Life Insurance for Single Parents
In the 1960s, nearly 73 percent of all children were living in a family with two married parents in their first marriage, according to Pew Research Center.1 The father went off to work while the mom stayed home to care for the children and maintain the household.
Look around today and you'll quickly see that things have changed.
In fact, less than half (46 percent) of all families look like they did in the 60s.
But it's not the decline of one family type and the rise of another. What used to be considered different has simply become the new norm.
There are households led by a single mom, two dads, a divorcée, adopted parents, and even grandparents. No matter who leads the household, they all share the same responsibility — to protect and love the children within their family. Life Insurance can be one way to help do that. And yet, only three in five adults (59%) own some form of life insurance.2
Here's why life insurance for families is so important — and some things to consider based on your own unique situation when buying life insurance.
You might be considering or already going through the process of adopting a child. It's exciting and probably a little overwhelming — all at the same time. There's much to consider, including having a financial plan in place to take care of your new child.
Life insurance should be part of that plan, as it can help to protect your future child in the event that you pass away.
Additionally, adoption agencies will be looking closely into your family and home. Part of that due diligence involves determining your financial stability, to ensure your prospective son's or daughter's needs would be met.
Life insurance can be a great way to not only show adoption agencies that you're well-equipped to take care of a child today, but that you're also thinking ahead toward the future.
Life insurance can help to provide a financial safety net for children, should one of their parents pass away prematurely. For that reason, the life insurance needs of an individual are not different because he or she is heterosexual, bisexual or gay.
The needs are different for each individual because his or her financial obligations are different.
For example, a married couple with four children and a mortgage might need a greater benefit amount (the face value of your policy) than a married couple with only one child and no mortgage.
Or term life insurance might be the best option for a dad on a tight budget. Meanwhile, another dad might prioritize having a life-long policy over the cost and opt for permanent life insurance.
Since there's no "one-size-fits-all" life insurance for families, it's best to start by assessing your own family's needs. Consider how much money your loved ones might need if you passed away tomorrow. Then think about how much future income would be needed to sustain the household.
Once you purchase a policy, you'll have the opportunity to name a beneficiary, which is the person (or people) who will receive the benefit amount from your policy, if you pass away. It can be anyone you want — including your life partner, regardless of whether or not you're legally married.
If you're a single (never married) parent who is financially responsible for one or more children, life insurance should be part of your financial plan, too. If you passed away, your children would likely become the financial responsibility of the other parent or the guardian listed in your will.
Let's say that guardian is your sister, who already has two children of her own. Or your aging parent, who is living on a fixed income. That family member could now be looking at a cost of roughly $233,610* to raise your child until his or her 18th birthday.3 That could place a financial hardship on your family member, which would impact your child, too.
Should your child have special needs, he or she may even need care well past age 18, not to mention require additional medical attention.
The coverage amount from a life insurance policy could help to cover these costs, ensuring your children receive the financial care they need, even if you were no longer here to provide it.
Nearly half of all U.S. marriages end in divorce, according to the American Psychological Association.4
During a divorce, you're likely focused on who will have custody of the children and how your joint assets will be divided. However, life insurance is another important consideration.
If you are the primary breadwinner and your ex-spouse gets custody of the children, you may be required by law to pay child support and perhaps even alimony, depending on the circumstances. If you were to pass away — and your former spouse and children were dependent on that income, they may struggle financially to make ends meet.
For that reason, you might want to consider getting a life insurance policy that could help to cover the amount of your child support, at least until the last child leaves for college.
If you're the custodial parent in the same situation, you should also consider getting life insurance for yourself, too. Should your ex-spouse ever change the beneficiary listed on his or her policy or stop making payments, the benefit amount on the policy may no longer be available to you or your children in your time of need.
Fortunately, term life policies allow you to customize your term length and coverage amount to meet your family's needs and budget. You can adjust both and compare the pricing using our free quote tool.
In 2005, nearly 2.5 million children were under the care of their grandparents. A decade later, that number rose to 2.9 million.5
Why the increase?
Unfortunately, drug addiction is one of the main causes, according to child welfare officials. But regardless of the reason, caring for young children later in life would be a big upheaval to your lifestyle and budget.
Rather than planning vacations and downsizing your household, you could be looking for a larger home, meeting with teachers and shopping for school clothes. Growing children means a growing grocery bill, plus many other expenses such as health insurance and, school supplies, and always a new pair of shoes.
For grandparents stepping in to care for their grandchildren, life insurance is an important consideration. Should you pass away, the expense of your funeral might fall on your spouse's shoulders, in addition to the everyday bills and increased costs of raising children.
Life insurance can help to offset these costs and ensure that your spouse and grandchildren have a bright financial future.
No matter who makes up your household, there's life insurance for families from all walks of life.
To get a free, personalized quote that aligns with your family's needs, call us at 800-294-4544.
1. "Parenting in America"; Pew Research Center; December 2015; Web; Accessed July 2018 (http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2015/12/17/1-the-american-family-today/)
2. "2018 Insurance Barometer Study"; Life Happens and LIMRA
3. Vasel, Kathryn; "It costs $233,610 to raise a child"; CNN Money; January 2017; Web; Accessed July 2018 (https://money.cnn.com/2017/01/09/pf/cost-of-raising-a-child-2015/index.html)
4. "Marriage & divorce"; American Psychological Association; Web; Accessed July 2018 (http://www.apa.org/topics/divorce/)
5. Wiltz, Teresa; "Why More Grandparents Are Raising Children"; Pew Charitable Trusts; November 2016; Web; Accessed July 2018 (http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2016/11/02/why-more-grandparents-are-raising-children)