From patching up skinned knees to chauffeuring kids around town
to investigating what teenagers are up to after school, moms do a
little bit of everything.
And those little bits add up fast.
We took an informal look at the various tasks a typical mom does
and how much a family would have to spend to pay professionals to
do the same things.
(See tasks and compensation below, based on Bureau of Labor
The total: $61,426 a year -- which doesn't include the salary
mom might make at her job. It's an important reminder that all moms
need life insurance.
Life insurance for Mom's value
Unfortunately, too many women remain uninsured or underinsured,
according to LIMRA, a global life insurance research and consulting
Last year almost six out of 10 women owned some sort of
, which is about equal to men's life insurance ownership, LIMRA
says. But the amount of life insurance coverage purchased for women
is only about 69 percent of men's coverage, and married households
are less likely to buy individual life insurance for wives than for
"Both parents should be insured," says Marvin Feldman, president
and CEO of the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for
Too often couples assume that a stay-at-home parent doesn't need
buy life insurance
because he or she isn't a breadwinner. The loss of income isn't the
only financial hit a family would suffer if a parent died, however.
Someone would have to take over all the tasks that they
"All those services have a price and could be a significant
expense for a family to replace," says Steven Brostoff, a
spokesperson for the American Council of Life Insurers.
The cost of child care could run $30,000 a year, Feldman says. A
family would need about $1 million in capital to produce that much
income from investment returns.
"Who has that?" he asks. "That's why having life insurance is so
Another common mistake couples make is assuming that in-laws
will step in to help with the children, Feldman adds. "But
sometimes in-laws aren't capable of doing it physically or
financially, and their out-of-pocket costs would still need to be
taken care of."
How much life insurance does Mom need?
Although both parents should be insured, they don't have to be
insured equally, Feldman says. The amount depends on the cost of
replacing the parent's income and the critical services they
provided. Couples should also consider future earning potential,
such as a stay-at-home parent's plan to return to the
"There's no single rule of thumb for the question of how much
life insurance you need," Brostoff says. "We recommend talking to a
professional life insurance agent."
But one thing is certain: "Something is better than nothing,"
The Mother's Day Index 2011
BLS Occupation used
Hours per week
Annual Mom cost
||Taxi drivers and chauffeurs
|Helping with homework
||Other teachers and instructors
|Taking care of the kids
||Child Care Worker
||Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses
||Maids and housekeeping cleaners
||Meeting & Convention Planners
|Summer activity planner
||Miscellaneous community and social service
||Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists
|Shopping for the family
||Personal and home care aides
||Accountants and auditors
||Grounds maintenance workers
|Fixing up the house
|Finding out what the kids are up to
||Private detectives and investigators
Total annual Mom cost: $61,426
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics