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Should a Stay-at-Home Mom Buy Life Insurance?

In celebration of Mother’s Day, we will talk a bit about life insurance for a stay-at-home mom.

Here is our scenario: Mr. and Mrs. Jones are a young couple in their late 30s. He is an executive with a major corporation. She stays home full-time with their three young children. They finally get around to meeting with their financial planner. The adviser recommends a substantial policy on Mr. Jones to replace his income and pay off debts. He also urges Mr. Jones to buy a policy on his wife. Why?

It is almost counterintuitive. Mr. Jones is the sole supporter of the household. Why not just cover him? The planner is smart because he has thought through the tragic scenario of Mr. Jones becoming a widower with dependents in need of full-time care. Here are some issues the planner has identified for Mr. Jones to address:

Final Expenses

Mrs. Jones is his lifemate and the mother of his children. She deserves burial arrangements and a memorial service that will be dignified and honorable. In addition, there may be medical and other expenses that have to be paid.

Child and Home Care

A list of all the responsibilities Mrs. Jones had assumed for the family would be impressive indeed. A partial list would include: supervision and care of the children; driving them to all sorts of activities including school, hobbies, and medical appointments; and cooking, cleaning, and many other domestic chores. Performing these duties was a full-time job for Mrs. Jones. A full-time replacement is needed.

Being There for the Children

This brings up our third and perhaps most important category: being there for the children. These poor youngsters have just lost their mom. Their father has been around to some extent, mostly in the late evening and on weekends. If he remains as minimally involved as he has been, it could seem to them as if they have lost both parents. They are in dire need of the time, attention, and love of their remaining parent. And you know what? He needs them just as much, to deal with his own grief . Mr. Jones needs to make sure he can afford to work less so he can spend more time with those kids.

Life insurance can do that. At the time when the family is hurting the most, the benefit can help them stay together and be there for one another.

Does your family have enough life insurance on Mom?