Marriage is an interesting dynamic. Gone are the days of staying up late while watching stupid YouTube videos, or eating spaghetti and a bowl of cereal for dinner. When I signed up for wedded bliss, I knew I’d be taking on some new responsibilities, one of which involves providing for Girl Ninja.
I’ve done a decent job tending to her short term needs. We have a fully funded emergency fund, health/dental insurance, and money saved for retirement. Ah yes, I can bask in my awesomeness, knowing I am a wonderful husband.
Oh wait, no I’m not. In fact, I’d say I’ve kind of sucked it up.
The majority of the ‘benefits’ I provide for our relationship are the direct result of me earning an income. But what if I die in a car accident tomorrow? What if I suffer a neck injury that paralyzes me from the waste down? I’ll tell ya what happens, Girl Ninja would be left in a very scary/vulnerable place. What kind of husband am I for not taking the necessary precautions to ensure my wife is cared for in all circumstances? (answer: a very crappy husband)
When I got my job back in ’07 I remember being shoved a whole bunch of HR paperwork. This is when I unintentionally made one of the best decisions of my life and began contributing to my 401K. I also decided to sign up for life insurance since it was so stinkin’ cheap. For like $2/month I could get a $10,000 life insurance policy. I figured signing up would be worth my while, so Mom and Dad Ninja would not have to pay for my funeral costs if I died (they were my beneficiaries).
The insurance I bought back then was sufficient for ’07 Ninja, but it’s not at all sufficient for 2010 Ninja. I need to pick up a good term life insurance policy that will pay out between $500,000 to $1,000,000 in the case that I die. Girl Ninja could then invest this lump sum, and ideally live on the interest earned, effectively replacing my income for life. Wanna know how much a $750,000 life insurance policy would cost me? About thirty bucks a month. That’s less than I spend on burritos, so I have no excuse for not stepping up to the plate and getting a good 20 year term policy.
Everyone knows what life insurance is. We hear about it all the time, but it’s rare that I hear a 20-something talk about disability insurance. After all, we are invincible right? Ha! Dave Ramsey says this about disability insurance “it protects your greatest asset — your income! It is a crucial part of any financial plan since it helps you pay your bills if you are unable to work due to injury or illness. It is just as important to have as life insurance” That’s right. Just getting life insurance is not enough. I need to protect my income in the case that I can no longer work. Disability insurance comes in all shapes and sizes, but a healthy 20-something should expect to pay between $30-$50/month for it (depending on how much you make, where you live, etc).
When I asked Girl Ninja’s dad for permission to marry his daughter, it also meant I was asking for permission to take care of her. I’ve kinda failed at that, and it’s time to do something about it. It’s time to get insured!
Do you have enough life insurance to replace your spouses income indefinitely? Am I the only one that has dropped the ball when it comes to disability insurance? Are there any other types of policies I need to know about and look in to?
p.s. I hate (and by hate, I mean I’m jealous of ) you single folks since pretty much nothing in this article applies to you 🙂