One of the most uncomfortable things that you can – and must – think about is what your family will do if you pass from a terminal illness or the unexpected happens and you don’t make it home tonight. Obviously they’ll be dealing with significant grief, and they’ll have to do the work that comes with losing someone dear. In addition, if you were the primary or sole breadwinner for the family, they’ll also have to deal with the financial implications of no longer having your income available to cover expenses and fund the lifestyle to which they’ve become accustomed.
Will they have to sell their house? Will your partner or spouse have to get another job to make ends meet? Will they have to cut back on your children’s activities? Will your children – who already lost one parent to death – lose their other parent to having to work more? These are the tough questions that so many Canadian families face. The great news is that there is an easy solution.
Life insurance is often the difference-maker between financial security for your loved ones and financial hardship (or in the worst case, financial devastation). When you pass, it provides your beneficiaries with a lump-sum benefit payment that they can use to cover expenses (ideally over the long term, including through retirement), pay for children’s and grandchildren’s educations, and anything else that is wanted or needed. It’s not about making your loved ones instantly wealthy; it’s about ensuring their financial security after you’re gone.
The other great news is that life insurance is, relatively speaking, typically very inexpensive – which is hugely beneficial given that most people need far more insurance than they would have ever thought. But it’s important – REALLY important – that you buy enough life insurance. This is why it’s important that you work with a financial advisor who is an expert at calculating your family’s life insurance needs, both over the short and the long term. Talk with your advisor about your family’s current and projected income needs, and what you – and they – want for their future. And keep talking about it. Life isn’t static; neither are your life insurance needs so as life evolves and changes, ensure that your life insurance coverage continues to keep up.
No one wants to think about dying, and it’s not always comfortable preparing for it, but one of the greatest gifts you can provide to your family is financial security after you’re gone. And once you have the life insurance you need, you’ll also likely benefit from the peace of mind it will bring knowing that your loved ones will be okay even if the worst happens.
Take care, stay safe, and contact your financial advisor for a comprehensive life insurance analysis. Your family and your peace of mind are worth it.
Charlene Rehn, CFP
Insurance Representative, Wiegers Financial and Insurance Planning Services Ltd.
Financial Planner, Manulife Securities Investment Services Inc.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of Manulife Securities Investment Services Inc. Mutual funds are offered through Manulife Securities Investment Services Inc. Insurance products and services are offered through Wiegers Financial & Insurance Planning Services Ltd. Banking products and services are offered by referral arrangements through our related company Manulife Bank of Canada.