“My husband is the sole breadwinner in the family. We have to save up for the kids’ education. Grandma’s health is not so well recently. Let’s get them covered.”
We are sure that those same words have been uttered by stay-home mothers all around the globe, given how they usually put their family as the top priority and themselves at the bottom of the list.
Due to that wonderful self-sacrificing spirit, mothers tend to underrate their own worth.
As a result, stay-home mothers do not insure themselves and even when they do, their coverage is sub-par.
However, that is not the main reason why stay-home Mums are criminally under-insured.
The real cause
It is not a gender issue.
Stay-home Dads are equally susceptible to being underinsured as the Mums.
However, there are more housewives than househusbands so the problem is more pronounced with the female caregivers.
Neither is it a financial planning issue.
Financial consultants are not taught to discriminate between sexes.
They are also not conditioned to ignore the protection needs of Mums.
The problem lies with economics.
To be more specific, it is the way that financial contributions are calculated.
A systematic overlook
Look at how the society values its members.
If you are a high net worth individual that is earning millions every year, you are of high socioeconomic status.
It does not matter if you are helping the underprivileged (social worker) or saving someone’s life (paramedic).
You are less valuable if you are earning less. Period.
Due to that, the non-financial contributions are neglected by the system.
The one who brings home the bacon is cherished, whereas the one who prepares the bacon sandwich is often overlooked.
The financial system equates financial contributions to protection importance which works in most situations.
When it comes to housewives and househusbands, the same system fails them.
Imagine that a household has just lost its stay-home Mum.
Who is going to do the laundry?
How are the kids going to be tutored?
Takeaways are much more expensive and less tasty than home-cooked food.
That is why stay-home Mums must be properly insured despite their less-than-obvious financial contributions towards the family.
How to derive the true protection value of a stay-home parent?
There is no way to measure the value of the Mummy’s love for the family.
That is priceless.
Yet we have to think of a logical way to put a number to that.
In order to do that, we examine the roles of a stay-home Mum and calculate how much it will cost to replace her commercially.
For those fortunate ones who never have to do the laundry, you do not understand the pain.
Washing clothes and hanging them to dry is not difficult.
The horror lies in how quickly the laundry basket fills up after you have just emptied it.
You can bring your laundry to the DIY shops and get them washed & dried at approximately $20.
Three weekly trips are necessary if you include the bed sheets, comforter, towels, etc.
However, this does not include ironing.
Assuming each shirt or pants cost $3 to iron, it would cost $30 for a weekly session.
Total annual cost: $4,680
A stay-home Mum will spend at least 2 hours daily to keep the home spotlessly clean and probably more on weekends.
Typically it cost $20 per hour to engage the help of a cleaner.
For simplicity, let’s call it 15 hours and thus, $300 per week
Total annual cost: $15,600
This is a difficult one to quantify but to try, we must.
We cannot simply apply the cost of hiring a chef because they don’t do the dishes!
Takeaways or food delivery may be the closest benchmark.
Assuming that each meal cost $40 for a family of four, the cost of meal preparation can stack up quickly.
Without even accounting for breakfast, drinks & snacks that are served on demand by a Mum, a family have to pay $80 a day and $280 a week.
Total annual cost: $14,560
One critical role of a stay-home parent is educating the child.
Not just in terms of academic but also character development and moral education.
Unfortunately, there is no like-for-like replacement for that.
A stay-home parent spends at least 2 hours on each child daily – homework help, life lessons and everything under the sun.
An imperfect replacement (tutor) charges $80 per hour.
That means that a stay-home Mum with two kids is providing an educational contribution of $2,240.
Total annual cost: $116,480
The astounding contributions of the stay-home Mums
If you are keeping tabs so far, the annual contribution sums up to $150,000.
This excludes nursing ill family members back to health, running around like a mad person daily to send and fetch the kids as well as supporting the working parent emotionally.
The total annual contribution should be in excess of $200,000
Should the stay-home parent be critically ill, injured or deceased, the commercial replacement will cost $200,000.
It should take at least 3 years for her to recover or for the family to get back on track.
That means the minimum amount that a stay-home parent should be insured should at least be $600,000.
Do you think that your stay-home spouse is still adequately insured after hearing this?
In a nutshell
When it comes to the importance of a stay-home Mum, it goes beyond commercial reasons.
You can get a maid, professional nurse and a great chef as a replacement but even all three cannot replace a parent effectively.
The assurance that the grandparents and the kids are well taken care of, is something that money cannot buy.
When the main caregiver is down, the best replacement is actually you.
You want to be a loving Mum for the kids, the dutiful daughter-in-law for the parents and of course, the caring nurse for her.
Only with ample financial resource, then you can afford to do just that.
That is why stay-home Mums must be properly insured.
Love your wife, cherish her and protect her well.
www.ClearlySurely.com aims to eradicate the knowledge gap between consumers and Life Insurance. Our Vision is that one day, every Man, Woman, and Child will be properly insured.