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Why Queer People Need Life Insurance

Today’s life insurance is not the same as our parents. There are many reasons why young or old, single or married queer people will buy it.

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When I was young, single and fit as a fiddle I applied for life insurance through my employer. Similar to this article, by all accounts I didn’t need life insurance. I wanted life insurance to leave a legacy, as my plans of being a pop diva never fully materialized and, to this day, no one is willing to put my mug on their tee when I die.

I have three nieces. I thought if I pass away, I had nothing to leave to them or other family or friends. Other than memories – and memories with me are fun – there would be nothing left of me. Poof! An inheritance to my nieces to help pay for college, their first home or to travel the world (my preference) would be a great legacy, I thought.

We often only think of life insurance when we start families as a way to prevent financial insecurity when we did. The possibility of leaving behind a spouse and children to fend for themselves is a reasonable concern to want to address. However, today’s life insurance does so much more – especially if you don’t have the typical nuclear family structure.

Protect Your Future Family

For queer residents of many states, same-sex marriage only became legal a year ago. As this recent Gallup study shows, we’re getting hitched in historic numbers. Many of us are well above the average age than our straight peers for a first marriage. Plus, because having children for same-sex couples is never an oopsy, it can take years to finally start a family.

If queer people wait until we’re settled down or having children to buy life insurance, we could lose the financial benefits of purchasing less expensive life insurance when we’re younger. If you’re queer, young and thinking a spouse and kids are in your tomorrow, your wallet will thank you for purchasing life insurance today.

Protect Your Family From Creditors

Paying off debt is the number two concern of the queer community, and debts don’t disappear when we do. With the escalating costs of college, student loans and other debts, creditors often look to next of kin or co-signer for repayment. So, in addition to your parents or spouse losing you, they may then have to repay your debts. Depending on the size of your debt and their financial situation, your loved ones may or may not be able to repay your loans easily.

When David and I bought our condominium we made sure we each had enough life insurance on the other to pay off our mortgage in case one of us passed away. This gave us the peace of mind that one of us wouldn’t be in financial trouble if we lost the other.

You don’t want to expose your family to this anti-inheritance. First, understand what happens to your debts if you die. And consider looking into million dollar insurance policies to pay your debts if you pass so your friends and families’ last memory of you is you and not your bills.

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Leave an Inheritance

If there are one or more people you’d like to leave a gift to should you pass away, life insurance can fund or supplement an inheritance. As I intended with my nieces, you can do likewise. In addition to family, you can leave an inheritance to any relation such as a friend, former partner or foster children.

You may leave this inheritance as a gift for the recipient to spend as they wish or you may outline provisions in your will on how this inheritance should be used. Such provisions may include age of receipt and whether or not the inheritance is earmarked for certain purposes such as paying for college or buying a home. If Leona Helmsley can leave $2 million to her dog for grooming, maintenance and security, you know the restrictions can be numerous – and fun.

Fund Your Favorite Charity or Nonprofit

The queer community is as proud of our causes as we are of our pride. If there are charities or nonprofits you’re passionate about, you may leave a donation, as outlined by your trust, after you’ve passed to help ensure those organizations continue after you’re gone.

You may leave a single donation to one organization or to multiple organizations in your name. If you choose the latter, it’s wise to assign a trustee to your estate to oversee that the donations are distributed appropriately and not a la Evita.

Medical Care

From our market research at Debt Free Guys, the queer community’s number one concern is saving for retirement. As healthcare can take as much as 30% of one’s retirement savings, many in the queer community who haven’t saved need alternatives.

We often assume life insurance only kicks in after we kick the bucket. Some life insurance policies include provisions that allow for tax-free payments to cover medical care in certain “critical” circumstances. One of these features is an accelerated death benefit. If your coverage includes this benefit, which the Haven Term policy does, it allows for you to start borrowing against your life insurance policy death benefit if you are diagnosed with a terminal or life-threatening illness. Ultimately, this helps you get your affairs in order and prevents you from potentially leaving your family with hospital expenses to deal with while also emotionally coming to terms with your death.

Protect Your Business

As David and I have learned, starting a business can take years. If you have a new or well established small business and want to ensure it continues long after you do, list your small business or your business partner as a beneficiary of your life insurance – depends on what your policy allows. Whether you’re a younger, older, single or partnered small business owner consider this reason for buying life insurance, especially if your business or business partner(s) rely heavily on you.

As you can see, today’s life insurance is not that of your parent’s life insurance. There are many reasons why young and old, single and married queer people should buy life insurance, not the least of which is to leave a great legacy. And, life insurance is much more affordable than you’d think – often less than your internet bill or even your regular latte habit per month. Find out how much it would cost you.

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About John Schneider

John Schneider is a personal finance writer, podcaster and speaker. His work has appeared in Forbes, Yahoo Finance, Business Insider and others. He writes about money at Debt Free Guys™ and talks about money on the Queer Money™ podcast, a podcast about the financial nuances of the LGBTQ community. He can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Read more by John Schneider

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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