Life insurance is right up there with other uncomfortable conversation topics like teaching a child about the birds and the bees or asking a family member for a loan. But it’s a conversation that needs to happen.
To help get the conversation started here are tips for handling the discussion with different family members.
Talking to Parents About Life Insurance
It can be surreal to be the one now helping your parents with big life decisions rather than the other way around. Aging is something no one wants to think about so having a conversation about life insurance needs with a parent can be hard to handle. The important thing is to keep it positive and proactive.
You’ll want to have the conversation when your parent is in good health and able to make sound decisions. Explain your concerns and reasons for wanting to discuss the idea of life insurance. Come into the conversation armed with information on different types of life insurance that you can share with your parent. This information will help your parent make an informed decision that they can feel good about.
Final advice: check your emotions and opinions at the door. Keep everything focused on your parent’s thoughts and feelings.
Talking to Kids About Life Insurance
The biggest concern when talking to kids about life insurance is not to worry them about your wellbeing. Just bringing up the topic of life insurance can bring on concerns of losing a parent, which is something kids of any age understandably don’t want to have to think about. You want to keep your kids in the loop on important family financial matters, but life insurance conversations can wait until your child is at least 12 years old.
Start the conversation by assuring your kids that you are fine, and you just want to plan ahead so that they are taken care of if something were to happen. Explain to them that they are beneficiaries and what that means. In the simplest terms possible go over how things would work should the life insurance policy go into affect.
Talking to Your Partner About Life Insurance
Conversations about life insurance with a partner or spouse are going to be very different than talking to other family members. The conversation should focus on determining life insurance needs and incorporating the costs into the family budget.