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Money health 2014: Learn from Downton Abbey

For Capital Region fans of Downton Abbey, now in its fourth season on WMHT-TV, the tragedy of Matthew Crawley's death colors the future of the new season. How will his widow, Lady Mary recover? What will the future bring for their baby?

We have to be prepared for the unexpected

No one could have predicted that Matthew would find tragedy driving home from the hospital after greeting his wife and newborn child. Mary's grief is immense. However, with her wealth and the security of Downton, she does not, at least, need to uproot her material life.

This cannot be said for real-life families without life insurance. Life insurance, or income protection, can protect everyday families in the event of the loss of a breadwinner.

Why buy life insurance?

  1. Plan for If you have children, you need life insurance. No one wants to think about tragedy or loss but, if you’re a parent, you should prepare for the unexpected. Whether you’re a breadwinner or a caretaker, your loss would impact your child’s life in so many ways. Protect your child’s future with life insurance.
  2. Go with term life insurance. Most experts recommend term life insurance, which is the most common and affordable type of life insurance. The average American has enough life insurance to cover 3.6 years of income, but you need two to three times that amount if your family has kids who haven’t finished college.
  3. Be sure to consider whether this would be enough to also cover college costs should you die before they are funded.

Great news for young families: Term life insurance rates are the lowest they’ve been in a decade.

Downton Abbey is fiction. For real-life families, please use Matthew's death as a cautionary tale.

Dave Balog teaches financial basics. 355-0967

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