Monday, November 23, 2015

Are You Covered?

When Gary and I were first married, we had only been working a few years and didn't own anything substantial other than our cars.  We were renting a basement suite and life was relatively simple.


Six months in, we got pregnant with our first son and bought our very own home!  It was so exciting to be part of the whole building process and we were happy to be homeowners.   It felt a bit overwhelming to hand over all of our savings into a down payment and then lock into a mortgage but we were both working full-time so paying our house down felt financially comfortable for us. At that time, we felt that if anything were to happen to either of us, we could sell our home so that the remaining spouse wasn't stuck with a large mortgage.



Somehow life flew by and it wasn't until we had three kids that I realized we really needed a plan in place; you know, "the plan", in case something happened to Gary and I or even just one of us.  Up until that point, family life was pretty manageable and the idea of having to work full-time if something happened to Gary seemed realistic.


Upon the arrival of our Miss Nya, I realized that it would be too difficult (impossible really) for me to work, pay for daycare and school, and take care of these wildly energetic kids if Gary passed away.  Having three kids is a HUGE responsibility.  Now, in case you're thinking "What are the chances of something actually happening?", let me tell you that both of my parents have had cancer and my mom passed away from it at the age of 53.  My dad has also had a major heart attack–so basically, I have some less-than-desirable genes and plans need to be made.


The first step was to have a will in place.  We went through a lawyer and decided who was our executor and who the guardian of our children would be; it was a huge relief to have this in place and I would highly recommend getting a will done properly.


The next step is what we are in right now.  If Gary passed away, there are some benefits through his work (like many jobs, one to two years salary) but what would I do after those two years? How could I possibly pay the remaining years on our mortgage on my own?  We would have to move, and at this point, ten years in, it's not just a house–it's our home full of valuable memories.  And what if something happened to me?  How would Gary pay for childcare while having a smaller household income? We've been considering life insurance but have put it off due to an assumption that it would take a lot of time, money, and paperwork.



Recently I came across Manulife's Cover Me Application and tried it out. The application takes you through some key questions and asks that you indicate the amount of coverage you would like.  I timed the online questionnaire and I moved through it in just one minute–there's nothing to download, you just click the link and choose your answers!  Then, they sent me a quote via email which arrived 30 minutes later.


I would encourage you to check out how much life insurance would cost you– it takes one minute of your time but could give you a life-time of piece of mind in regards to the "What if..." question. You can find it here.


If you'd like to learn more, there will be a twitter party on November 25th at 9 pm EST (6 pm PST).  If you've never been to a twitter party, they are wild–you'll see what I mean. Forget Sudoku and crossword puzzles to keep your mind sharp, these chats go quickly!


Until then, I'd love to hear your thoughts on life insurance. I know often people don't like to talk about money but I think it's important for us to be open about these things with our kids so they learn early on how to make a financial plan.

So, life insurance: Do you plan on getting it?

Love,
Louise

{This post was sponsored by 360ACCESS on behalf of Manulife. The opinions are my own.}



17 comments:

  1. With Josh working away, it's definitely been on my mind to get both a Will done and get a life insurance policy. Hate the thought of anything happening to him or me, but hate the thought of what life would look like after the fact if we weren't properly prepared.

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    1. I bet, Beth!! A life insurance policy can be just $10/month which seems totally doable--I'd encourage you to take the quiz and see if the payments would be something you could do :)

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  2. When David and I bought our house we got all the necessary home-owner's insurance.
    We also decided to get Life Insurance just in case... I can't recall the exact amount at this point, maybe $500k coverage.
    On top of life insurance, we opted to get Business Liability insurance for David, as well as Disability Insurance.

    Luckily for us we were approved for the lowest payments for all of these due to our young age, excellent health, and lack of children. It still feels like we're paying a lot each month for something that has a very low probability of happening. It is worth it if anything ever did, though.
    If/when we have children we plan on upgrading our insurance for further coverage.

    For now, it's nice to feel secure if anything were to happen to either of us.

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    1. It is so much money. It's funny because I wouldn't think to go without house, car and business insurance but somehow put off life insurance! Ps business insurance is sooooo much!

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  3. DIY wills are not worth it!! Get it done properly for sure. Life insurance has been on my mind ever since Henry was born so I will check this out right now!

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    1. We won a will at the SCS auction years ago--so great :)

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    2. Jon and I have life insurance, but no will. I'm such a procrastinator! We got our life insurance the first year after M&K were born. Ours is a 25 year term policy, so at least all of the kids will be adults before the policy is up.

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    3. Hopefully your extended family knows what your hopes are for your kids in the meantime (which is a tricky conversation!!). Glad you guys have your life insurance in place!

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  4. As soon as I bought my place I got life insurance, I have critical illness, and a will. I don't even have kids or a spouse but why complicate the process for loved ones if something was to happen? Much better to have things planned out!

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    1. Wow Lauren, way to go!! I love that both of my parents have always had everything in place so we didn't/don't need to worry about a thing.

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  5. Will but no life insurance, except through work. My cancer scare in 2010 makes me ineligible until this december (5 years cancer free, even though it was just a stage0... kind of crazy) Now, I'm not sure if its needed as we have sufficient cushion for our kids to be cared for sufficiently. I'm HUGE on wills though - most importantly - who looks after your kids if you both die. I can't imagine the disruption to their lives if different groups rival over who would look after them.

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    1. INteresting about the 5 years Tessa! Yes, wills, kids, important. The other important thing about wills is that you can change where your kids go if things change down the line...

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  6. We have a will (done through a lawyer, which we think is best) and life insurance on both of us. We got them both about a year or so after Ezra was born. We found out that no matter what we WANT to happen with our kids if we were both to die, if it's not in writing, they go to the ministry of children and family. To us, that wasn't worth the risk!

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  7. Anonymous4:05 PM

    We have just started using a financial planner as we have a lot going on with big future decisions to make soon. The first thing we did was get life insurance but still have to get our will taken care of. I have been procrastinating because I really don't know who will take our children if something happens to us. Do I ask a close friend here as we have no suitable family here or do I give up my children's life/citizenship in Australia and send them to Canada to start their lives over again. It is so hard!!! We really do have to write a will soon!

    Lynn W.

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    1. Good job with life insurance. The will is tricky with kids but you can always change your mind who is the guardian in a few years if you decide to make a change!

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  8. We've had life insurance since getting pregnant with Addison and it's enough to cover the mortgage of our house as well now that we have one! However, no will. But we did find out through the lawyers we used for our house buying that in Alberta a hand written (not typed) will is valid so long as it is signed, dated and witnessed. So until I do have the funds for that, we really should hand write something up! It's very hard for us to decide who gets our kids which is the biggest reason we haven't done anything yet about it.

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