Sunday, October 25, 2015

Preparing for the Unexpected


I wrote about my goals in the past, and I mentioned that I wanted to get financially secure--to save up an emergency fund in particular for my loved ones so that I can protect them and be prepared for unexpected events. Several of my readers mentioned that I really should look into getting life insurance as well, because we truly never know what is around the corner. Life insurance was always one of those tasks that I would "get around to later". I've shared this story before, in other instances, but when it comes to "preparing for the unexpected", this story is the perfect example of a real-life situation that actually happened to me.

In November 2010, I watched a movie with my kids one evening, and when Noah fell asleep, I carried him to his bedroom and tucked him into bed. I started feeling extremely nauseous, and I got tunnel vision. I thought for sure that I was going to vomit, so I started making my way to the bathroom, and within a couple of steps, I actually fainted.

I fell flat on my face to the floor, which broke my jaw completely through in five places. My mom took me to the emergency room (Jerry was at work at the time), and I wound up in the hospital for six days, enduring two surgeries to repair my jaw. Thankfully, we had health insurance (otherwise, we'd have hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay out-of-pocket!), but we still ended up with a few thousand dollars of out-of-pocket expenses. Also, Jerry had to take some time off of work to help take care of me, which was unpaid leave.

Eli stayed with my sister while I was in the hospital, and I was so happy to see him!
It was crazy to me that in a split second, when I fainted, our lives were totally changed. Thankfully, everything turned out okay, and there was only minor permanent damage to my jaw (I still have a totally numb lower lip and chin). But what if it hadn't turned out okay? What if there was something seriously wrong with me to have caused the fainting?

Over the summer, I worked a little with Prudential to get motivated to set some financial goals. When I shared one of those posts, several of you mentioned that I should add "getting life insurance" to the list. It was something that had completely slipped my mind when I was writing, but I started thinking about all the unexpected things that could happen, and what the consequences could be.

Life insurance is one of those things that I always said, "Yes, it's important, we should get it! I'll get around to it next week." And before I knew it, I was 33 years old, with a husband and two children, without an emergency fund OR life insurance! That's pretty scary when you think about the unexpected things that can happen, such as the day I broke my jaw (the reason I fainted still remains a mystery, despite a ton of tests at the hospital).

Jerry and I talked about our financial goals over the summer, and about life insurance. I mentioned that he could probably get along just fine without me (financially); my income is minimal compared to his, and other than needing someone to watch the kids while he's at work, I'm not really "worth" much (as awful as that sounds). He disagreed of course... and it was interesting when Prudential sent me a link to this tool called "The Value of All You Do". You fill out a questionnaire about how much time you spend doing all sorts of tasks, and then it totals up how much you're "worth". I realized that I really am more of an asset than I thought! Haha ;)
It would take $62,660 per year to replace the things I do for my family (and I was being modest in the amount of time I spend on things). It was a fun little tool, so if you want to check the value of all you do, here is the link to that. Anyway, this summer has been really great as far as getting our priorities straight and finally getting around to doing those tasks I used to put off until another day: start an emergency fund, write a last will and testament, and purchase life insurance. It feels good to get that stuff done, and have one less thing to worry about! Here is a video also of how you can prepare for the unexpected.

Have you ever learned an important lesson from an unexpected life event, like I did with my broken jaw? Feel free to share your story on social media with #PlanRealistically or #WontHappenToMe.

23 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Get over it. It's not hurting you and if you adore her then let her have a few promoted posts. They are few and far between and hopefully she gets compensated. She works hard on this blog and deserves these kinds of promoted posts.

      Delete
    2. Unknown--I'm sorry that you deleted your comment before I could reply, because I don't think you meant any harm by it. I understand that you dislike sponsored posts, but I disagree that I am "selling out" by doing an occasional sponsored post. I get offers almost daily to do them, and I turn down 99% of those offers, because I want the majority of my blog to be a simple "journal" where I write about my day. I believe that selling out would be if I were to write posts where I can't express my own opinion or use my own words. The sponsored posts I've done (nine out of about 1700 posts?) have allowed me to write my opinions about the company or product... otherwise, I wouldn't agree to do the post.
      I've learned that no matter what I write about on my blog, there are going to be people who disagree with it, and that's okay. So, I decided to do what's best for me, and write what I choose to write about, and not worry about anyone else. I hope that my readers understand why I do a few sponsored posts about things that truly interest me.
      Hopefully this helps explain it? :)

      Delete
  2. My husband is an attorney. Before I met him, though, I was a single mom! I had zero money saved and lived in debt most of the time. However, I felt it was important to have life insurance in case something happened to me and my daughter was left alone. Similarly, it's so important to have an estate plan (last will and testament) -- not only for you and your husband, but for your kids too. Taking care of those details saves a lot of headaches for them if something were to happen. Good for you for getting your priorities in order! Have you listened to Dave Ramsey's podcast? He also recommends getting an emergency fund set up as baby step 2 I believe. It's so important!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't listened to it, but I will have to add it to my podcasts list! With all the reading I've been doing this year about finances, I've gotten pretty interested in it. It's very overwhelming when I think of everything as a whole, but broken down into small goals, it's actually pretty manageable. Thanks for the suggestion!

      Delete
    2. I second Dave Ramsey! He's been great for our financial education.

      Delete
    3. My husband and I love Dave Ramsey's podcasts. If you listen to them long enough, you learn a lot about finances without it seeming overwhelming. He's very good at explaining stuff at a level that makes any listener be able to understand. Plus, he's entertaining.

      Delete
  3. Life insurance is one of those things you never realize or thing you will need. When you take a minute to think about all the expenses your family will be left with if God forbid you were no longer around it's overwhelming! Not only the day to day things you will no longer be there to do, but things like funeral costs. My family lost a very close friend this week. He was only 30 years old and had become essentially a part of the family. Not only is his family burdened with the loss of a son, but the cost associated with it. My dad had also relied so much on him to take care of things around the house and yard - things my almost 64 year old dad can't really do himself. I love this post - sponsored or not - because it's SO important!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On a lighter note I HAVE to add that I finally tried your cold overnight oats in an almost empty peanut butter jar. Oh. My. Goodness I don't want oatmeal any other way ever!! :D

      Delete
    2. I'm so sorry about your family friend! Thirty years is just way too young. :( I understand about your dad coming to rely on him to do things around the house... in the opposite way, I sometimes worry about what I'll do when my parents pass away. My dad is an auto mechanic, and has always been my go-to for things that need fixing; my parents also help out with watching my kids when needed. Life insurance obviously won't help with that, but it makes me realize I need to be prepared with a back-up plan!
      P.S. Glad you liked the oatmeal :) I haven't had that in a while... maybe tomorrow morning for breakfast!

      Delete
  4. I would also think about disability insurance for Jerry. A friend of a friend recently suffered a stroke. He is the main breadwinner in the family. Fortunately they have health insurance to help with some of the costs...but that doesn't help with the income lost portion. Good for you for taking control of this area. A great post...sponsored or not! Thanks! Bridgette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Bridgette! I hadn't thought about disability, but that would be almost a devastating financially as a death. So much to think about!

      Delete
  5. A friend's cousin just died suddenly at 27 of a heart attack with no life insurance and 2 kids. I think this is a very important message to get out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ohmygosh, a heart attack at 27? I'm so sorry! That is so very sad.

      Delete
  6. I didn't get to read the post that the author deleted but I just wanted to say that I think doing sponsored posts are a fantastic way for you to make a little extra money (or get products/services). Like you said, you've only done them for things you feel strongly about and I appreciate that.

    I second the person who suggested Jerry get long term disability insurance. I had to stop working 9 years ago because I went into renal failure and thank goodness for my long term disability payment every month! Not sure how we'd live without it.

    Thanks for all the great info :)
    Bridgette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for chiming in on the disability insurance! It sounds like you know firsthand how important it is. It's scary how things can change that quickly!

      Delete
  7. When I had my first child, I was working and my husband was the stay-at-home parent. I lost my job unexpectedly when my daughter was 15 months old and I was pregnant with our son, thus losing our sole source of income. We both applied for SO MANY jobs, and only managed to get a couple of interviews between the two of us.

    My husband and I are huge Dave Ramsey fans, and because of his advice we got life insurance when we had our first child and we were debt free except for our mortgage and my student loan, and already had a small emergency fund in place. Because of our planning, we were able to stretch my 12 weeks' severance pay and unemployment checks to last through 9 months of unemployment without acquiring any new debt, and we didn't get behind on any of our bills.

    It's such a great feeling to have these backup plans in place BEFORE an emergency strikes. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good for you!! That sounds like an impossible task, to stretch your severance pay for so long. Impressive!

      Delete
  8. I don't know your financial situation, but I think of life insurance as a way to have a breather if a spouse dies. I mean, if you passed away, Jerry might want to take some time off. Maybe he, like my husband, has a lot of vacation/sick time saved up, but if he's a single parent, he'll need all that time when the kids get sick or he wants to take a trip with them. Also, with all the grief that a spouse passing away brings, I would want my husband to not have to worry about our largest bill -- the mortgage -- so our life insurance is high enough so that if one of us passes away, the mortgage would get paid off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a really great point. I'm sure Jerry would want to take time off if I died, to be with the kids and to get adjusted. I definitely wouldn't want him to have to worry about finances on top of everything else!

      Delete
  9. I for one appreciate this post. It's important for regular people, who are admired and respected, to talk about how important it is to have life insurance. I can preach it til I'm blue in the face (and I do ;) ), but because I work in the insurance business (as a trainer, not a salesperson), people usually discount my opinions. But it IS so important. The best explanation I ever heard was from an old boss I had years ago, who pointed out that when someone dies, there are two types of loss: emotional and financial. We can't help with the first, but we can help with the second.

    Thank you for writing this post! You can bet I will be linking to it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Steph! When I was young, insurance always bored me... but as I get older, I realize how important it actually is! I've been learning a lot recently :)

      Delete
  10. Totally recommend Dave Ramsey, the baby steps are fantastic to take control of your life and make your money work for you! The biggest predictor of future wealth is saving your income. Little savings everyday make a big difference in the long run, especially with compound interest. Definitely listen to his podcast - give it a week or so, his personality can seem a bit abrasive on certain subjects, but he has a fabulous message. Then, consider going through his Financial Peace University at a local church. I actually think you would LOVE this program and would really excel at getting 'gazelle intense' about it. And I would love to read about you working through it on your blog!

    Best wishes,
    Katie

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)