Guest Post: Love Your Family Well
July 9, 2012
Love Your Family Well
By Sherri Gray, Certified Personal Finance Counselor Candidate
Loving your family seems liked a no brainer. We think of our parents and we show our appreciation of their sacrifice by calling them just to say hello. We see our spouse and extend an unexpected gesture that shows them how much we love them. We see our children and we marvel at how much we can love another human being and realize how God must feel about us.
Yes, loving our family seems like a no brainer. But so many of us say we love our families but our actions say something else. Our families depend on us for so many things and we try our best to fulfill their needs. But many of us fall short in truly expressing to our families our love for them.
There are a few questions you should ask yourself to see if you pass the love test for your family.
Do you have a will? A will tells the state and your loved ones what happens to your money and your minor children in the event of your death. I know the thought of leaving your family one day is a difficult scenario to face. But it is something that must be addressed. The last thing you want is for the state to determine what happens to your children or your money.
Do you have adequate life insurance?
Many people consider employer-sponsored life insurance sufficient. But the truth is that most employers only provide 2 -3 times your salary in life insurance. And when you change jobs, that insurance is no longer valid. You should have 8 – 10 times your income in 20-year level term life insurance, outside of your employer. This will ensure that if you are no longer here, your family will be able to function financially in your absence.
Do you have a plan to become debt free? Being debt free allows you to use your money in a way that benefits you and your family. The less you give to creditors, the more money you’ll have to save for the things that matter like giving, saving for the future, saving for fun, and leaving a financial legacy to those who love you.
Are you saving for the future? If you have all of the other questions covered then this part is easy. Saving for the future could be for giving more, traveling, retiring with dignity, leaving an inheritance, or buying that red two-seater Mercedes convertible you always wanted. Sorry, that’s my dream. But I digress.
I know that you love your family even if you don’t have all of these questions answered. But when you do answer yes to these questions, you’ll demonstrate to your family that you not only love them but that you love them well.