The Need to Talk About Life Insurance

By Jay Sedmak
SNPJ Publications Editor/Manager

Here’s an interesting tidbit of information, and one that I’ve never really given much thought: Although it doesn’t come up in dinner conversation very often – and according to statistics, even less so than you might imagine – life insurance is definitely one topic that parents should discuss with their children.

Last year, State Farm conducted an online survey addressing this topic, asking parents to rate their comfort level when discussing subjects such as drugs and alcohol, religion, politics and life insurance, among others. Of those responding to the survey, parents indicated that they would prefer to discuss drugs and alcohol (55 percent), religion (53 percent) and politics (44 percent) over opening a discussion about life insurance with their children (38 percent).

A parent’s reluctance to talk about life insurance isn’t surprising since 22 percent of adults felt that they didn’t know enough about life insurance to open a discussion with their children – quite likely because they weren’t introduced to life insurance by their parents. But make no mistake about it, we Americans – some 45 percent of us – first learned about life insurance from our parents. And much like those “the birds and the bees” conversations, mothers held life insurance discussions with their daughters, while dads tutored their sons.

And while it’s certain that nobody likes to face his or her ultimate demise, much less talk about it, there seems to be a more than compelling argument for kids to learn the basics of life insurance from their parents. Let’s face it: life insurance isn’t taught in high school, and Life Insurance 101 isn’t offered on any college or university curriculum, so that means life insurance education must start – and continue – at the most basic level, at home in conversations between parents and children. That said, however, even though the vast majority of adults (78 percent) recognize the vital need for life insurance, few are comfortable discussing the subject with their children.

The next time you’re considering the purchase of a life insurance policy, or even contemplating an update to your existing life insurance coverage, take some time to explain to your children why you’re doing so. We hope that you’ll be looking toward SNPJ to fulfill all of your life insurance and financial planning needs (which includes an investment in an annuity or an IRA), but even if you’re not, at least your children will benefit from your guidance. Talk to your children about life insurance – and about SNPJ. After all, their financial well-being in the future may very well depend on what you are willing to share with them today.

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