die though, things could get tougher for John. He could sell my office building if he really needed a lump sum--I think it is worth about $900,000 now. It is still mortgaged, but it is worth a lot more than I originally paid for it, so he could make at least $500,000 on it. It would be better to keep it though because it is a good source of monthly income he doesn't have to work for....it's just, you can't get a large sum that way. It would support a nanny for J and a housekeeping service. John's a fairly good cook, so I think he would be fine.....I hope.

We do not have insurance on our son, but in the event of his death, we would use the money set aside for his education.

My husband has a 401K and an IRA (which is in both our names), but I don't have anything set aside for just myself for retirement. My plan is to let my office building appreciate until I reach the $1.2 million mark, then sell it, pay it off, and set about $1million aside for retirement.

Stifler's - posted on 04/28/2012

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Yeah Suncorp is our life insurance that we pay for. Oh that's good then. I doubt either of us have that much superannuation.

Jodi - posted on 04/28/2012

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I am assuming the Suncorp is separate from his super, in which case, you get both. But with Super death cover, basically, you only get either the death cover on the super policy (if you opted for it), or the super, whichever is more. But any death cover you have separately is separate from that and you get that too.

Stifler's - posted on 04/28/2012

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So if Damian dies I only get Suncorp family protect and nothing from his super death cover?

Jodi - posted on 04/27/2012

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Emma, it means that when you die, it goes at value into your estate as cash and your family inherits it in full. Unless you have additional death cover on that, and then your family gets the death cover amount, whichever is higher.

Stifler's - posted on 04/27/2012

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Both of us are insured for the same amount of $400 000. What does superannuation being an asset after you die mean?

[deleted account]

We used to have life insurance on us and on our son. Not sure what the amounts were. I agree, it's a good thing to have in case the worst (knock wood) were to happen. As soon as our finances allow, we'll be re-starting our life insurance.

Jen K, I'm so sorry for your loss and for the struggles you've been going through :(

Jodi - posted on 04/26/2012

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In Australia, superannuation is a compulsory payment by an employer, and being older, we actually have about $100K each in retirement savings. So when you consider that, together with our life insurances, our kids would be pretty well provided for if anything happened to us.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 04/26/2012

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Ah yes, retirement savings. We have our RRSP's. Which can be used before you retire, for any reason (just pay the taxes on it). It is also an asset if you die. Currently we have $30 000 (I used $15 000 during my year mat leave or we would have $45 000).

Jodi - posted on 04/26/2012

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Oh, we also have our retirement savings (superannuation), and in extenuating circumstances, that can be accessed before you retire, and is an asset when you die.

Jocelyn - posted on 04/26/2012

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We actually just renewed our life insurance. My hubby and I both have $250000 and our kids have $10000. It works out to about $60 a month. It's very important to us. I would consider us lower-middle class (we life comfortably but don't have many assets) and if anything were to happen to any of us and we didn't have insurance, we would be hooped financially. That is not a burden that I want to cause/have to deal with.

Jodi - posted on 04/26/2012

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It's mostly because he has two policies, one through work and one his parents got when he was a child. I'm not sure how much each one is individually, but they add up to 250 k. Also, it's a reason of finances, we plan on getting a better plan for me eventually when we can afford it. But, that is probably many years away. :(

Sherri - posted on 04/26/2012

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yup my Jodi Doo mine is the same as you guys $50,000 for me, my husband is $250,000.

Our reason Jodi is because I am a smoker and my husband isn't.

Jodi - posted on 04/26/2012

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Jodi, just out of interest, why is your insurance only $50K when you have such young children? Have you considered the cost it might be to your husband if something happened to you? I am not criticising you, it just doesn't sound like a lot. Sure, you may be a SAHM, but I believe you have undervalued yourself. Your children have many years left to be raised, who is going to do that if your husband has to be earning an income, and how will that be paid for?



And just for the record, children's insurance here does not carry into adulthood, so there is no benefit there for us either.

Jodi - posted on 04/26/2012

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My husband and I both have life insurance. My husband's is about 250,000, mine is only for 50,000. We also have special insurance on our house and both of our car loans that if my husband dies, they are automatically paid off.



We also have life insurance on all 3 of our children. I know the risk of my children dying is pretty small, but their life insurance will carry through their adult life too, and we have the grow up plan that will continue to accrue funds even after they turn 18. So, even though I didn't get it for the purpose of their untimely death, it gives them life insurance when they're adults that they don't have to worry about, it's just there.



I'm all for life insurance, because my grandparents had life insurance, when they passed (within a month of one another) all of the siblings were able to chip in and purchase plane tickets for the other siblings who couldn't have afforded to come out for the funeral any other way.

Jodi - posted on 04/25/2012

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Jen, I am sorry for your loss, and also sorry for the lack of your dad's forethought in this, and the burden that put on the family. I can only imagine it made a stressful time even more stressful.



We both have insurance policies for death or disability. All up, mine is about $450,000. I can't remember how much my husband's is, but it is similar. We don't bother insuring the children because it is honestly low risk, and IF something were to happen, we have the means to be able to afford it. Insurance is about risk assessment. I have chosen to assess the risk of my children dying as very small and the risk of me not being able to financially cope with that (including the emotional impact) as negligible. However, we have assessed the risk to our children/partner of something happening to us and our children/partner needing help to financially cope with the aftermath of that as very high, therefore explaining our reasoning for insuring our own lives.

Stifler's - posted on 04/25/2012

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We have life insurance. I hate paying 100 a month but it's worth it if one of us dies the other can buy a house outright and pay off our car loan and for the funeral and the kids won't be out on the streets if we both die whoever gets them would probably get our money in a trust for them. Both of us have an extra 150 000 life insurance on our super funds.

Sherri - posted on 04/25/2012

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It is the one thing my husband and I both have and don't skimp on. I have seen what it has done to families when someone hasn't had it.

P.S. I am sooo sorry for your loss.

Lacye - posted on 04/25/2012

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As soon as I graduate from college and get a job, I plan on getting life insurance for myself, my husband and our child. I have always been a firm believer in life insurance. I would not want my children to have to struggle to bury me. I don't want to have to struggle burying my husband, we have already decided he's going before me lol. It is irresponsible to not have it.

Lady Heather - posted on 04/25/2012

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Dude, I do agree. Lately a lot of horrible things have been happening to people I know - parents, spouses and sadly even children dying totally unexpectedly. Money is the last thing you want to think about when shit like that happens. You do need to have a plan. And you need to make sure your stuff is up to date. I remember I had a co worker pass away when I was working payroll. He had insurance alright. But the beneficiary was his ex-girlfriend who ran off with some other guy. His daughter was 100% confident that he wouldn't wish to give that woman any money and obviously she wouldn't be handling the end if life costs. He just plain forgot to change it after she left. That broke my heart having to tell his daughter that.



I'm really sorry for your loss.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 04/25/2012

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I am so sorry Jen, you are having to go through this. It is very disheartening.

We do have life insurance through our work. No private though, so as long as we keep our job we are covered, even while not at work. Neither of my children have insurance. I don't plan on getting any. However, if something so devastating happened, we could pay the bill, along with tons of help from my Dad and In-Laws.

I do agree though, life insurance is very important. If we weren't both adequately covered through work, we would go with a private one. I know my kids could sell our house and have a decent $100 000 - $150 000 in profit (right now), so they would be OK to cover our funeral. So, for us it isn't a huge deal but it is a nice sense of security to have insurance. ;)

Janice - posted on 04/25/2012

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Ugh! I'm so sorry you are dealing with all that.

My aunt passed from cancer last January. Thankfully my aunt did have a small policy but it didn't cover much. She still does not have a stone because my cousins (only 30 & 38) can't afford one.



We don't have a policy for any of us because funds are slim but you are right everyone should have one.

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