I’ve been married for almost a week, and besides the strangeness of seeing a last name pop up on Facebook, and the hassle of switching all of my email accounts over, nothing has really changed for me. I feel a little different, like the runner’s high I used to get from completing a race or setting a new PR, but I suspect that’s just from the wedding and won’t last.
I know that things are different now, though. I know that our finances are officially combined, that we can file taxes together, etc. One thing I’ve been wondering about though, is does our new marriage mean that we should do things a little differently than we have been? Specifically, do we need life insurance?
Basically, from what I understand, you need life insurance if:
- Your spouse’s standard of living would be dramatically and suddenly affected by your passing
- You have kids that you want to take care of
- You have debts (mortgage, car payment) that would be difficult for your spouse to maintain on one salary.
I’ve always dismissed the idea of getting life insurance before now, because none of those things really apply to us:
- My student loans are paid off.
- Our car loan is about to be paid off.
- We don’t own a home, so there are no mortgage payments that would need to be kept up.
- We have no children.
Basically, if I had died before we’d gotten married, my fiance would have been fine financially. Sure it would’ve sucked, but he wouldn’t have been destitute.
What about now? Has anything changed?
Well, not really. I mean, all of the things I mentioned above, still apply. I have a life insurance policy through my work health insurance equal to one year’s salary that he would now benefit from, which would be more than enough to provide him with enough cushion to figure things out. Since we have basically no expenses at this point, and our debt is very nearly paid off, he would probably manage just fine if I was gone.
Some day, it will be time to get life insurance. Probably when we buy a house. When it’s time, we’ll shop around and do our homework. But that day is not today. Today, we’ll continue on our merry uninsured, low expense way.
Do you have life insurance? This is a topic I’m extremely interested in learning more about!