How to Have the Life Insurance Conversation with Your Spouse

Understandably, no one wants to dwell on the thought of life without their loved ones, but it is a vital discussion that can make a huge difference at a difficult time in the future. By making sure you and your spouse have adequate life insurance, your family can enjoy greater peace of mind in knowing that you are prepared for the worst possible outcomes.
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life insurance spouse

Your spouse is one of the most important people in your life — someone you love, trust and rely upon every day. When it comes to life insurance, your spouse plays an even more important role than you may realize.

Military spouses are often in charge of the “home front.” They may be the ones paying the bills, dealing with household tasks and managing family schedules. Your spouse knows the ins and outs of your family expenses and debts and can give you a clear picture of how much life insurance you might need to help your loved ones maintain their standard of living if you died.

But, you’re not the only one who needs life insurance. Even if your spouse works part-time, is unemployed or isn’t earning an income, they still contribute to childcare, maintenance, housework and more. If your spouse died, their absence would incur costs for these services.

By making sure you both are adequately covered, your family can enjoy greater peace of mind in knowing that you are prepared for the worst possible outcomes.

Understandably, no one wants to dwell on the thought of life without their loved ones, but it is a vital discussion that can make a huge difference at a difficult time in the future.

Here are some tips to make having that conversation a bit easier:

  • Do your research: Go into the conversation after you have done some background research on life insurance. Service members get up to $400,000 of SGLI coverage through the military, and spouses of service members can get up to $100,000 of coverage through Family SGLI.

Is this enough to protect your family? If not, learn about the different types of life insurance and try to get a basic idea of what might be right for your situation. Having background knowledge will make a conversation with your spouse that much smoother.

  • Get your foot in the door: Instead of bringing up life insurance arbitrarily, use births, deaths, divorces, and large purchases as a relevant way to broach the topic.

All of these situations can be tied to changing life insurance needs.

  • Make time: It’s not always easy to find a chunk of time when you can sit down without any distractions. Setting aside even an hour or so to discuss your insurance needs — first with your spouse and then with an insurance representative or financial planner — is well worth your time investment.

  • Make the conversation part of a bigger financial discussion: Though the main point of the conversation is to evaluate your life insurance needs, it’s not just a conversation about insurance. You do not have to focus on death to have a life insurance conversation; instead frame the conversation around financial security and your goals for your loved ones.

To determine your needs, you need to share your financial goals as a family, your dreams for your children, and more. Those things take planning, too, and can be part of an exciting discussion about the future.

Do you want to finance higher education for your children? Do you want to pay off your mortgage? Do you want to ensure there is money to care for aging family members?

Once you have an idea of your goals, look at your finances and your budget.

Find the balance between how much life insurance you need and how much coverage you can afford. This sweet spot will ensure that your family is covered financially in the event of your death or that of your spouse, but won’t tremendously affect your family’s budget. Our life insurance calculator can help you determine your needs, as can a conversation with any of our representatives.

  • Set a timetable for action: Break the life insurance process into a manageable to-do list so you can give it the attention it deserves. Give yourself a deadline and block time out on your calendar to call an insurance representative. Preparing for a medical exam ahead of time and block out time for that appointment as well.

You can expect a decision on your policy application four to six weeks after our underwriting department receives your application and any medical information requested.

Life insurance ensures that your loved ones won’t struggle financially after you are gone.

Depending on your age (and theirs), life insurance could help your spouse cover the expenses of raising children, help your children attend their dream colleges or help your beneficiaries pay for your end-of-life costs, including medical bills and funeral arrangements.

Having this financial safety net in place ahead of time gives your family the security they need to continue living their lives after you are gone.


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About Navy Mutual

Navy Mutual is a nonprofit, federally tax-exempt Veterans Service Organization. Established as the Navy Mutual Aid Association in 1879, it is the oldest Congressionally recognized Veterans Service Organization. Today, Navy Mutual continues serving the military community by providing life insurance and annuities to members of the military services, and their families.

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