I realise the title sounds like the title of a good thriller (Google has confirmed to me that it is not, though it does seem to be popular in song lyrics!). However for the purpose of this blog, I want to get you thinking about your family and what will happen to your family after you’re gone.
A client once remarked to me (when he was starting his life cover policy) that he was worth more dead than alive. He did not seem best pleased.
Indeed for those of us who may have studied Death Of A Salesman by Arthur Miller for our Leaving Certificate, it was this thought that ultimately drove Willie Loman to commit suicide. Willie voiced his thoughts as such; “After all the highways, and the trains, and the appointments, and the years, you end up worth more dead than alive” (referring to the fact that his life insurance will pay out on his death).
This is not a nice thought but your number one priority will be to protect your family. It is a harsh reality that we have to give thought to what would happen to your family if you were not around to provide financially for them.
In our life time, we make a lot of money. For most of us we don’t think we do as invariably that money is used weekly/monthly/annually to live and for the multitude of living expenses we encounter. Often it is difficult to have any surplus left over at the end of the month. But what if that income wasn’t coming in?
In the event of your death, your spouse/civil partner will receive the Widow’s Pension. This is €193.50 weekly if under age 66 (increasing to €243.30 if over age 80). Would your family live on €193.50 a week?
Often clients can be surprised at the level of life cover recommended to them. However if we do a very basic calculation, it can make more sense. For example let’s take an average wage of €35,000; over 20 years that will amount to €700,000. A lot of money – but money that invariably will be required for living expenses over the next 20 years, particularly if you have young children. So while we hate to think about it, we have to ask ourselves the question; how would our young family live if we weren’t around to earn that €700,000? (Please note the above is a very simple example for illustration purposes only. Our recommendation is personal to you and will take into account such factors as your mortgage being cleared, widows pension entitlement etc).
As well as a lump sum on death, there is another valuable option namely Monthly Income On Death. This means a monthly income is paid on your death (either with a lump sum initially or solely Monthly Income On Death Benefit). This is an invaluable option.
So while, we don’t like to think about what will happen after we are gone, we need to. Willie Loman wanted to leave a legacy behind him. The nicest legacy anyone could leave, in my opinion, is the ability for our family to cope financially should the unexpected happen.
This is an opinion only and does not constitute advice as individual circumstances will determine all financial advise given.