Understanding Insurance Needs for At-Home Caregivers

Understanding Insurance Needs for At-Home Caregivers
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(This article originally appeared in the October 2021 issue of Military Officer, a magazine available to all MOAA Premium and Life members. Learn more about the magazine here; learn more about joining MOAA here.)


You probably know that life insurance is an important part of your financial plan if anyone is relying on your income. But what about your family members who aren’t earning but are contributing in other valuable ways?


Life insurance to cover their economic value is just as important. This is even more true if the loss would be stressful for the surviving parent’s work situation — like military service.


While it is impossible to put an exact dollar figure on the value of a stay-at-home caregiver, you can start figuring out your needs based on the cost of child care. The average cost of full-time child care in the U.S. is over $8,000 per year per child, with infants and high cost-of-living areas coming in higher.


And that’s just for daytime care Monday through Friday. If the surviving parent will need to work irregular hours, overnights, weekends, or holidays, the cost will increase dramatically.




In addition to child care, an at-home parent also provides transportation to doctor’s appointments, sports, and other activities; does laundry; manages shopping; cleans; prepares meals; and does other household  tasks. While a remaining parent can pick up some of these responsibilities, time and energy are limited. Chances are that they will require help or sometimes opt for more expensive options.


In other situations, the loss of one parent may cause the surviving parent to rethink their work situation entirely. They may need to move to a less demanding job, or they may consider taking some time out of the workforce entirely.


The loss of a loved one won’t be any easier if you have life insurance, but the benefits can lessen or remove the financial stress of life without them. Not having to worry about child care and other expenses can give a family the space to focus on each other during a difficult time. Life insurance is a tool that can help create that space by removing financial concerns.


If you have a stay-at-home parent or another unpaid, at-home care provider, life insurance is an essential part of a thorough financial plan.


MOAA Webinar: Life Insurance Options Officers Should Know About

Whether you are currently serving, transitioning from active duty, or retired, selecting a life insurance plan can be difficult. Your life insurance requirements will vary depending on your stage of life.


Join MOAA for a free Oct. 27 webinar as we unpack the various types of term life insurance plans available through MOAA membership.

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About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell

Horrell is a personal financial educator, military spouse, and member of MOAA's Currently Serving Spouse Advisory Council. Get more finance tips at KateHorrell.com.