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Adjusting to Life Without Dad
November 3, 2014 | Margaret Loftus; excerpted from Thrivent magazine
How to protect your family with life insurance
Fifteen months after he was diagnosed with incurable brain cancer, Thrivent member Susan Weninger's husband, Karl, 57, was gone.
Susan, a stay-at-home mother of five, still had two kids to put through college. She also faced out-of-pocket medical bills from the cancer treatments, plus funeral costs. And, of course, she no longer had Karl's income for day-to-day living and family expenses.
Jackie, a Thrivent member from Florida, was in a similar situation when she lost her husband without warning at age 49. "I was not prepared in the slightest," she says. "I thought at our age we were too young to even think about it."
Fortunately, both families had life insurance.
"I have been a stay-at-home mom for the past 32 years and didn't have a career, trade or job to fall back on," Susan says. "If we had not had the insurance, there is no way we would have been able to keep our house and current lifestyle, keep the kids involved in extra activities, and cover all of the expenses related to Karl's illness and passing. The life insurance benefits and investment recommendations from Thrivent gave me the time and assets we've needed to adjust to a life without Karl."
For Jackie, the life insurance helped cover funeral costs that exceeded $10,000, the bills for counseling sessions for her and her kids after the loss, and the unpaid leave Jackie had to take from her job after burning through vacation time, personal days and the handful of bereavement days her employer offered.
Now the breadwinner for her family, Jackie supports her two children still living at home, who will be off to college soon. Life insurance has given her a degree of financial comfort: "I can pay my bills; I am going to be OK," she says.
These days, Susan tells family and friends how important it is to buy life insurance now and not put it off. "Once someone is ill, it's too late to get life insurance," she says. "Most people respond, 'I've never really thought about that.'"
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The member experience may not be representative of the experience of other members. These stories are also not indicative of future performance or success.