My husband and I love life. We like to be adventurous, have fun, really live our lives. We only get one go at it, so why not.
My husband loves flying (small planes), riding his (very fast) motorbike, we go Zip-lining, and white-water rafting. We also simply drive on the road, and walk down the street. If the terrorist attack in London this week has shown us anything, it is that your life is never at your own mercy, but at the hands of a higher power – whoever you believe that to be. You never know when something might happen to bring your life to an end.
With that said, my husband and I are very practical people and we like to be prepared, we always have done. We have taken steps to ensure that in the awful event of one of us not being here anymore, our family left behind are taken care of.
This post might be a bit Doom & Gloom, but the message I’m trying to get out is so very important so please stick with me.
My husband got really angry with me once. Our daughters were 2 years old and 6 months old, and he had just been told he was being sent to work in Nigeria. Not in one of the main cities, but on a road project in one of the southern states, literally in the middle of nowhere. The nearest town was a 2 hour armed military escort drive away from the project.
Taking into consideration the increased level of danger he would be living in, we were busy organizing our lives and putting plans in place ‘in case of …’ . He was explaining to me exactly how much I would get paid from the various policies we had taken out IF anything were to happen to him. The figure at the time was around R4Million. He looked at me and said, “Is that enough?” and my reply to him was, “No.”
I could see he was shocked and then he became angry. I could almost see the thoughts running through his mind: ‘What an ungrateful b*tch’, ‘How much does she need?’
Before he could say anything I put my hand on his arm and said to him, “No amount of money will ever run in the dad’s race, or walk our daughters down the aisle so NO, it is not enough. You had better come home. Don’t die!”
I watched the fight in him disappear as he heard my words.
Thank goodness we never needed the insurance policy we were paying so much for at the time, but I’d pay that and more just in case …
Here are a few of the things we have done to prepare as best we can:
A Will: A Will is not just there to make a note of who gets what when you’re gone. In reality it has very little to do with that. As parents of children under the age of 18, our Will is there to ensure that our children are provided for as best we can, and to stipulate how we want them to be taken care of if we are no longer around. Many people assume that everything jointly owned goes to the surviving spouse, which is true a lot of the time but what if you both go at the same time? Then what? Who gets the kids? Who is in charge of their finances? What age do they inherit? Did you know that you can stipulate all of that as part of your Will.
A Living Will: This is a very quick and easy thing to do. What it is is a document setting out your wishes in the event that you are incapable of making a decision. Our Living Wills stipulate that if the doctor’s hold out no hope of a recovery, switch the machines off! I do not want to be a burden to my family.
Life Insurance: If you can afford even the smallest amount every month, it is worth it to ensure that your spouse and children have a little less to worry about when you’re gone. A lot of people assume that the only one who will suffer financially if one partner were to die is the one who earns the least/nothing. That is not true. In our situation I am a full-time mom. If I am no longer here, how will my husband work the crazy hours he does AND take care of the kids? He won’t be able to and so he may have to hire someone to help him, and the money he got from the life insurance will be able to help him do that. Alternatively that money can be invested for the children’s future education. We all know that a University education costs a huge amount of money.
PPP (Payment Protection Plan): If you have a home loan, vehicle finance, a credit card, a mortgage, or any form of debt it is best to make sure that you have PPP insurance. This is not only for in the event of death, most of these products will also pay out in the event of a terminal illness. Most financial institutions include this already for their own protection (especially bonds/mortgages) but it’s best to make sure you do have it, even on the smallest form of credit.
Funeral Plan: Funerals cost money. From the transportation, to the coffin, to the service etc. If you don’t have this, your loved ones will get stuck with the bill. This is one of the cheapest products on the market as well. If you do nothing else, this is one very important way to be prepared.
There are many other things you can do, and you don’t even have to do all of these, even just one will help take the burden off you family if you are no longer around one day.
I am NOT a Financial Advisor, consultant, or life planner, or authorized to advise anyone on these matters. I am simply a wife and mother living in an increasingly violent and unpredictable world.
I urge you to ask yourself, how prepared are you in the event of the unthinkable happening? Start making plans. It’s not for you, it’s for them.
It’s a scary world out there. Keep safe, but don’t stop living your life or one day you will wake up and wander what you did with it. Don’t have any regrets.