As Times Change, Women Learn to Leverage Life Insurance Ownership

Women have always lagged behind men in life insurance ownership, but those numbers are quickly closing in.  According to a study done by LIMRA, almost 6 out of 10 women owned some sort of life insurance in 2010, about the same as men’s ownership.  So, what’s the big deal?  Life insurance, whether male or female, has always been one of the most cost effective ways for men and women to protect their loved ones in the event that anything should happen to them — as well as provide for their own futures.  It protects your family in the event of lost income due to death, provides retirement security, pays off mortgages and can even fund college educations.  Life insurance is crucial when it comes to protecting your financial future.  

Interestingly enough, studies show that women place more value on life insurance (70%) than men (62%).  Furthermore, most modern U.S. households are dual-income households with more women working and contributing to the family’s finances.  And with 30% of women out-earning their husbands, women are making or helping to make many of the financial decisions for their families.  To put it frankly, men are no longer the socially accepted alpha males of the household; women are either matching their partner’s income or exceeding it.  This is exactly why the need for women to have life insurance is even more critical now than ever.  

Here’s a breakdown of household dynamics and how women should leverage their life insurance ownership and long term care in each situation:

  • Two-income family: today’s two-income families typically depend on both paychecks to make ends meet.  If anything happened to you and the income you provide would your family be able to suffer a severe financial loss?  Adequate life insurance can replace your income, remove uncertainty and help guarantee your family's financial security.

  • Single women heading a household: as a single parent you are responsible for the support and care of your children. Your need for life insurance is even more crucial than in a dual-parent household, which would have another source of income if one parent dies.

  • Full-time homemaker: this is just as much a partnership as the two-income family in that it takes the efforts of both to make the household function. Your services, while in many respects beyond value, are priceless.  How would your husband and children manage without you?  

  • Single woman: your need for life insurance may be even greater than for married women.  Just because you are single doesn’t mean you are without responsibilities.  Life insurance protects against loans, debts and any other final expenses that could potentially fall on parents or other loved ones.  Furthermore, life insurance purchased today can protect your future insurability as you get older - albeit a family or a retirement fund.

As times change and women’s economic roles evolve within their family and our society it is crucial to point out the importance of life insurance policies for their financial protection.  Advisors can help women make critical decisions about life insurance and long term care.  Whether you’re single, married or leading a household on your own, it is critical to understand how life insurance can help protect against unexpected financial damage and contribute to long term care plans.  

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