Life Insurance for Stay-at-Home Parents: Protecting Your Family's Financial Security

Last Updated March 4, 2024

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Parents cuddling their newborn baby in their home.

     Life insurance is often associated with income replacement for working individuals, but it’s equally crucial for stay-at-home parents. While stay-at-home parents may not earn a salary, their contributions are invaluable and deserve protection. In this article, we will delve into the importance of life insurance for stay-at-home parents, exploring the pros and cons, and shedding light on why it is essential for their financial security.

Understanding the Role of Stay-at-Home Parents

     Stay-at-home parents play a pivotal role in the family structure, managing household responsibilities, caring for children, and providing emotional support. Despite not earning a salary, their contributions have tangible financial value. By performing tasks such as childcare, cooking, cleaning, and transportation, stay-at-home parents enable working spouses to pursue careers and earn an income. It is crucial to recognize the significance of these contributions and the potential financial implications of their absence. 

     According to the U.S. Department of Labor, childcare prices range from $4,810 for school-age home-based care to $15,417 for infant center-based care. These prices reflect between 8%-19% of the median family income per child. This is just the cost of childcare alone. This does not include all of the other unpaid labor that would need to be replaced in the event of a stay at home parent’s passing. Between the physical and emotional labor, a stay at home parent is essential for providing for their families as much as the parent that goes into an office 8 hours a day. Not to mention, that should the stay at home parent pass then all of those responsibilities will then fall solely on the shoulders of the surviving parent. It is a terrible thing to think about but when it comes to family, you always want to prepare for the worst and hope for the best in life.

Determining the Coverage Amount for Stay-at-Home Parents

     Determining the appropriate coverage amount for life insurance is a crucial step for stay-at-home parents. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, considering certain factors can help in estimating the coverage needed.

Financial Responsibilities

     Take into account the financial responsibilities and obligations that would need to be covered in the event of the stay-at-home parent’s passing. This includes immediate expenses like funeral costs, outstanding debts, medical bills, ongoing financial needs such as mortgage or rent payments, utilities, groceries, and childcare. In the event that your spouse passes away, you want to be sure that your family is prepared for the costs associated with death and other debts so that you may mourn peacefully. You do not want to mourn your partner and have your children mourn a parent all the while dealing with piling bills.

Number of Dependents and People in Care

     If you have a large family size, many dependents, or care for an elderly family member then your overall costs will be higher. Calculate the costs of children and childcare, medical care for elderly dependents, and any other associated costs. You will want enough life insurance coverage to cover the costs of all dependents until your children are old enough to be on their own or cover medical costs for an elderly or ill family member. If you need an in-home nurse, child care, or any other person to handle household tasks you may want to consider that within your life insurance coverage costs too.

Existing Assets and Savings

     Take into account any existing assets, savings, or investments that could contribute to the financial stability of the surviving family members. Subtract these resources from the desired coverage amount to determine the necessary life insurance coverage. However, you may also want to consider keep these in mind with your coverage rates should you wish to not touch savings and assets. Get enough insurance to cover however much your savings would be so you do not have to dip into them.

Future Financial Goals

     Consider any future financial goals for the family, such as funding higher education, purchasing a home, or securing retirement. Including these goals in the coverage, estimation ensures that the stay-at-home parent’s contributions towards these aspirations are adequately protected. You will want to make sure that the life insurance policy you get will be able to adequately cover all of these future expenses.

Returning to Work

      Perhaps the stay-at-home parent wishes to return to work or you and your spouse have planned that this situation will only be temporary. If they decide to return to a paying job then you may need to calculate their income when it comes to life insurance for stay at home parents. You will want enough coverage to completely cover their income as well as all expenses listed above. Getting a life insurance policy sooner rather than later is ideal to ensure you get a good low premium rate for the amount of coverage your family will need.

Pros of Life Insurance for Stay-at-Home Parents

Financial Protection for Dependents

     Life insurance for stay-at-home parents offers financial security to their dependents in the event of their untimely demise. It provides a safety net, covering funeral expenses, outstanding debts, and ongoing living expenses for the surviving family members. The average funeral costs in 2023 can be anywhere between $8,000 to $10,000. You want to ensure you are at least able to pay for a proper burial and not have to worry about that financial obligation while grieving your loved one.

Replacing Essential Services

     In addition to financial contributions, stay-at-home parents often provide essential services that would otherwise require outsourcing or additional expenses. These tasks are things like being a tutor, housekeeper, conflicts manager, and logistics analyst.  Life insurance proceeds can help cover the cost of hiring childcare, housekeeping, transportation, and other tasks that the stay-at-home parent previously managed.

Contributing to Future Education Expenses

     Life insurance can also contribute to funding future educational expenses for children. It ensures that if the stay-at-home parent passes away, there are sufficient funds available to support their children’s educational aspirations.

Riders for Children's Life Insurance

     You can customize your life insurance policy by adding riders and features for enhanced coverage. However, keep in mind that each added feature will increase the overall cost of the policy. Of those riders, one can be to cover your children with life insurance for extra protection.

Cons of Life Insurance for Stay-at-Home Parents

Cost Considerations

     One of the primary concerns for stay-at-home parents when considering life insurance is the cost. Premiums can vary based on factors such as age, health condition, coverage amount, and policy type. However, by comparing different policies and exploring options like term life insurance, affordable coverage can be obtained to suit the family’s needs. Getting the right agent can make a world of difference when trying to find the best life insurance policy for your family.

Valuation Challenges

     Determining the appropriate coverage amount for stay-at-home parents can be challenging. Unlike working individuals with a clear income figure, assessing the value of a stay-at-home parent’s contributions requires careful evaluation of the services they provide and the financial impact of their absence. However, a good life insurance agent can help you to determine how much coverage you would need for the stay at home parent in your life.

Why Life Insurance for Stay-at-Home Parents is Important

Protecting Surviving Family Members

     The sudden loss of a stay-at-home parent can be emotionally devastating for the surviving family members. Life insurance offers financial stability during an already challenging time, enabling them to focus on healing, funeral planning, and rebuilding their lives without the added burden of financial strain. 

Ensuring Continuity of Lifestyle

     Life insurance helps maintain the family’s lifestyle after the loss of a stay-at-home parent. It ensures that the surviving family members can continue to meet their day-to-day expenses, mortgage payments, healthcare costs, and other financial obligations without disruption.

Long-Term Financial Planning

     Life insurance is an essential tool in long-term financial planning for stay-at-home parents. It allows them to contribute to their family’s financial security, even if they are no longer physically present. The proceeds from a life insurance policy can be used to secure retirement plans, estate planning, pay off debts, or create an emergency fund.

Types of Life Insurance for Stay at Home Parents

Whole Life Insurance

   Whole life insurance for stay at home parents is a type of permanent life insurance that provides coverage for the entire lifetime of the insured individual, as long as the premiums are paid. It offers both a death benefit and a cash value component. This guarantees that the death benefit will be paid out to the beneficiaries upon the insured’s death.

     Whole life insurance policies typically have level premiums that remain the same throughout the life of the policy. The premium payments are higher compared to term life insurance but remain constant. A portion of the premium payments goes into building the policy’s cash value. The cash value grows over time on a tax-deferred basis, and policyholders can access it through policy loans or withdrawals.: Some whole life insurance policies may offer dividends to policyholders. These dividends represent a share of the insurance company’s profits and can be received as cash, used to reduce premiums, accumulate interest, or purchase additional coverage.

Term Life Insurance

     Term life insurance for stay at home parents provides coverage for a specified term or period, typically ranging from 5 to 30 years. It offers a death benefit but does not include a cash value component. If your loved one passes away during the term, the death benefit is paid out to the beneficiaries. This can be great to ensure coverage while any dependents still remain in the house like children or elderly family members.  However, if the term expires and the insured is still alive, the coverage ends, and no benefit is paid.      Term life insurance is generally more affordable than whole life insurance. The premiums are level and fixed for the duration of the term. The cost of premiums is determined based on factors such as the insured’s age, health, coverage amount, and term length. Many term life insurance policies offer the option to renew the coverage at the end of the term or convert it into a permanent policy, such as whole life insurance or universal life insurance, without the need for a new medical examination.

Universal Life Insurance

     Universal life insurance for stay at home parents is a type of permanent life insurance that combines a death benefit with a flexible premium structure and a cash value component. It offers more flexibility and control compared to whole life insurance. Universal life insurance allows policyholders to adjust the premium payments within certain limits, subject to sufficient cash value in the policy. They have the flexibility to pay higher premiums to accumulate cash value faster or reduce or even skip premiums if the cash value is sufficient to cover the costs.

      Universal life insurance policies may offer investment options within the cash value component. These investment choices allow policyholders to allocate the cash value into various investment accounts, such as fixed accounts, indexed accounts, or variable accounts, which can potentially grow the cash value at a higher rate. This will allow you to generate a safety net for yourself and your family while ensuring you are all covered should the worst happen.

Getting Life Insurance for a Stay at Home Parent

     Life insurance for stay-at-home parents is not just an option but a necessity. It provides invaluable financial protection for their dependents, replaces essential services, and contributes to long-term financial planning. While cost considerations and valuation challenges may arise, the benefits of life insurance far outweigh the drawbacks. Stay-at-home parents deserve the peace of mind that life insurance brings, ensuring that their loved ones can thrive even in the face of adversity. By recognizing the importance of their contributions and taking the necessary steps to secure their family’s financial future, stay-at-home parents can rest assured that their legacy and impact will endure.

     Final Expense Benefits partners with over 20 carriers with customer satisfaction guaranteed. They offer no medical exam options at much more affordable rates that fit your needs.  Some of our highly-rated carriers include:

      If you are looking for trusted and affordable final expense insurance, Final Expense Benefits experts have got you covered. Call one of our talented agents today at 1 (866) 311-4338 to get an affordable quote with one of our highly-rated insurance carriers. 

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