What If I Die? An Update Post
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Every time I fly in an airplane, I almost assume I’m going to die. I exit the airport and make my way up the ramp as if it is my last earthly moment, and kiss the sweet, fresh air goodbye as I enter the plane.
Any time the plane wobbles or shakes, I pray or scan pictures of my kids on my phone. I grab Greg’s hands, bargain with God for my life, and wonder how my kids will deal in my absence.
Yeah, it’s pretty pathetic, and pretty irrational too.
Still, it isn’t crazy to plan for the inevitable, and we shared a few of our concerns last month when Greg wrote, All I Will for Christmas Is…. We got a lot of flack in that post for not having an updated will, so I thought it would be fun to update you on the death-related progress we’ve made since then. So, what happens if we die now? Here is an update:
We Created Legal Wills
We were in the process of creating our wills already, but we went ahead and got the job done in early January. Using Legal Zoom, we created a professional will for each of us for a total of $140. It was equal parts painless and cheap, and all we had to do afterward was have them looked over by a lawyer, signed by witnesses, and notarized. Since we have two children, the details of our will are not complicated. Still, it is nice to have that piece of our financial puzzle taken care of and filed away in case we should ever need it.
We Bought Life Insurance from InsureChance.com
Going through our assets and financial information made me realize that it was probably time for us to purchase more life insurance on yours truly. We have quite a bit on both of us already, but my income has increased dramatically over the last year. And since I am making more, Greg would need more coverage to replace my income if something were to happen to me. Fortunately, I am young and healthy…so life insurance is still cheap!
Since I’m staying pretty busy this winter, it was easiest for us to get online life insurance quotes and go from there. And even though InsureChance.com offers quotes for term and permanent life insurance, we opted to buy more term insurance. It was certainly cheaper to do so, but it will also last until I turn 65. And hell, I sincerely hope that we aren’t counting on life insurance to get by when we are retirement age. Insurance through age 65 should be enough.
When Will We Reach Financial Independence?
Since I’m a huge planner, I think it’s really fun to fantasize about the future and create actionable goals that can help us achieve the lifestyle we want. Part of that means preparing for financial independence, and I’m beginning to think we’ll get there much earlier than we thought!
As it stands, our home and rental properties will be paid off somewhere between 11 and 12 years from now. That means that we’ll essentially free up $3,500 per month ($1,500 I’m paying towards our mortgage plus at least $2,000 in rental income) that we can use for living expenses. If we continue contributing to retirement as we are now and I assume conservative gains, we should easily be able to throw in the towel when we are 46 or 47-years-old. Will we? It’s doubtful. Our daughters will just be getting ready for college at that time, and our plan is to help them pay for college in its entirety- or at least help with most of it. Still, it’s nice to know we’re getting closer to having options. I can’t wait to work for a living because I want to – not because I have to.
So, ladies and gentleman, if I don’t die and manage to get my kids through college, you’ll probably find me lounging on a tropical beach somewhere – reading trashy novels, and drinking Mojitos. Or if I’m fat and don’t care anymore, I’ll be drinking BBCs.
All jokes aside, it does feel good to have a few more important issues squared away. Life happens and people die, and I want the people I love to be taken care of.
Do you have a will? Did you buy more life insurance as your income increased?
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I’m not clear on whether you got whole new policies or an additional policy, but something I see a lot is people having multiple policies they own (outside of employer plans). Most don’t notice that each policy has built into the premium an annual fee. Usually between $75-$100 per policy per year. It’s a good idea to review what it would cost to roll all policies into one for the total coverage. The only negative that comes with that is starting a new 2 year contestibility period. Which shouldn’t matter if you are truthful in the application process. I’ll see people with four or five contracts…easy to quote new policies when they are paying $400-$500 each year just for the privilege of dealing with the company!
We kept our old policies- they are painfully cheap, and that provides us with some overlap coverage (those policies expire when we are 55). Our old policies are also return-of-premium- I have no idea why we bought them that way, but we’re already a third of the way into them.
We do not have a will, but it’s “on the list”. We picked out guardians for our girls, should anything happen to us, but it’s not a cut and dried scenario. Couple A gets the girls if they have fewer than three children of their own (they have two) and Vouple B (childless) gets them otherwise. And I want to set up something that provides for the guardians, while setting aside the majority of the money for the girls’ college and young adult needs.
I would recommend Legal Zoom if your will won’t be complicated. It was easy!
With the arrival of Ikonz Jr, Mrs Ikonz and I are thinking more and more about protecting our wealth and preparing for any potentially negative situations.
Insurance has been done, Wills are next.
We do have wills. It gives us peace of mind knowing that this piece of our finances is taken care of, especially now that we have a little girl. And yes we did increase our life insurance as our income increased. We may increase hubby’s again in the future if we adopt again. Congrats on getting your will in place!
Awwwww…I hope you’re able to adopt again!
Will-making is on my list for this year; I don’t have dependents, and until now I haven’t had much in the way of assets either, so it hasn’t been a priority. But I’m 36; it’s time to set something up, even though I will probably re-make it in five or ten years.
I just wrote a post yesterday about choosing my retirement plan beneficiaries, which is another thing I had to do recently. With the New Year underway I guess we’re all thinking about death 🙂
My husband is a mortician so we talk about death all the time. It’s hard to ignore it when it’s right in front of your face every day.
A will, that’s something my wife and I need to do. Doing it online seems like a good option. We were thinking about waiting until we had our second child but perhaps if it’s easy to do we could make one now. Thanks for the idea Holly.
And actually, with more money we would have less life insurance (implicitly inflation causes this to happen with standard term) because we have more savings, which means we are more self-insured.
I hear ya- I just want my children’s college paid for. If I continue working, we should have money for that. If I die, I don’t think Greg would be able to accomplish that on his own. Fortunately, life insurance is cheap!
I don’t have any dependents so I have neither a will nor life insurance. I figure if I die, don’t my assets automatically go to my next of kin or named secondary beneficiary?
No one depends on me yet so no life insurance here. I don’t have a will either as my assets are limited to a few bank accounts but I have beneficiaries for those.
Its so funny, for me and my girlfriend were discussing this topic this week. As much as people don’t like to think about these things it’s real and it is beneficial if we are prepared for the unexpected.
I share your irrational fear of flying…to the extent that it literally ruins any vacation we take where we have to fly. I have fear instead of joyful anticipation leading up to our departure, and the whole time we are vacationing, I’m thinking about having to get back on a plane to go home. I sincerely don’t know how you do it with all the trips you guys take. You must have a stronger stomach than I do.
When our son was at home, we each had life insurance through our work. We wanted enough to pay off the house and fund a college education for him. Now that he’s gone, college and house are both paid for, we have let the amount decrease for a lower premium. At age 65, we have another opportunity to let it decrease further so we are doing the math to determine if I can live off hubby’s survivor’s annuity, my own social security and other investment income without receiving life insurance. Our policies were whole life which I know are not the cheapest way to go but they were through our work for discounted premiums as part of a group plan so at the time they were good for us. One thing to consider, that many people overlook, is disability insurance in case you can’t work for a lengthy period of time.
Kathy, I spend entire flights pretending I am somewhere else. Is that sad? It’s almost on par with having an imaginary friend. I just close my eyes, listen to music, and pretend I’m in bed.
We made our wills last year finally too, it was a long time coming! We based our insurance on our debts, our expenses, the earnings potential of the surviving spouse, and the costs to raise our daughter if we both pass away. We’re hoping to one day be self-insured as we pay off debts, our daughter grows and we save more.
Yep, same here.
We have the Legal Zoom will. I went to update it not too long ago and found it was still the way we’d want it to be, although our estate has gotten a bit more complicated over time. I’d love to put everything in a trust at some point, but it’s really no use until there are no mortgages. Another reason to pay everything off!
I used a calculator just last week to see when we ‘d be free of all our mortgages and it came out to about 8 years if we continue to pay what we’re paying now. It’s very exciting to have a potential date when I can throw in the towel, although, I probably will keep working if people still want to hire me.
Yay! That is exciting. I don’t necessarily plan to quit working then, but it would be nice to have the option. My guess is that we’ll want to travel a lot by then, which is a good reason to keep working.
I felt SO much better when my life insurance and estate plan were in place. My kids are probably old enough now that they’d be fine if Cheryl and I died, but that protection was invaluable. I procrastinated for about a year and then after it was done I asked, “Why the hell was I waiting?” I felt great.
YES! That is how I feel right now.
I’m the same exact way with flying! If it were socially acceptable, and some times I don’t even care about that, I’d get down and kiss the ground once de-boarding the plane. 🙂 Seriously though, we do have a will but we’re really needing to ramp up and get more life insurance. Both my wife and I have lost some significant weight over the past year and our income has drastically increased as well. It’s a good problem to have…we just need to do something to take care of it.
First world problems- that’s all I got!
Wills are a work in progress for us. They’ve been on the to do list for awhile now, just need to get them done already. Check on the life insurance. All good there. We have friends who have such a fear of flying they often take separate flights to limit the possibility of both ding in an accident.
THAT is nuts. I would never fly alone!
We still need to get our will going […] but I have a life insurance policy (use term4life btw) and a disability policy. I watched my father suffer a brain injury this past summer, and the need for a disability policy is a real thing!
I feel the same way when I fly! Recently I increased my life insurance. We need to work on our will though!
I’m thrilled that you and Greg updated your wills. It really is a pretty pain-free process and brings so much peace of mind. And I’m also glad to hear that you bumped up your life insurance as that is something a lot of people neglect to do. But as income increases, it should at least be considered. Sadly, I won’t be able to retire when I’m 47, mostly because I can’t go back in time. 🙂 At this time, Chris and I intend to work full-time until the girls graduate from high school since we both enjoy our work.
That makes sense! I want to get my kids through college too, or at least have a plan for them.
Well I was one of those flack givers and I’m glad you have your wills in place. Everyone with kids should be required to have a will.
That’s awesome that you can be FI in your forties. Like you we will keep working to help our kids with college. Just like I won’t die without a will-I can’t let my kids get themselves into debt to go to school.
Hey, no worries. I needed that final push- we kept putting it off! I actually appreciate it =) Now I don’t have to worry about that, at least!
My wife and I have been talking about getting our wills done but haven’t done it yet. We really should get that completed this year.
Just write a blog post about it and let people yell at you. It is great motivation! =)
I would be happy to yell at you : )
I think everyone should have a will. Takes the uncertainty out of dealing with your estate, for everyone. Even if it’s just deciding who’ll receive your books or Stargate SG1 dvd collection!
I had my will drawn up by a legal professional. It’s worth the investment. I thought I’d covered everything in my rough draft but the lawyer was able to present a whole raft of ‘what if’ scenarios that I hadn’t considered.
Something is definitely better than nothing but if you have children, assets or even pets – go to a professional. It’s worth it.
We did have it looked over- it was good! Glad it’s behind us now.
Great Article Holly, I have to admit I am somewhat afraid of flying as well especially since my wife and I have to fly for 24 hours to get to our homelandin India. I have to look into Legal Zoom as we are having our first child, on the way. Wishing you and your family a healthy and happy New Year!
Thanks for the reminder. Recently married and even more recently babied, so updating the will has been on the list for a bit, and now with the new addition definitely need to revisit the life insurance.
Time to get it done.