Love and Legacies

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I’m an only child from an old-fashioned family, and I’m about to graduate college with my long-term girlfriend. So you can guess what my family is talking about: marriage, kids, and a whole new family: mine!

I’m very happy with my relationship, but I’m dragging my feet for a whole other weird reason, and it’s one that feels a little paranoid to say. I’m worried about what will happen to my family if I die. I know that sounds morbid, but if I had kids, I’d consider myself responsible for them (who wouldn’t?), and I remember a family friend years ago telling some awful story about a father who died and left his whole family in dire financial straits. I don’t even remember the friend, really, just the story – clearly it had an affect on me! What if I get run over by a truck, or something, and my family ends up all alone?

Anyway, I’m paranoid and rambling – can your experts reassure me with some kind of stats about life expectancy, or something?

Well, sure: life expectancy for males in the United States is 76.5 years. Does that help?

Probably not, of course, because you’re not talking about dying at a typical age – you’re talking about illness and accidents. And while we can tell you, happily, that you are unlikely to die young, we can’t say for sure that you won’t.

But having a family doesn’t have to be a gamble on your earning power or longevity. There are ways to protect your loved ones from at least part of the burden that comes with the sudden death of a caregiver.

The classic example is, of course, life insurance. Life insurance provider Our Life Covered specializes in life insurance for women (you’ll have to reach out to a different company for your own purposes), and they say that having a child is a common reason for people to invest in a policy.

Of course, there are ways to reduce your risk of dying young. So while you’re investing in life insurance, invest in yourself, too: strive to eat well and exercise, and steer clear of bad habits like smoking and dangerous activities like drunk driving.

But what about other people’s actions? Well, you may not be able to account for everything, but your family will necessarily be left with nothing if the recklessness of others costs you your life. The legal experts at Alabama-based personal injury firm Moore Law say that wrongful death lawsuits exist for just this reason. Nothing can undo the death of a loved one, but a settlement or court award can go a long way toward easing the fiscal burden that comes along with the traumatic event.

Yes, it’s all morbid stuff – but, when you think about it, it’s a lot less depressing than the future you’ve imagined. You’re likely to live a long and happy life. And while there’s a possibility that it won’t be long, you shouldn’t let that stop it from being happy!

“I actually lost 90 pounds over the course of 15 months in order to save money on life insurance.” – Derek Kilmer

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