Discussing life insurance with your spouse, parents or children can be tough. Talking about death and disability isn’t easy. So it’s no wonder that an online survey conducted in the U.S. found that parents would rather talk to their children about almost anything else, including drugs, alcohol and religion, rather than life insurance (LIMRA, 2012).
It may not be easy, but talking about life insurance with your family is important. It can help you and your spouse create a solid financial plan, allow you to better understand if you have enough coverage to protect your financial goals, and help prevent confusion about your final wishes if you do pass away.
Here are three tips for how to start the difficult conversation with your spouse, children and parents.
1. Make a date
Whether you’re dating or have been married for several years, many financial advisors recommend couples set aside time to discuss their current finances, spending habits and their financial goals (Money Sense, 2011). Farnoosh Torabi, a financial advisor and contributor to DailyWorth.com, suggests making “money dates” (Daily Worth, 2015).
This habit can help you better understand each other and encourage you to talk about money in a healthy, productive way. Topics could include debt, savings and long-term planning items like investments and insurance.
What is your savings style? Take this fun quiz from GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca to see how you and your spouse compare.
2. Discuss your goals
Personal insurance is not just about protecting your current assets. Life and critical, and disability insurance can also help protect bigger financial goals. Most importantly, the right insurance plan can help ensure your loved ones are cared for in the way you want if you pass away.
Sit down with your spouse and talk about your financial objectives. Involving your children in appropriate parts of these discussions is an important way for them to develop their own financial literacy. What is important to the family in the long run and how can life insurance help protect these goals? Then discuss whether or not you have enough coverage to meet these long-term goals.
Need help figuring out how much coverage you need to support your family’s goals? We can help. Click here to use our quick and easy coverage calculator. It can help you find a plan that matches your needs.
3. Set a time to talk to your children and parents
Talking about life insurance and estate planning can help families avoid confusion and disappointment in the long run. When your children are old enough, it may be a good idea to sit them down and explain your estate plans. This can give them time to adjust their expectations, understand the realistic costs of a funeral, and ask questions about the choices you’ve made (Money Sense, 2010).
If you have adult children, your conversation may encourage them to consider their own life insurance plans. Generally, if your children are in good health and in their 20s or 30s, term life insurance policies can be quite affordable – sometimes as little as $6 per month, and locking in early can be part of a sound financial plan.
Finally, you may wish to start this conversation with your own parents. Encouraging open communication about their financial plans can also help you understand their plans, prevent confusion amongst their children and grandchildren, and encourage family unity in difficult circumstances.
Plan for the future, together
While it may not be easy, talking about life insurance can help you and your family better understand your aspirations for a secure future. Starting the conversation with your spouse is an important first step. Life insurance can be an important part of your financial plan and it is important to figure out what that plan will be, together.
At Teachers Life, we know that women balance many roles in and outside the classroom. This blog is a part of a new Teachers Life series on “Women & Financial Wellness” Our first article was on focused on 3 Tips for Planning Your Family’s Future. Follow us on Twitter, and be a part of our Community on Facebook.