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There is a real tendency in the whole conversation about life insurance to leave women out of the conversation entirely or at best to make them an “add on” thought.

The truth is that as almost all families either are or are becoming second income dependent, and more families are finding that the woman are at least equal, if not the primary breadwinner, and that real tangible value is recognized in those women who are able to choose raising a family, and more woman than ever women are business owners or business executives, well, let’s get real. The playing field of life insurance need is level and somehow half the players are being left off the roster.

I wrote a series of posts aimed at rolling some of the bumps out of the playing field sometime back, and over the next couple of days I will be dusting those off, updating them and reopening the a conversation than never deserved to be on the shelf.

The first post in that series was a take on life insurance for your spouse using my wonderful bride as an example.

“Last year when my wife and I reassessed our life insurance portfolio, I recommended that we add another policy for both of us. She understood very well why we should it increase it on me. The business had grown, and there was simply more at stake if I were to die. She has since gone through several phases, all of which called for continued evaluation of how much life insurance is appropriate for her. She owned several small businesses at one point, then sold those. She has always managed rental property we have and has been an integral part of my business and now she has returned to nursing. At this point it would be arguable that her income and value might be harder to replace than mine.

Anyway, back then my answer was simply this. The price of property in Belize has gone up! Actually a standing joke, broken down into logic, it’s an accurate answer. A long time ago she asked me what I would do if she died. I told her then that I would likely settle our financial matters and, having no children at home, run away from everything, and Belize would be my first choice of a place to settle for a while.

The death of a spouse is traumatic at the very least. And, while ultimately we might not make any huge changes, it causes a lot of surviving spouses to re-think where they were headed. It could be that you have kept a job that you weren’t horribly in love with because it kept the bills paid and provided for your family. It could be, like me, that your wife is a part of your business and a breadwinner in her own right, and there would be a financial as well as emotional loss if she died.

Whether I would really go to Belize or not, who knows. We’re going there in November for her birthday so I’ll be able to assess then whether it is all just a fond memory (our honeymoon and two other visits) or still a plan of action. I certainly hope I get to spend many more years visiting Belize and other places with her, but at least if you have adequate life insurance on your spouse, you have choices.

In subsequent posts I will be covering all aspects of life insurance for women. After all, they’re not all married. I will lay out my thoughts on life insurance for single women, single mothers, stay at home mothers, working wives and mothers, and women who own and run businesses.

Bottom line. No different than men, where you have a responsibility, you have a need for life insurance. Women in general outlive men, but when it comes down to the reason that most life insurance is purchased, premature death, men and women
are on pretty equal ground.”