To all of the mothers out there, I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day! As I was thinking about being a mom and all the ways that moms care for their children, I couldn’t help but think of the financial impact of moms. The traditional mother role was the nurturing and physical care of the kids while dad was out hunting and gathering to provide food, clothing and shelter. We have certainly come a long way from those drag-home-the-kill days for both men and women. In 2015, about 30% of the women were traditional stay-at-home mothers while dad provided the financial support of the household. Even in those households, there are still some major financial considerations for those moms. And certainly for the other 70% who do provide financial support in some way, these things are vital for the security of your children.
For every mom, working outside the home or not:
• Do you have a current will, valid in your state of residence, which names a guardian for your children in the event of your death? Even if their dad is still living and
you are still married to him, you should name him as the guardian and provide a successor guardian in case you were both to be involved in a common accident.
• Does your spouse have a will? Do you know where it is? Do you know what it says?
• Do you have life insurance on yourself which would pay off the family’s debt, fund college for your kids, and provide your spouse with money to pay for help in the event
of your death? You should at least be able to provide a year or two of extra money for child care while your spouse gets back on his feet. Of course, if you are
providing a large part of the financial support for the family, you will want to replace your income as well. Talk to a financial planner or insurance agent for the
right amount for your situation, age and budget.
Bankrate.com has a good life insurance calculator here that you can use to get any idea of how much is enough. Term insurance is not that expensive for nonsmokers
so I urge you to investigate this option while you are healthy.
• Does your spouse have life insurance and if so, do you know with which company, how much and how you would access it in the event of his death? This is not a fun topic
but it is important for you to be in the know.
• Do you know where the money is? All of the accounts, passwords, and balances?
• Do all of the working adults have disability insurance? Anyone contributing money to the support of the household should have disability insurance in case of illness,
accident or other incapacity.
• Do you have a stash of cash at home, locked up, that you could access if needed in an emergency?
Consider getting a safe, chaining it in an out-of-sight place and putting all of your important documents, cash, and passwords in it. Wills, passports, social security cards, life insurance policies and any other important documents should be in there. The office supply stores have inexpensive safes that are small and have a built in chain.
If you are in your late fifties/early sixties, do you have long-term care insurance which would help cover the cost of your care if you had to go into assisted living or
a nursing home? This is a huge help to your children when you get to the age of needing such assistance.
None of these things are fun or seem nurturing or contributing to the care and well-being of your children but they all are critical aspects of the modern day protection of our children. As a mother’s day present to your kids, take action on one or two of these items this week so that you can know that you have done everything possible to protect and provide for your kids.
To your financial (and parental) success!