Your spouse doesn’t even want to think about you passing away, let alone have to sit down and actually discuss it. It’s never easy to talk about death, especially the death of someone you love. That’s why discussing life insurance with your spouse can be so difficult. But since the two of you share a life together, with all the financial responsibilities that it entails, it’s a conversation that has to come up at some point. Here are a few tips on broaching this awkward but necessary subject:
Like bringing up any touchy subject, timing makes all the difference. We found that one of the best times to bring up life insurance is right after the birth of a child. Another good time to bring up life insurance is during or shortly after a separate but similar financial planning conversation. For instance, if you have just finished discussing the estate plans of a loved one, you can easily transition into the life insurance conversation without it seeming too shocking or out of place.
One of the reasons that it’s a good idea to discuss life insurance after welcoming a new child into the world is that it allows you to shift the focus of the conversation from death to future planning. Instead of an out-of-the-blue conversation about your possible demise, you can instead speak about life insurance in terms of planning for the baby’s future financial security. But this method also works regardless of whether or not you have had or are expecting a child. If you simply bring it up in terms of planning for you and your spouse’s future, or elder members of your family that might require expensive care, you can speak about life insurance as a planning tool rather than a death benefit.
You can also take some of the visceral sting out of the life insurance conversation if you talk about it purely in terms of facts and figures. Before you bring it up, make sure you have concrete details about how much money you will need to have in order to pay off the mortgage, save for college, etc. And then get some rate quotes together and present the life insurance topic in terms of a purely financial decision. This might make the conversation a little duller, but dull is better than downright depressing.
It’s sometimes best to preface the conversation with a little warning. Something along the lines of “I want to talk about something that might be uncomfortable for both of us, but I think it’s important.” This might make him or her a little uneasy, but it’s better than just blurting out something about death out of nowhere. It’s also important to be in a place where you can sit down face to face. So try to avoid springing it on them in the middle of a dinner out or while running errands. If you set the tone up front, it will allow your spouse to adjust a little bit and prepare for the difficult conversation beforehand.
There are a lot of misconceptions out there about life insurance (i.e. it’s only for old people, it’s too expensive etc.) and it can take some time to break through these misconceptions. So if your spouse puts up the defenses, or is having trouble making a decision, be respectful, but be persistent. Prices tend to increase the longer you wait, so don’t give up right away if he or she says no at first. If need be, get a professional involved. Most agents and advisors will be happy to sit down with you and your spouse and discuss your options.
If you and your spouse are ready to purchase life insurance or increase life insurance, get started with a free quote today.