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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Not a Hypocrite

One of the best things about having a blog is that it typically forces you to hold yourself to a higher standard. It's hard to write about something you perceive to be an issue without at least trying to overcome the same issue yourself.

One of the major themes I've found while carrying out the Jewish Economics Survey is the troubling trend among frum Jews to not have life insurance (over 40%). My father is a financial planner who of course sells insurance himself, and when I mentioned the numbers to him he was appalled, though not surprised. At the same time, however, we didn't have ourselves. Both times we started the process before this year we never ended up actually completing it. Around the same time as the survey began and the responses started coming in, we decided we couldn't continue to go without something so important, even if the hope is that we're just "wasting" the money.

A couple of weeks ago we were told our policies were active; today our agent came by with the actual policies themselves and we handed over the first checks. While we can always add more later or get other kinds of insurance, for now we have basic term insurance ($1m on each) and we're paying $1,310 a year in total from a well-known company (and just in time - rates are about to rise, apparently). In retrospect, I don't think that what holds people back from getting life insurance is the money; it's just not on people's radar. I'm not an expert on life insurance, but it's a rather cheap investment for something you'll hopefully never need; a great primer on life insurance was posted by a guest on Orthonomics here. Just as a quick note for those who should be getting it: You may not need $1 million in coverage at this point in life, especially if you're a young couple like us. The rates are level on term, so had we gotten $500,000 on each of us we'd be paying $655/year combined. Talk to a financial advisor you trust.

Finally, Pazit.org now has a blog as well - Pazit's Money $marts - including some of the basic tips it handed out at last week's presentation. The tips are good for anyone, and women will gain tremendously by joining Pazit and especially by taking part in its Money Club.

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