UPDATED: Mar 26, 2020
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I remember it well. When I suggested to my husband that we sit down to talk with a financial services professional to assess our life insurance situation, his enthusiasm was pretty much non-existent. We had some coverage through his employer, and he thought it was adequate. I, on the other hand, didn’t feel that same level of comfort—particularly knowing that if he’d ever lose his position with the company, our life insurance would be lost as well.
After some subtle hints, some not so subtle nagging, and some time, the conversation happened. Finally!
Are you struggling to get your spouse or partner on board with having a serious discussion about your family’s financial future?
It seems you’re not alone. According to the 2014 Insurance Barometer Study by Life Happens and LIMRA, less than one-third of adults in the U.S. have a financial advisor or agent to guide them.
That’s significant considering half of Americans believe they would feel the financial impact from the loss of the primary wage earner within six months and one in four Americans say they need more life insurance.
So how can you get your loved one talking about life insurance? Here are some tips that might help you make them more open to having an open mind.
1. Do Some Preliminary Homework.
Just because your spouse is hands-off about exploring life insurance doesn’t mean you can’t do some initial research on your own. Visit the Life Happens website for some useful information about the different types of life insurance options available—and to learn about some real world situations where life insurance has helped people avoid difficult financial situations.
Life Happens also offers a free online life insurance needs calculator that will help you determine how much life insurance your family might need.
2. Put Affordability Concerns to Rest.
Many people think life insurance costs more than it does. The 2014 Insurance Barometer study found that more than 80 percent of the people who participated overestimated the cost. Term life insurance, which provides coverage for a specified period of time, can be very affordable and fit even tight budgets. It provides flexibility in the length (the term) of the policy and can often be converted to a permanent policy within a certain period.
Inexpensive, expandable, and simple to understand, term life may be the type of life insurance your spouse will be willing to discuss if cost is an issue. To get a ballpark estimate of what a term life policy might cost, you can get a preliminary quote online.
3. Wait For the Right Moment to Open the Discussion.
Raising the subject of life insurance when your partner is time-strapped or stressed could lead to an argument rather than a discussion. Instead, try to find a time when you’ll actually have some time to talk about your situation and make a case for exploring life insurance options.
Peace of Mind Worth Talking About – and Waiting For
If I had done a better job of all of the above, I wonder if I could have persuaded my husband to talk about life insurance a little sooner (it took nearly a year for him to warm up to the idea). Better late than never, though.
If you’re waiting for your loved one to finally say, “O.K., let’s talk about it,” realize it might take some time. Your patience may be tested, but peace of mind is worth the wait.