According to a recent study only 47 percent of women have life insurance.
So what does that tell us?
It tells us that women tend to underestimate their impact and value in the world and therefore often don’t insure their lives pre-marriage or pre-children. Too many women mistakenly believe they need to have a “classic beneficiary” lined up. But insurance is all about building your own legacy. If you wait, you lose valuable time—not to mention compound interest, tax efficiencies and power that comes from investing in yourself.
As women, we need to think bigger. We need to put ourselves first, especially when it comes to thinking strategically and investing in our financial future.
We touch and impact people in a million seen and unseen ways. If we die prematurely our loss will be felt. If we do not die early and buy a whole life, or indexed universal life policy, we have impacted lives because we planned for our future free of financial fear. We will have earned more money to have a larger impact while we are alive and beyond.
The confidence and agency that comes from claiming our worth is priceless.
What we need to do is recast the way we think about life insurance. For way too long, women impaired their financial health by thinking that security will come when we get married or have a family. So many women think that it’s OK to put off things like life insurance until there’s someone—a partner, children—to receive benefits.
That’s entirely the wrong approach.
Women should sign up for life insurance as early as possible. First off, the younger you are when you get it, the cheaper it will be. So off that bat, that’s a big obvious reason to do it. It’ll also enhance your self-esteem. When you’re forced to think about your legacy, you begin to assess your purpose in the world. You look at things differently. Priorities shift. Goals become clearer.
The second thing to remember is that a beneficiary can be anyone or anything. This lets you put dollars toward being the change you want to see in the world. You can create a scholarship program at a school or organization that aligns with your values. You can donate your money to a charity or medical research. You can impact politics and the environment in ways you may not think possible. You can leave your money to a sibling or your nieces or nephews. It can even be a dear friend or aging neighbor. And if at some point in your life, you get married or have a child without a partner, you’ll be able to change the beneficiary. That’s the great thing about a beneficiary: It can change as your wealth and life grows and changes.
Financial health, equality and power come through acts like insuring your life and your legacy. And really what you’re doing is building a pot of money that you can take a loan against (tax deferred), to do with as you please (like fix the washer or put a down payment on a condo) that is repaid by the policy when you die.
You are taking care of your life and taking control of your financial security and showing your value through healthy money actions.