Have you ever considered how your family would manage financially if you died today? Whether or not you are retired or have older or younger children, could your spouse support himself or herself without your income? Would your home have to be sold? Would your children (or grandchildren) be able to afford college? Would a probate estate have to be opened? Even though death is an unavoidable part of life, far too few people are prepared for it.
If you think Social Security will help, don’t count on it. According to a recent article in Crain’s Wealth (“Social Security and dying too soon”), absent minor dependent children, a widow is not eligible for survivor benefits until age 60. As usual, the best protection for your family is not going to come from any government program. Instead, the best insurance is to make sure you have your ducks in a row. For example, do you have a will or trust and powers of attorney? Do you have enough life insurance? (ten times your earnings are a good starting point). Have you established 529 accounts for your children or grandchildren? These are just a few of the questions that should be considered when you are trying to protect your loved ones.