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How life insurance fits in with Kelan and Brittany Kline’s financial plans

Haven Life customers and personal finance bloggers Kelan and Brittany Kilne have term life insurance coverage as a key part of their financial plans.

The story you’re about to read belongs to two of our customers. It is told in their words, with their permission and in a way only they could tell it. If it inspires you to think about your own life insurance coverage? Great. If it inspires you to do something — anything, important for the ones you love most? Even better.

Brittany and Kelan Kline met in preschool, but didn’t remember the encounter until they started dating in high school in North Chili, New York.

“Opposites surely do attract. We could not be more different. I’m an introvert, he’s an extrovert, I’m a saver, he’s a spender, I’m decisive, he’s indecisive, but it works for us,” Brittany says.

At an early age, they thought they knew what they wanted to do with their lives. Kelan had dreamed of becoming a police officer from age 7 when he turned in a lost $50 bill he found in a parking lot. Brittany wanted to be a teacher since she played school with her friends as a 5-year-old.

Yet their initial dreams didn’t turn out exactly as planned. Kelan cycled through a bunch of different jobs, such as office manager, delivery driver and EMT, before finally breaking into law enforcement as a jail deputy. After working as a deputy for nearly three years, Kelan learned it was not the career choice for him. Meanwhile, Brittany entered her teaching career with a master’s degree and $32,000 in student loan debt.

Even worse, the careers had them working on vastly different schedules, which meant diminished time together for the couple who had been inseparable since high school. Kelan fell into depression because he hated his job. “It hit both of us very hard,” Brittany says.

Making it into the NFL sounded easier than making money blogging. It was so hard to believe.

Kelan and Brittany started to search the internet for ways to make more money as a side hustle. (Kelan got the entrepreneurial bug at an early age, flipping items on eBay as a 13-year-old.) They both were interested in budgeting and personal finance and thought blogging about their journey could earn a couple of hundred dollars a month.

Three years ago, Kelan and Brittany started The Savvy Couple. It took nine months for the personal finance blog to earn $50. That first bit of revenue was enough for Kelan to take the leap and work on the blog full time. “It was a leap of faith,” Kelan remembers.

The couple anticipated the big financial changes ahead. They saved up a year’s worth of salary before Kelan quit his day job to work full time on The Savvy Couple. “I was very skeptical at first. Of course, right? Making it into the NFL sounded easier than making money blogging. It was so hard to believe,” Brittany says. The transition was tough. Kelan took a massive pay cut going from more than $25 per hour as a jail deputy to $13 per hour working for a friend at a local college to make ends meet while he blogged.

Day by day and month by month, The Savvy Couple gained traction and the couple’s friends started to ask for their financial guidance on budgeting, savings and making money online. They went from making a few hundred dollars a month to a few thousand to more than $10,000 a month. They paid off $25,000 in student loan debt in less than five months to be debt-free. In May, The Savvy Couple earned more than $43,000.

The Savvy Couple’s success sounds easy, but it’s harder than it looks. “Write down what your dream life looks like, prioritize your finances to make it happen, and spend your time wisely,” Kelan says. “This is the most challenging job I’ve ever had.”

The “me to we” moment

As the business grew, the Klines wanted to grow their family too. Before they did that, they decided to buy life insurance. “If a tragedy happened, I wanted us to be protected,” Kelan says. He had read positive reviews about Haven Life from Bobby Hoyt, known as Millennial Money Man, and NerdWallet, and shared those reviews with Brittany.

Kelan and Brittany were impressed that the process was easy to do online. They each bought a 20-year, $500,000 Haven Term policy, issued by MassMutual, in the spring of last year.

Their daughter, Kallie, was born in August 2018. The life insurance coverage makes them feel like they are prepared for the unexpected, Kelan says.

Working toward early retirement

Their $500,000, 20-year term life insurance policies offer protection for each other and for their  11-month-old daughter during the years they are building their careers and raising their daughter. The affordability of term life insurance allows Brittany and Kelan to save more money and build a nest egg they hope will give them the financial flexibility to pursue their next dream careers.

Brittany left her teaching position in June to work on The Savvy Couple full time with Kelan. “I loved every minute of being a teacher. But I love every minute of being with my family more,” Brittany says.

The Savvy Couple is aiming higher now. Kelan, 29, and Brittany, 28, plan to “retire” in their 40s.

“We want to choose what our passion projects are, go on mission trips overseas and create products to impact our readers’ financial lives,” Kelan says. “It’s all about giving back. Life insurance protects us as we are pursuing our goals.”

Tom Anderson

About Tom Anderson

Tom Anderson is an award-winning financial journalist whose work has appeared in CNBC.comKiplinger’s Personal FinanceMoneyMonocle and Wired. He was a 2008-09 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia University.

Read more by Tom Anderson

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.

Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not endorse the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less hard if they are a fit for your situation.

Haven Life is not authorized to give tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to seed advice from their own tax or legal counsel.

Our disclosures

Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in certain states, including NC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in certain states, including NC) issued by the C.M. Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our Agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.

MassMutual is rated by A.M. Best Company as A++ (Superior; Top category of 15). The rating is as of Aril 1, 2020 and is subject to change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other rating agencies.

Haven Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name for the Plus rider, which is included as part of the Haven Term policy and offers access to additional services and benefits at no cost or at a discount. The rider is not available in every state and is subject to change at any time. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual are responsible for the provision of the benefits and services made accessible under the Plus Rider, which are provided by third party vendors (partners). For more information about Haven Life Plus, please visit: https://havenlife.com/plus.html

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