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Mar 01 2021

Why both partners need coverage

Helping clients understand the value of covering a stay-at-home spouse.

By Joseph Spinelli III, CLU, LUTCF

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My client was a captain, on her way to lieutenant colonel, in the Air Force. She was a literal rocket scientist, testing sidewinder missiles. Talking with her about insurance, she didn’t see the value of covering her husband, who was a stay-at-home dad. “Why do I need that?” she asked. “He doesn’t make any money staying at home.”

If you Google it, the average stay-at-home parent is worth about $110,000 a year, depending on what article you read. In my practice, we talk a lot about buying insurance on a stay-at-home parent to protect the other parent’s career. If something happens to him or her, I always ask, “Do you want to have a choice to work or stay home? Insurance gives you a choice. Imagine if something happens to the stay-at-home parent and you’re trying to build your career.”

Do you want to have a choice to work or stay home? The lightbulb went off with her.

Once I started giving her the numbers of what it would cost if something happened to her husband, it started to click. I said, “Do you want your career to stop? That’s what’s going to happen.” The lightbulb went off with her. They haven’t had to use it yet, thankfully.

I see this situation fairly often. Some people are very reluctant. My wife stays at home with our three kids, and I have the same amount of insurance for her as I have on myself.

With the rocket scientist, I wasn’t tempted to say, “This isn’t rocket science.” But some engineers do overcomplicate things. They think everything’s complicated in life. It’s not. We’re talking $500 per year for $1 million in term coverage. Simple.

Joseph Spinelli is a 10-year MDRT member from Tallahassee, Florida. Contact him at joseph.spinelli@kofc.org.