infographic

What You Need to Know about Life Insurance {Infographic}

How Much Do You Know About Life Insurance

Gratitude plays a big role in our family. I have a great life and I don’t take it for granted. Since my girls were very little, I’ve worked to cultivate a gratitude mindset in them as well. We talk about being lucky duckies and I express gratitude in front of them regularly. As grateful as I am for the wonderful life we have together, I know gratitude alone isn’t enough. It also must be protected.

Sometimes the mere mention of life insurance can make a person become uncomfortable. For some, it’s an unwelcome reminder that they still need a will or estate plan. Others simply don’t want to consider the possibility of an untimely death. For me, life insurance isn’t something I fear. It gives me peace of mind.

While I certainly hope that I am blessed with a long, happy life, I know life is unpredictable, and I want to ensure that my family will be okay, if the unthinkable happens. To rest easy knowing that my family can remain in our home, the girls can still go college and go on vacations as we planned, etc. I have seen the difficulties of picking up the financial pieces after an untimely death, and I have also seen the great relief of a surviving spouse who can focus on grieving and raising the children with the full knowledge that they will be okay financially. I have also been thanked by the dying spouse for continually reminding him of the need to protect his most valuable asset—his family.

Please take a look at this great infographic put together by HR Block. 40% of families would immediately struggle to cover everyday expenses if the primary breadwinner died. How would your family do?

Life Insurance Infographic
Shannon

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November 11, 2013  •  64 Comments  •  infographic

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  1. Monday, November 11th, 2013
    A couple of months back I worked with a client who inculcated gratitude into me...he believed Daily Gratitude = Daily Happiness and once I started practicing being grateful I have certainly realized the benefits...am happier, am more contented and take life a little bit slowly :)
    Now when it comes to insurance, I certainly do believe it gives families some peace of mind and its a good cushion for when life throws in a spanner in the works!
    • Shannon
      Monday, November 11th, 2013
      Gratitude is an amazing thing, Simon. It really does make a difference. I am certainly grateful for the peace of mind life insurance gives me. :)
  2. Monday, November 11th, 2013
    Life insurance is on my 2014 financial "to do" list. I have been thinking about it all year and just haven't gotten around to shopping around. I think it's definitely a necessity, especially if you are married and/or have kids or others who depend on you. Thanks for sharing the infographic, definitely interesting statistics!
    • Shannon
      Monday, November 11th, 2013
      I love how you already have your 2014 Financial To Do List, DC! I'm glad life insurance made your list. :)
  3. Kathy
    Monday, November 11th, 2013
    I thank the Lord every night for all the blessings in my life. Many years ago I read an article written by a Rabbi in our community about how much he realized he had and after a trip to Africa where he realized his wife's walk in closet was larger than most of the villager's huts, he started feeling guilty. Eventually he realized he didn't need to feel guilty because he worked to obtain what he had. He realized he needed to feel grateful. That's the way I've tried to feel ever since.
  4. Monday, November 11th, 2013
    Nice infographic Shannon! I worked in life insurance for about five years and got to see how families were impacted, both positively and negatively, for their life insurance decisions. I think it's one of the most loving things you can do for your surviving family members. I shudder to think of me passing and my family not having what they need to get by and life insurance plays a huge role in that.
    • Shannon
      Monday, November 11th, 2013
      Thanks, John! I agree John. Making sure your family is protected is one of the most loving things you can do for them. It's very eye-opening when you see the impact of having or not having life insurance has on a family.
  5. Monday, November 11th, 2013
    This is a great graphic and such an important topic to discuss! When we are young, we don't want to think about the possibility of death, but if we have a family, we have to plan for them. It is scary enough to think of losing a loved one, but then not to be able to support your family after that is even scarier. With the low cost of term insurance (if you are under 40 and healthy), it should be a part of family's yearly budget.
    • Shannon
      Monday, November 11th, 2013
      Thanks, Shannon! Yes, we often think we are invincible, especially when we are young. But life is unpredictable. At the end of the day, it's very affordable peace of mind.
  6. Monday, November 11th, 2013
    Great infographic! I was also very inspired by your story about how you teach your children gratitude. I recently started taking time every day to express out loud what I am grateful for (seriously, it's on my to-do list on my phone so I do it every day :-) and it has really made a difference in my mindset. We are planning on adopting a child hopefully in the coming months, and I think in years to come this will definitely be something I try to impart to my children. Thanks!
    • Shannon
      Monday, November 11th, 2013
      Thanks, Dee! Gratitude is very important to me and I love how you have it your to-do list. :) It does make a difference when focus on and appreciate all the things we have. That's fantastic that you are adopting a child!! Something to definitely be grateful for!
  7. Monday, November 11th, 2013
    Life insurance is so important. I think people often overlook the importance of life insurance even for a stay-at-home parent. There's huge financial value being provided there that would be costly to replicate. We have almost as much life insurance on my wife, who stays at home, as we do on me because the cost of childcare alone is so high where we are.
    • Shannon
      Monday, November 11th, 2013
      Agreed, Matt. Stay-at-home parents should be covered as well. They may not earn an income but to replace all the things they do would be expensive. Not to mention the surviving parent may need/want some time away from work or wish to curb back their hours to have a more flexible schedule.
  8. Monday, November 11th, 2013
    My wife and I just bumped our life insurance earlier this year to a half million a piece from $300k and actually ended up paying less because we switched over from variable universal life policies to a 30 year term policy. On top of that we were also able to get a return on premium rider added to it and our premiums went down by $24 a month.
    • Shannon
      Monday, November 11th, 2013
      That's great, Chris! I'm glad you and your wife have life insurance and it's always nice when the premiums go down too. :)
  9. Monday, November 11th, 2013
    When I was single I didn't worry about life insurance, although I usually had enough coverage under whatever policy I had through my work benefits. Once I was married I made sure that our life insurance through work was increased to cover either one of us. When we left the corporate world we bought private life insurance of a half million each. It comes up for renewal next year and I think we will bump it up to a million each.
    Over the years I've watched too many people have a tragedy in the family and be left without a dime. Not only is the family devastated with grief but now they have to push themselves to quickly go back to work so that they can afford their bills and any additional expenses from the person that died. Very sad.
    • Shannon
      Monday, November 11th, 2013
      People sometimes grumble about paying for life insurance because they may not never need it, but when you see firsthand the impact of not having any, it doesn't seem like such a high cost. Glad to hear that you and your husband are covered. :)
  10. Monday, November 11th, 2013
    While my wife and I do have sufficient coverage at this point I do worry about having the "right" amount of coverage in 20-40 years. When is the right time to buy another policy, etc? Life insurance is a high priority for us.
    • Shannon
      Monday, November 11th, 2013
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate it! I'm glad life insurance is a high priority for you. For so many young people it is not even on their radar, unfortunately.
  11. Monday, November 11th, 2013
    That is a very timely infographic. I am looking for more life insurance and need to get on the ball on getting a bigger policy amount. Thanks for the reminder Shannon!
    • Shannon
      Monday, November 11th, 2013
      You're welcome, Grayson! Now that you have a young son, it's probably the right time to increase your policy amount. You want to be sure the little guy is protected! :)
  12. Monday, November 11th, 2013
    Life insurance is something you hope you never need but it does literally save the people you leave behind if something were to go wrong, God forbid. There are other ways of securing a future too - saving up in an emergency fund, investing in solid stocks and other financial instruments - too keep the money flowing in even after the main bread-winner is no longer around.
    • Shannon
      Monday, November 11th, 2013
      It's certainly something most of us hope we never need but are definitely grateful to have life insurance if the unthinkable does happen. And we know that anything is certainly possible.
  13. Monday, November 11th, 2013
    Life insurance should be a priority for any family where spouse or kids are dependent on an income. We waited to buy our first policy until our first child was born. Didn't make much sense to have it until that point. Life insurance is one of those personal finance puzzle pieces that makes me sleep well at night knowing I will have provided options and flexibility for those left behind should my wife or I pass away.
    • Shannon
      Monday, November 11th, 2013
      Life insurance is something so many overlook but it is an important piece of our personal finance puzzle. It definitely helps me sleep better knowing that my family will okay financially if something happens to me or my husband too.
    • Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
      Summed up perfectly Brian. I mean, seriously, if you have young kids and you don't have life insurance, you gotta get on the ball. It is not very expensive.
    • Shannon
      Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
      Agreed, Kyle. It's not very expensive and I think many people don't realize that. It's pretty affordable peace of mind in my opinion. :)
  14. Monday, November 11th, 2013
    As a single woman with no dependents I don't have any life insurance, but as soon as that changes, I know I'll have to start shopping for some.
    • Shannon
      Monday, November 11th, 2013
      The good new is when you're ready for it that it's far more affordable than most people realize. :)
  15. Monday, November 11th, 2013
    Those stats are troubling and sad. It did tend to make me uncomfortable before, but now I view it as good piece of mind, as well, especially if we're to have kids. We mostly have policies through work, though we really need to make it more of a priority once we become a family. Thanks for sharing, Shannon!
    • Shannon
      Monday, November 11th, 2013
      They made me sad too, Anna. Too see so many people would struggle financially when it doesn't have to be that way. I understand how it can make people uncomfortable initially but I'm glad you got over your discomfort and see it differently now. Yes, a family really makes life insurance much more of a priority. :)
  16. Monday, November 11th, 2013
    Wow, this is a very eye-opening infographic.

    My husband has a life insurance policy through his job and to tell you the truth, I'm not really familiar with his coverage.

    I guess I'm like those folks out there who feel dealing with this means this end is near soon when like you said, life is unpredictable.

    I would love that peace of mind you described in your post knowing my family would be taken care of if something happened to either of us.

    Thanks for sharing this! Happy Monday Shannon!
    • Shannon
      Monday, November 11th, 2013
      Confronting our own mortality is often uncomfortable and can be difficult but having seen how much harder it is to pick up the financial pieces after an unexpected loss makes it worth it. I would certainly encourage you to talk to your husband and get a better picture of what his policy through work is like and if it provides enough coverage to give you that peace of mind you want. Have a great week, Corina!
    • Friday, November 15th, 2013
      I can just imagine the look on my husband's face when I bring this up. Knowing him, he'll ask me if I was up to something because of the sudden interest in his insurance policy, lol.

      Thanks for sharing this post with us Shannon! It was a crazy week so I am definitely ready for the weekend. Have a fabulous weekend!
    • Shannon
      Friday, November 15th, 2013
      LOL! You'll have to give him a hard time and say "yes"! You take it easy this weekend and relax a bit!
  17. Monday, November 11th, 2013
    I have coverage through my work but I don't know if my husband does. Like DC, getting a good life insurance policy is one of my goals for 2014.
    • Shannon
      Monday, November 11th, 2013
      Excellent, Tara! I'm glad to hear life insurance is priority for you too. :) Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate it!
  18. Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
    It is amazing to me that so many people recognize the need, but then do nothing about it. Life insurance is something we all tend to do another day.

    Many people don't realize they are three times as likely to suffer a disability than die early. The numbers for disability insurance are even lower.
    • Shannon
      Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
      So true, Kevin. They know they should but it's a task they keep putting off. Yes, disability is another concern too many put off as well. People often don't think about a short-term disability that can keep them from working for a few months but have a long-term affect on their financial well-being.
  19. Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
    Working in the funeral industry taught me first-hand how devastating it can be when a family isn't properly insured. I saw so many people experience the death of their loved one then mourn again when they realized that there was no money left to pay for expenses. It was awful!
    • Shannon
      Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
      I can only imagine the heartache you and Greg saw. Most people don't realize how expensive funeral costs alone can be, much less keeping up with all their regular living expenses.
  20. Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
    We are blessed in that we purchased pretty large sums of life insurance back when our oldest was an infant. Not a "fun" thing to do, but a smart one. :-) Love what you said about gratitude too, Shannon. It makes all the difference!
    • Shannon
      Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
      It's not a "fun" thing but it definitely worth the peace of mind it provides. I'm glad to hear that you have protected your family if anything should happen to you or Rick. I love gratitude and it really does make a world of difference. :)
  21. Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
    I think a lot of people don't like to talk and think about life insurance as it is a little morbid, but it is definitely important to have. Now that we have a little baby, I think I really need to think more about it. I have life insurance through my employer and I work in government, so it's a stable job. But part of me feels like it might be a good idea to get more coverage and/or to get coverage that is not related to my employment.
    • Shannon
      Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
      It isn't always easy to confront our mortality but imagining my family struggling financially is even worse. While there is nothing wrong with taking advantage of the life insurance offered through your employer, the biggest concern I have is their lack of portability in most instances. For those who don't expect to stay a life-time at a company, they may be better served getting their own policy not tied to work.
  22. Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
    The hubby and I both have life insurance - as unbearable as it is to think about one of us passing away, at least we have peace of mind that finances are one thing that would be taken care of. Peace of mind is well worth paying for!
    • Shannon
      Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
      It is hard to imagine and we all hope that it never happens, but I agree the peace of mind of knowing the family will be okay is worth it!
  23. Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
    I'd imagine that this would become far more pertinent for me once I'm married/have children. For now, I just have the coverage provided by my part-time university gig (I get the same benefits as full-time employees!). Hoping this will change in the future! :)
    • Shannon
      Thursday, November 14th, 2013
      Wow - that's nice you get such great benefits from a part-time job. :) You are very fortunate!
  24. Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
    Love a good infographic, Shannon! Thanks for sharing :)
    • Shannon
      Thursday, November 14th, 2013
      Me too, Mackenzie! I love visual learning. :)
  25. Thursday, November 14th, 2013
    Life insurance is something everyone should look at more closely, including me :) I'm a little embarrassed to say I've been putting it off for too long. I get ample life insurance through work, but you never know what will happen. And it really isn't all that expensive. If anything were to happen, I would like to at least be assured that my house would be fully paid for and my family wouldn't have to take on any financial burdens. Things to do for 2014.
    • Shannon
      Thursday, November 14th, 2013
      It's an easy thing to put Anthony but I definitely encourage you to make it a to-do for 2014. As you said, it's not very expensive and gives you great peace of mind knowing that your family be okay financially.
  26. Friday, November 15th, 2013
    I used to work in the financial industry and explaining to families the importance of making sure their family was protected if someone were to pass was always hard. No one wants to think about leaving their family behind. This is the reason why they should make sure they're protected.

    Thanks for this ...I'm reminded I need to help my parents with their Will.
    • Shannon
      Friday, November 15th, 2013
      It's true. People don't like thinking about dying but they also don't want to leave their family unprotected. It's definitely worth a few minutes of discomfort to ensure your family will be okay if something happens to you. Yes, definitely help your parents with their Will, another important document to have squared away.
  27. Friday, November 15th, 2013
    Wow! Opened my eyes wide! I'll admit I am an insurance "dummy". Thankfully my husband is more on top of it. Guess I need to get myself better educated, too.
    • Shannon
      Friday, November 15th, 2013
      Definitely some eye-opening statistics, Carol. I'm glad your husband is on top of your life insurance needs and I definitely encourage you to get up to date on what coverage you have too. :)
  28. Friday, November 15th, 2013
    If you look at what your finances would be without one income you'll quickly see what is needed. If you have kids, you need life insurance. That's the bottom line.

    Thanks for this article, Shannon!
    • Shannon
      Friday, November 15th, 2013
      You're welcome, Maggie. It's a gamble so many people take, even though they know that it would be hard to make ends meet. Have a great weekend!
  29. Friday, November 15th, 2013
    Hi Shannon,

    I couldn't agree with you more, it's more a peace of mind for your family then anything else.

    13 years ago this past September my best friend at that time lost her husband at the age of 43 to a hypertension stroke to the brain. They had a 5 year old son and no life insurance policy or will. She went through pure hell for the next 5 years trying to get things in order and straighten things out. It was a nightmare for her but the initial shock of his sudden death was much worse.

    Think how much of a blessing it would have been for her had he had things in order. No one expects to die at an early age. Life insurance isn't about the dead, it's about the living so do what's right for your family and get that in place.

    Two months after his passing I not only had a will made but I bought life insurance. My headstone is also already bought so my family doesn't have to worry about these things.

    Just be smart!

    ~Adrienne
    • Shannon
      Friday, November 15th, 2013
      Great point, Adrienne. Life insurance really is about protecting the living. I am sorry your friend had to through such a rough patch. It's difficult enough grieving over the loss of a loved one but when you also have financial problems added into the mix, it can be incredibly overwhelming. I'm glad you have life insurance and have taken the necessary steps to make it a bit easier for your family. You have a great weekend!
  30. Sunday, November 17th, 2013
    Life insurance is actually on our 2014 to do list, too. We kid that we are insurance poor, since my husband and I both are self-employed and/or contractors, so we have to pay our own health insurance. Then add to that home and auto insurance and we're out over $750 a month on insurances alone. :( But I do know it's important.
    • Shannon
      Monday, November 18th, 2013
      I'm glad it's on your 2014 to-do list. Yes, all those different insurances do add up which can be tough but being covered is so important.
Shannon Ryan SHANNON RYAN, CFP®
  • Meet Shannon

    "As a Certified Financial Planner, it is my passion to help individuals and families build a healthy relationship with money. I look forward to helping you raise financially confident kids.” - Shannon Ryan
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