The birth of a child can change a parent’s perspective on many things—work, family, career, and even small things like vacations, holidays, hobbies. Priorities can shift. Aspirations can morph into something new and unexpected. Even time can take on new dimensions. Suddenly it becomes easier to visualize the future. Looking five, ten, even twenty years down the road is simplified by picturing a child growing up.
This window on the future can be a big advantage when planning a financial future for your family. Like a child, quality investments need time to grow and mature. By synchronizing an investment with your child’s life, you can make long-term financial commitments that you might otherwise put off. For example, the birth of a child provides an excellent opportunity to begin funding a whole life insurance policy.
Easy to set up and continue funding, whole life insurance is a readymade investment that can build up substantial value over a long period of time. For example, by a child’s twentieth birthday, the cash value of a whole life insurance policy taken out at birth will equal the premiums paid up to that time. A $15,000 policy that costs only $10 per month to fund would have a cash value of $2,400. A $35,000 policy would have a cash value of about $5,700.
The cash value of a whole life policy is a liquid asset. It can be withdrawn in time of financial emergency and paid back at a later date. Since the policyholder acts as his or her own lender, credit history is irrelevant. The “loan” cannot be denied because it really is the policyholder’s own money.
Some insurance companies double the policy’s face value when the child turns 21—without increasing the premium. You or your child may be able to buy additional coverage on policy anniversary dates, again without an increase to the premium.
The premiums for a baby’s life insurance policy are the lowest available. A whole life policy allows you to lock in these rates for a lifetime—literally. Critics of whole life insurance say you might be better off investing the money in something else. The question is, what else can you invest in for just $10 a month?
There is of course another benefit to life insurance—the one no one wants to talk about or even contemplate: It insures against unexpected death. This may seem like grim, uncaring use for your money, but you have to consider your whole family and its needs. Unpaid medical bills, funeral and burial expenses can rob a family’s savings, college fund, and home equity. Life insurance is an inexpensive way to protect a family’s financial future.
An award-winning author of books for children and young adults, Bradley Steffens is a freelance writer who contributes articles to a range of online and print publications, including Broker Agent Magazine and Gig. His new book, Ibn al-Haytham:
First Scientist, is the world’s first biography of the medieval Muslim scholar known in the West as Alhazen.