Adults and parents worry. We worry about our family’s health, safety, financial security and future. But more families need to put their money where their heart is by buying term life insurance. (This is the most affordable type when initially purchased and provides protection for a specific period of time or the “term”.) However, the issue isn’t a matter of hypocrisy, but a lack of research and financial literacy. According to a Life Happens and LIMRA study from this year, 65% of households have not purchased life insurance because they think it’s too costly.
To show that this is a common misconception, the study asked Americans to estimate the cost of a 20-year, $250,000 level term life insurance policy for a healthy 30-year-old male. Eight in 10 people overestimated the cost, saying it would be $400 a year, which is more than double its actual cost of about $160 a year or about $13 a month. Astonishingly, one in four thought it would cost more than $1,000 a year.
And just know that unless you have serious health issues, pre-existing conditions or high-risk hobbies that would likely necessitate high-risk insurance, getting affordable coverage is really straightforward.
How Much Is Life Insurance?
To put the true cost of term life insurance in perspective, here are 10 products or services that people regularly spend money on that cost more than a term life insurance premium would for a healthy 30-year-old at $13 a month.
- Food – According to the National Resource Defense Council, Americans waste about $529 per year, or $44 per month, on unwanted snacks and meals.
- Alcohol – According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American consumer spends 1% of their discretionary income on alcohol.
- Tobacco – For households with smokers, 14% of Americans’ incomes are spent on cigarettes.
- Gym Membership – The $30 per month you spend on a 24 Hour Fitness membership that goes unused could be better spent funding your life policy.
- Electronics – That new 55” LED TV that costs $800 could be used to cover about five years of term life premiums.
- Games – Video games average $50 per new release. Don’t you think your child would prefer to have financial security than a game he/she will play for a few months?
- Cars – Underspend on your next car purchase by $3,000 and over a six-year loan period with 0% APR, you will save $500 per year, or $40 a month.
- Gadget – Depending on which version you get, an iPad costs around $550 with tax, almost three and a half years of premium payments.
- Entertainment – A pair of movie tickets, popcorn, and a drink, totaling $25.
- Fashion – One pair of designer jeans costing $50 or more.
Saving money and funding your life insurance policy doesn’t have to make your life miserable. In fact, the average cost of life insurance is so small compared to your overall budget, that even small concessions such as minimizing waste and limiting frivolous purchases can open up your budget enough to buy a much-needed financial tool.
Ultimately, the peace of mind and pride of securing your family’s financial future will outweigh any temporary pleasure from a materialistic purchase.