This year, as I mentioned in another post, I'm trying to get my financial life in order. I've plodded along for years, not really giving much thought to the future, living on a day to day basis and to a certain extent there's nothing wrong with this approach, as it does make you appreciate daily life, but the death of my friend a few weeks ago, has made me re-evaluate quite a few things in my life.
Reading Suze Orman's book has also influenced me, I have to admit, but I've also thought about these things myself in the past and intended to do something, but just haven't bothered until now.
Last week, I applied for some term life insurance. I've not actually had a proper policy for many years, if ever if I'm honest and I've been lucky that it has never been needed. I've had the odd small life assurance policy here and there that have paid out small sums and I was covered when I was employed if anything happened to me, but in recent years my cover has been minimal and more recently non-existent.
Now many people may consider life insurance unnecessary, and if you've got no dependent children and have paid off your mortgage then I might agree, but we have a dependent child and we haven't paid off our mortgage, so I thought I'd better do the grown up thing and get some to make sure that my loved ones won't have any financial worries should anything happen to me.
I chose enough cover to pay off our mortgage (or extended mortgage, if we extend it to pay for building work later this year) and provide a year or two's living expenses (at a minimal level might I add). I am committing to it for a term of 15 years, which should see LB through to adulthood and hopefully our mortgage should be completely paid off well before it ends.
The way I see it is that as a parent and a partner, it is my responsibility to do this for my loved ones and I haven't until now. Yes, it's a commitment, but one I can change or cancel if my financial circumstances change, but it is one that will give me peace of mind that they will be taken care of if anything happens to me, despite the fact that I'm not the main breadwinner.
Another thing that has influenced me to finally do this, is that I am getting older, I am getting diagnosed with different medical conditions, (hypothyroidism and high cholesterol to date) and who knows what might be next. Each additional health issue will inevitably cost more in insurance terms from here on in, so now is as good a time as any to get started.
In many respects, I wish I'd done it years ago, as it would have been a lot less expensive, but I didn't. I've chosen and signed up to a policy and am just waiting to hear when they'll take the first payment out of my account. It's not super cheap, probably on a par with our pet insurance, but nothing in life worth having is, and to put the cost into perspective, the premium is only twice what I pay out every month on charitable donations currently, so I guess it's time that charity began at home.
In addition, I figure that I can easily spend the amount in question, dribbling it away each month on unnecessary purchases, so at least spending it on something I deem worth having, will mean that less money is available to me to spend on trivial things that I really don't need. In this respect, as someone who is trying to reduce the amount of 'stuff' in her life, it's a no brainer.
I'm gradually growing up I think. It's taken a long time, and there's still a long way to go, but hopefully I'm now heading in the right direction and taking responsibility for myself and my loved ones.