Donnie Walhberg is spending some time away from his duties as frontman of the newly reunited New Kids on the Block to act as the spokesman for National Life Insurance Month. Wahlberg became aware of the importance of life insurance after he lost his sister, Debbie, when she was just 44. Debbie left behind a sixteen year old son and no life insurance. Wahlberg's nephew was lucky to have a family that was able to provide him with emotional and financial support following his mother's death. But many in a similar situation would face unwanted financial vulnerability at a time when economic stability is probably the last thing on their minds.
"She was a young woman with her whole life ahead of her, but like so many people, she didn't think about the 'what ifs,'" Wahlberg says in an interview with IFAwebnews.com. Unfortunately, many women choose not to address the "what ifs" in their financial planning. According to Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education, only 59% of women have life insurance, compared to 64% of men. Women also tend to be under-insured when it comes to their life insurance: the Life and Health Insurance Marketing Research Association (LIMRA) says men carry an average death benefit of $143,100 while women carry an average death benefit of
Each wage earning spouse should buy enough life insurance in their working years to cover all of the couple’s joint debts, like mortgages and student loans, plus 20 percent. The extra 20 percent is a precaution in case there isn’t an opportunity for employment or benefits to begin after a partner’s death. Often, people will work with a reputable insurance agent to find homeowner’s insurance, life insurance and long-term care insurance. Talk to several agents before choosing one, and ask friends and family members for recommendations. Your state Insurance Commissioner will also have resources and a list of companies to contact. Check out the possibility of reduced rates for umbrella policies—such as policies that cover your home and car both.
Want to find out more about how to keep yourself covered? Check out WISER's Special Report: The WISER Woman's Guide to Insurance. For more information on National Life Insurance Month, visit the LIFE website.
Additional Resources: "All women-- especially mothers--need to have life insurance" by Susan Elliot, Denver Business Journal, "Donnie Wahlberg, industry to promote September as Life Insurance Awareness Month" from IFAwebnews.com.