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Why Women Need Life Insurance

Women comprise almost half the U.S. labor force, and their contributions to family finances are more important than ever.1

A record 40% of households with children under age 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary breadwinner. In 1960, only about 11% of women carried this level of financial responsibility.2 And, about 37% of “breadwinner moms” are married women who earn a higher income than their husbands. The other 63% are single mothers.3  Of course, many working women might not earn more than their spouses but still make a contribution to the family’s finances.

Stay-at-home moms also contribute to family stability, even if they don’t bring home a paycheck. Based on wages that would be paid for common household tasks, the annual “value of mom” in 2013 was $59,862.4  And, here is the irony. Despite the growing importance of their financial contributions, women are less likely than men to have life insurance (see chart). Those women who do have insurance often have lower coverage amounts — an average of $169,000 for married mothers versus $215,000 for married dads.5

But, it isn’t as costly as you might imagine. The most cost-efficient way to obtain coverage is typically term life insurance. One study found that consumers tend to overestimate the cost of life insurance by almost three times the actual cost.6
Time have changed since the 1960’s. Women are actively in the work force and are actively participating in contributing to the family finances. So, whether you’re the breadwinner, a co-provider, or a stay-at-home parent, be sure that you have enough coverage to protect your family in the event you are no longer there to provide for them.

Sources:
1) U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013
2–3) Pew Research Center, 2013
4) Journal of Financial Planning, June 2013
5) AdvisorOne.com, January 9, 2013
6) LIFE Foundation, 2012

Freeman Owen, Jr - Host of "Safe Money Talk" on CBS Radio The Big Talker 1580AM For better money management and to plan more effectively for your retirement, contact me for a free consultation.
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