You’re a new parent. Your baby is a baby and can’t buy you a present or even sign a card. But your spouse can and should get you a gift, and the best gift they can get is a life insurance policy (and maybe flowers). You can also just get it yourself — after all, who knows you better than you? #TreatYourself
If you missed life insurance 101, here’s the cliffsnotes version: life insurance protects your family in case you die prematurely. As a parent, you have a lot of responsibilities, one of which is financial. Your paycheck goes towards diapers, toys, college savings funds, misguided guitar lessons — basically, everything your child will ever need. Life insurance guarantees that you’ll always be able to fulfill that responsibility, even in the worst case scenario.
If you don’t already have life insurance, now is the best time to get it. The younger you are, the cheaper your life insurance policy will be. Many new parents wait until their kids are older before even thinking about getting life insurance, and by that point, their rates have shot up a considerable amount.
(If you haven’t given birth yet but still want to celebrate mother’s and father’s day, you can still buy life insurance as a gift! Just be aware of how pregnancy affects your potential premiums.)
How much life insurance should you get? It all depends on what your current and future financial obligations look like. Most parents buy life insurance to cover three major costs:
Normal household expenses until their children turn 18
College tuition costs
Typically, we tell people to buy enough life insurance to cover all of their major costs and to buy a long enough term that it covers their longest commitment, usually a mortgage. We can help you calculate how much you need in our life insurance calculator.
Of course, getting an insurance policy doesn’t have the same traditional sweetness as getting mom some flowers or breakfast in bed, or getting dad some new BBQ tools and making him a sandwich, but it is still a thoughtful gift (plus, it’s gender-neutral).
Buying life insurance also takes a significant amount of time — it’s not exactly a last minute gift you pick up at the mall. The application and underwriting process usually lasts at least four weeks, and can last longer if you have a complex health history.
None of this should scare you away from buying life insurance, but it does mean that you should probably get a back-up gift (or at least a Hallmark card and a gift certificate to the Cheesecake Factory).
Looking for more life insurance resources? Start with these articles:
-> Is term life insurance worth it?
-> How to name your child a life insurance beneficiary
-> Nine-month financial plan for your new baby
Image: Drew Hays