Our mothers were always with us, and there was no guarantee of another day. Here’s how you can engage in that crucial conversation with mom.
TEXAS, USA — Mother’s Day is a day that families gather together to express appreciation for the leader of the family mom. Moms have always stood by us during difficult times and the good times. Still, unfortunately, mothers are often faced with the responsibility of dealing with sudden death in the family.
And who’s thinking about mom?
If the spouse did not have a living will, will, Power of Attorney (POA) in place, or an arrangement in place should there be a tragedy that affected them, Moms might be unable to access accounts or know what to do.
Moms play an essential part in the family planning process. If you’re an active military spouse, it can be more challenging. On Mother’s Day, 6 News Digital got the opportunity to meet USAA’s president of the Investment Services Company, Mary Stork, who discussed why it’s crucial on this Mother’s Day to make sure that mom is safe and ready for any situation that might happen.
When you think about life insurance, it’s not always the top thing that comes to mind for everyone. A quarter (23 percent) of U.S. adults don’t have life insurance, in a February 2022 survey by Consumer Affairs.
“Life insurance is a policy upon the passing of a loved one that will pay a certain amount of money,” Stork stated. “There are many different forms of life insurance… what you are paying for is protection over a certain period…there are many different types and terms including permanent. That is the basic definition of life insurance.”
Stork believes that some people might not be insured because it’s a highly uncomfortable subject to discuss. “People are uninsured or underinsured because they don’t want to think about what happens if they pass away. I think it’s an uncomfortable topic for a lot of people, and I think most people think it’s not going to happen to them”, Stork explained.
A study by USAA recently revealed that females who participated, who are both military-connected and civilian, tend to be less likely to be covered by equal amounts of life insurance by their spouse (48 percent) compared to males (64 percent). Stork suggests that this could be because the wage of the main earning generally purchases life insurance. “One of the most common times people buy life insurance is following the birth of a child… there’s typically a decision made that one of the partners will stay home,” Stork said, “…and oftentimes that is the woman. Therefore, families buy the insurance for the main income earner, and the woman is more likely to stay at in the home.. So the woman is the one who ends up not insured or underinsured.”
Stork believes this might be because people underestimate how much life insurance costs an at-home spouse. It doesn’t matter if it’s mom or dad at home. Stork revealed the amount of work involved in taking care of the family. “My husband is actually a stay-at-home dad,” Stork said. Stork “…. I also have life insurance for his behalf because it’s vital to me that should something were likely to happen to him, he would be able to take over what he is doing every day. As you consider a stay-at home parent, think about the expense of hiring a nanny, of transportation, and services for the elderly as well as the cost of grocery shopping if were to engage someone to assist you in grocery shopping or lawn maintenance as well as dry cleaning….. all of these are things that a spouse who stays at home manages. They are truly the chief executive of the household.”
Stork advises families to consider a broader view and not just replace the generated money and consider contributions in more diverse forms than money alone. Stork suggests thinking about the steps needed to substitute these actions with money, and that’s where it is when life insurance (majority for women) is a factor.
How do I begin the conversation?
Talking to your spouse or your parent is essential. Stork suggests that the best approach to start is being honest and open. “I think the best relationships are transparent relationships and being open and honest and just starting the conversation from a place of genuine empathy and ‘I want to help take care of you’ and ‘I want to help take care of dad’ or ‘our kids’ depending on which phase of mom you’re talking to. I think starting from that lens will help start the conversation,” Stork recommended. “…It’s not only for the sake of the people left behind, but it can provide peace of mind for the person you’re talking to as well,” she said.
Stork suggests there are specific ways to safeguard yourself from financial chaos. “Keep an account of your life or a’sweetheart’ letter as an instructions guideline. We have one of these for our husband, in the event that my death were to occur that explains what’s in the life insurance plan we have and our retirement savings, you can even write in there that the children are milk-resistant or whatever else you wish. However, you should write down your instructions on about where everything is, and whom to contact …,” Stork recommended.
USAA has also offered additional ways to ensure mom’s insurance is covered for this Mother’s Day and beyond:
Tips for Mothers on how to help Families to be financially more prepared
Discuss your financial goals and establish an annual budget. You might consider inviting your spouse on”financial dates” in which you discuss openly the financial plan you have made and start to create a project with set goals that you share.
Keep important documents and passwords. You’ll need to keep powers of attorney forms, wills, and various other documents for estate planning in secure locations where both you and your spouse know that they’re.
You should have enough life insurance coverage for you. Numerous recent surveys reveal that female spouse generally have lower life insurance coverage than male counterparts.
Examine your insurance coverage regularly. Your situation could alter; ensure that your insurance policy (homeowners life auto, umbrella) can adequately protect you if you require it.