Ask Jane: Do I Need Life Insurance As a Stay-at-Home Parent?

Ask Jane: Do I Need Life Insurance As a Stay-at-Home Parent?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

Yes, you probably need it if your kids are small. If you died, your partner would have to provide the children with day care until they started school. That might cost $1,000 a month for each of them. Then they’d need after-school care until they’re 11 or 12 from local programs or a part-time nanny.

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That would be tough to pay for if your partner earns a middle-ish income. You should definitely carry a term insurance policy large enough to cover the costs. A 10-year policy is probably enough.

When the term is up, don’t renew. Instead, steer the money you were spending into your retirement fund.

On the other hand, you don’t need life insurance if your children are teenagers. They can take care of themselves after school.

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At this point in your married life, it’s far more important to build up your savings than to spend money on a homemaker policy.

Even when your children are small, you don’t need life insurance if you’re married to a high-earner who could afford the childcare out of his or her income.

Things might change, if you leave your homemaker status and take a job.

You still don’t need insurance if your partner could support himself or herself if you died. If your income becomes critical to your joint lifestyle, however, you’re a candidate for life insurance again.

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