How To Empower Your Wife (Or Husband) When Buying Life Insurance
Caveat: I am not a marriage guru. I am simply a life insurance salesman who has worked with many, many couples in their financial planning. I have also been married for over thirty years to a woman with whom I find new magic every day! In these posts I share what I have learned. Please feel free to do the same.
My experience has been that too often, the primary breadwinner in the family (often the man) makes a unilateral decision about life insurance. He knows his wife and kids will need the benefit should they tragically lose him. He knows that he will be the one to pay for that coverage. So he just goes ahead and makes a decision as to what he thinks is best for them.
Even if he has calculated the amount correctly, to exclude his wife from the discussion could be a big mistake. We are, after all, talking about her potential struggles with widowhood. She will be alone, have to fend for herself, and take care the family. That could be an almost overwhelming shock.
Involving her in the life insurance planning process could help her anticipate and address the challenges she would face. Some people even go as far as formulating a plan so that decisive action could be taken immediately. Sure, nobody likes to talk about this stuff, but we all know that our level of preparedness for emergencies can greatly influence our ability to take charge when the time comes.
The moral of the story is that the purchase of life insurance is about much more than the face amount and type of product. It is about a married couple working together to help one another function, cope, survive and thrive.