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Would You Be Prepared if You Lost Your Spouse Tomorrow?

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Would You Be Prepared if You Lost Your Spouse Tomorrow?

Because I have sold insurance for many years that helps families financially when dealing with cancer, I have seen my share of death and what the loss of a spouse puts a family through. My average client who has dealt with cancer has been in their early 40’s with a spouse and a handful of children. I have seen a common theme occur when a spouse is lost:

  1. In a family where the wife did all of the cooking and laundry, I have seen numerous men go completely hungry because they never learned how to cook.
  2. In a home where the wife handled all of the parenting duties, I see men completely crumble at the though of having to take over parenting duties. Many of these men remarry within a year of losing their spouse simply to replace mom and the parenting duties.
  3. In a family where the husband was the sole income earner and money manager, I have seen women completely devastated about not knowing where their next source of income will come from and/or how to handle the family’s money.

This is why it is so critical for married couples to be pair-ents, not parents. In a “pair-enting” household, both mom and dad cook and clean. In a pair-enting home both mom and dad tend to the children’s needs, give baths, help with homework and give equal amounts of time and attention to the children.

And if you are a stay-at-home mother who does not earn an income, it is still important for you to identify your strengths and have confidence in knowing how you could earn an income if you lose your husband prematurely. I suggest all women taking a personal finance course and reading good books on money management.

In all of the above scenarios, it is the people who are not prepared for the worse who end up the most devastated during a tragedy. The men and women who are mentally, emotionally and financially prepared end up overcoming their tragedy successfully.

Do you have the following in place:

1. Life insurance for both you and your spouse?

2. A living will?

3. Disability insurance?

4. At least 6 months of income in savings?

 

If you lost your spouse tomorrow, what are three things that he/she manages in your home that you would not be prepared to handle?

What can you do immediately to ensure you are skilled and prepared if you lose your spouse prematurely?

Kate Raidt Kate Raidt is author of The Million-Dollar Parent: How to Have a Successful Career While Keeping Family a Top Priority and founder of advantage4parents.com. She is also an alumnus of the Southwestern Company's summer work program. Kate is also the mother of two young children.
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