building sand castles (and buying life insurance).

July 29, 2019
haven life insurance sponsored post | reading my tea leaves

I’m not much of a planner. It’s not that I’m reckless or even terribly spontaneous, but if I try to peer too far into the future, I can start to feel anxious. Better to train my sights on whatever’s important in the given moment, I tend to think, even if it’s just toes in the sand, salt air in my hair, and watching my kids try over and over to boogie board in still water.

haven life insurance sponsored post | reading my tea leaves

The catch is that becoming a parent means a niggling sense of responsibility that crops up even when the most immediate concern is gathering enough slipper shells for sand castle adornment. And of course it’s not just a sense of responsibility. In addition to depending on us to steady the boogie board for the fortieth time, or chase them up and down the shoreline for 20 minutes straight, our kids depend on us financially, too. If anything were to happen to me or to James, I want to know there’s a plan in place. Buying term life insurance is a smart and simple way of starting to make that plan.

haven life insurance sponsored post | reading my tea leaves

Haven Life Insurance Agency (Haven Life) was founded by a new dad who decided to purchase life insurance when he and his wife were expecting their first child. He quickly realized that he couldn’t easily get quotes, apply for, or purchase a life insurance policy online. And it took months to get coverage in place. He created Haven Life to fix that problem, meaning other busy parents like me and James don’t have to struggle with a more cumbersome process. Haven Life makes purchasing term life insurance easy and affordable, and it’s still backed and wholly owned by leading life insurer MassMutual.

haven life insurance sponsored post | reading my tea leaves

James and I both found Haven Life’s online interface to be legitimately simple to use. It took us through a short series of questions to determine income, number of children, general health, etc. and gave us a quote for term life insurance just moments later. The monthly payments for term life insurance are modest. A 20-year, $500,000 Haven Term policy issued by MassMutual for a healthy 35-year-old woman like yours truly is just $23.34 per month. Best of all, you can apply online and, if approved, be covered  in the same day. A medical exam may be needed to confirm eligibility or finalize your coverage, but even that can be taken at a time and place of your convenience. It’s easy and takes about 15 minutes.

haven life insurance sponsored post | reading my tea leaves

As someone who’s self-employed and the primary income earner in my family, I’m especially aware of the strain that my absence would place on my family, but the truth is that any loss of income—or labor—could be catastrophic for any family. The payout from a term life insurance policy could help pay debt or contribute to things like childcare, mortgages, rent, and a family’s day-to-day bills. There’s no way of knowing what the future holds for any of us, but I do know that I don’t want it to be more difficult for my family than it needs to be, even if that means talking about difficult things now. 

haven life insurance sponsored post | reading my tea leaves

Now, back to sand castles…

This post is sponsored by Haven Life Insurance Agency. All opinions are my own.

Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (DTC 042017 [OK1] 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. Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Our Agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas, 100139527.

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  • Reply Debbie Harding July 29, 2019 at 10:22 am

    I wish it was the law to have life insurance. My sister died very suddenly 2 years ago without any, and it has been an absolute burden for her husband and family, whilst also trying to come to terms with her death…

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE July 29, 2019 at 10:25 am

      I’m so very sorry for your loss.

  • Reply LaTonya July 29, 2019 at 10:35 am

    honestly, truly, thank you. life insurance haunts me. and just finished talking about it the other day with peter. xx

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE July 29, 2019 at 10:41 am

      haunting is exactly the right word. and thankfully so easy to *not* feel so haunted by it.

    • Reply Pam July 29, 2019 at 10:54 am

      Thanks for the reminder. Almost five years after the birth of my son and we have no will, no life insurance. Just counting on being immortal 😉 I guess!

      • Reply Tis August 11, 2019 at 2:56 pm

        You MUST create a will if you have a child. I know of a couple who died in a car accident and their child was shipped off to a bachelor cousin who was not interested. A terrible situation!

  • Reply Samantha July 29, 2019 at 10:50 am

    We jumped through countless hurdles to secure life insurance before our first child was born. Multiple requests for the same fax containing our very personal information was so frustrating, we finally gave up on the entire process. It’s been so discouraging to apply again but, three children later, we absolutely need to do this. So THANK YOU! We will be looking into Haven today.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE July 29, 2019 at 10:55 am

      so hopeful it’s helpful for you! i have distinct memories of my parents applying for life insurance when i was in middle school. so intense! this is so refreshingly simple.

  • Reply Mandy July 29, 2019 at 10:58 am

    Very interesting! How did you figure out how much coverage to purchase? This has always stopped me from actually getting any!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE July 29, 2019 at 11:04 am

      There’s actually a calculator that helps suggest how much coverage you might need depending on specifics on your income, debt, children, etc!

  • Reply Mia July 29, 2019 at 11:57 am

    The pictures in this post are stunning, what camera do you use?

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE July 29, 2019 at 11:59 am

      Thank you! I was using a prime lens for these shots! All my camera details are under my FAQs!

  • Reply ML July 29, 2019 at 12:53 pm

    Just a note to say that I am in the process of applying for insurance with Haven Life (waiting for my final quote after my medical exam) and it has been very easy so far. I applied after my doctor told me that I am a good candidate to be tested for the BRCA gene, and that life insurance companies can (and do) discriminate for pre-existing conditions, including positive results of any genetic testing, even if you have never actually had cancer. As we have a mortgage and are planning on kids in the next few years, I am feeling really good about this decision! A recommendation from you Erin makes me feel even better 🙂

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE July 29, 2019 at 1:36 pm

      I’m so glad to hear you’ve been having a good experience! Wishing you all the very best.

  • Reply Kirsten July 29, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    Yes! I will add specifically that you need coverage even if you are not a cash-earner! I technically don’t have income right now but have the same amount of insurance as my husband because of all the childcare/extra help he’d have to pay for if I died. I knew nothing about any of this before, but after having our first kid we kind of panicked and did a will, power of attorney/health directive and life insurance in one fell swoop. Worth it. I’ve watched family members go through awful times where these things weren’t in place.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE July 29, 2019 at 1:35 pm

      Yes, exactly! That’s why I’ve got that line in there about labor of any kind! Subtext: cash income or no!

  • Reply Bridget July 29, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    Yes, absolutely! I’ll add that if one is considering becoming pregnant, it can be helpful to apply for life insurance beforehand. A number of common pregnancy-related conditions (eg gestational diabetes, htn/preeclampsia) can increase life insurance cost even years later.

    So glad to hear about this company, thank you.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE July 29, 2019 at 6:30 pm


  • Reply Carmella July 29, 2019 at 7:36 pm

    Great post, Erin! Both my husband and I have been covered by life insurance since before we had children, such a comfort knowing it’s been there. One thing I’d add, here, as it might be helpful anyone in our situation – it can sometimes be harder to insure people (read: more expensive) who are in high risk occupations, such as my husband who is a commercial pilot. Our insurance agent told us that his son knew he wanted to be a pilot when he was a teenager, so he took out a life insurance policy for him then, before he became a pilot, to lock him in at a lower rate. We’re planning on doing the same for our middle son, who’s a senior in high school this year and has plans to become a commercial pilot in college. We’ve been so thankful for the wise cousel of our agent back then as we’ve watched our son have no other goal than a high risk occupation.

  • Reply Sarah July 30, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    This is such an important topic and I wish it was discussed more! I’m a nurse (and a single mom) and I see every single day how lives change suddenly and unexpectedly. I also see the chaos that is left behind when there are no plans for after death. Life insurance is a must for me, along with a will, to ensure that my daughter continues her life as smoothly as possible in the event of my death. It’s my gift to her, and to my family. The peace of mind those plans bring is a gift to me as well.

  • Reply ELIZABETH July 31, 2019 at 11:52 am

    Thank you for the great post! Beautiful photos. May I ask where are your children’s swimsuits from?

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE July 31, 2019 at 12:22 pm

      they were from Misha and Puff’s small swimsuit run last summer! we’ve loved them!

  • Reply Mo October 31, 2019 at 7:51 am

    Many have pointed out life insurance and will as important factors when you have children, but as someone who recently lost a close relative (my stepmother), there is another thing to think about already now: what will happen to my body after I die? With my stepmother, we already knew that she would be buried in the family grave and that she wanted a church funeral, but sitting down a few days after her death and trying to make decisions on things like music and readings and wether she would like an obitouary in the papers was overwhelming.

    So do your near and dear ones a favour and start thinking about how you want them to celebrate your life when you die. Are you an organ donor? (That’s an important thing to make clear to your family before death!) Do you want a religious service? A small family gathering? Do you have any favourite songs or readings? Would you like a raucous party like a family friend or mine or a more somber gathering? Would you prefer skipping any services and go straight to cremation? A funeral is a celebration to the memory of the deceased, but it can be immensly difficult to remember who that person was when you are consumed with grief. I remember going to the florist to order flowers for my stepmothers funeral. My dad ans sister-in-law said they had been talking about it with my brother and had decided on a white flower arrangement, whereupon the both florist and I exclaimed in unison “but that’s not her! She needs exotic, colourful flowers!”. The man who bought her flowers monthly and later weekly for over 40 years, in his grief forgot that the love of his life was a vibrant, colourful, adventurous and fiercly independent woman who should have a funeral bouquet to reflect that.

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