Why Life Insurance Is So Important, Even If You're Not The Breadwinner

In this episode, Maggie talks with Jessica Lepore about why having life insurance is so important, even if you aren’t the breadwinner in your family. We also talk about why people fear life insurance and how Surevested can help you get yourself and your family covered in the event of the unthinkable. If you have a family or anyone else who is dependent on you, take a listen.

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Jessica Lepore is the founder of Surevested, a life insurance agency powered by artificial intelligence. Surevested was created with the goal of bringing life insurance into the new decade with a completely hands-on experience that allows clients to be in control of their own financial destiny. Jessica, a New York native, is pairing her industry expertise with an entrepreneurial millennial mindset to make the buying process simple, honest and completely transparent.

To learn more about Maggie and her coaching and speaking services, visit www.maggiegermano.com.

The theme music is called Escaping Light by Aaron Sprinkle. The podcast artwork design is by Maggie’s dear husband, Dan Rader.


Maggie Germano 0:05
Hi, and thanks for listening to the money circle podcast. I’m your host, Maggie Germano, and I’m a feminist and a financial writer, speaker, educator and coach for women. I’m passionate about making personal finance less scary and more approachable so that women can improve their relationship with money and take control of their finances. Every other week, I will interview an amazing, inspiring woman to talk about the issues that impact our money, our health, our independence, and more. We will touch on the societal and structural issues that we need to work together to change and the actions that we each have the power to take in our own lives. If you’d like to learn more about me and the work that I do, visit my website at Maggiegermano.com or follow me on Instagram @MaggieGermano. Thanks again for listening and I hope you enjoy.

Hey there, and thanks for listening. I am your host Maggie Germano. And this week, I’m chatting with Jessica Lepore, who is the founder of surevested, a life insurance agency powered by artificial intelligence. Surevested was created with the goal of bringing life insurance into the new decade with a completely hands on experience that allows clients to be in control of their own financial destiny. In this episode, we talk about why having life insurance is so important even if you aren’t the breadwinner in your family. We also talk about why people fear life insurance and how surevested can help you get yourself and your family covered in the event of the unthinkable. If you have a family or anyone else who is dependent on you, take a listen.

Okay, welcome, Jessica. Thanks so much for being here today.

Jessica Lepore 1:46
Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it.

Maggie Germano 1:49
Of course. And before we kind of dive into the meat of the topic, why don’t you take a minute to tell listeners who you are and what you do?

Jessica Lepore 1:59
Sure, so my name is Jessica Lepore, I live and, you know, operate in New York has have always been here. And I’m the founder of sure vested. And we’re an online life insurance marketplace, powered by artificial intelligence. And our goal is kind of to combined years of agency experience in a digital pressure rate, pressure free and totally transparent way.

Maggie Germano 2:25
That’s great. I like to hear that. Um, how did you find yourself creating this company?

Jessica Lepore 2:31
So I actually so I grew up in insurance and around insurance my whole life. So my father from before I was born, owned and operated a brokerage full time. So after college, I kind of started working there. And, you know, speaking to clients every day, and kind of being with the people is what you experienced, like the the pain points and what works and what doesn’t. And much like any other company, I identified a problem and wanted to create a solution. So I noticed that there were digital solutions to other insurance products, such as renters, and auto, you see those everywhere. But life insurance was a bit trickier. So the the other companies making life insurance accessible on the internet, were either backed by an a single insurer, offered limited products, or forced people into a call center. And I wanted to create a platform that users can have a completely transparent and unbiased experience. So our entire process can be done entirely online. However, we do have our expert network, which gives clients the option to talk it through if they wish, it’s really the best of both worlds.

Maggie Germano 3:38
It sounds like and I love that. I mean, I know that I personally like to be able to just do things online instead of getting on the phone. I’m sure many other especially young people prefer that too. And as we’re, as millennials starting to get older and need to be thinking about things like life insurance, having this available is definitely something I could see helpful. So tell me a little bit more. I mean, you You gave us kind of the overarching explanation of what your vested is. But tell us a little bit more about what that it actually does for its customers.

Jessica Lepore 4:11
So sure, vested is in always was built on education. And I really believe that by educating our clients on the policy types, and giving them all of that data to compare and learn that you will really make the best decision for yourself without kind of feeling pressured by a pushy sales person. And I hate it in the life insurance market. It’s it’s a big purchase and to feel pressure from anyone else to make it can really create a lot of like opposition and things like that. So what our site does is it allows people to complete an easy needs analysis, questionnaire type of thing, and it helps you decide what type of policy or the amount is right for you. So but let’s say you’re somebody who’s You know, you know exactly what you want, and you know exactly what you need, then it also works for you too, because it just makes the process a lot more like quick and easy and painless. So our site is filled with information regarding life insurance, from the basics to what different policy types mean. And we feel strongly about showing quotes from several carriers and having that comparative data. So you get more options. And then you can make the best decision for yourself without kind of being steered in one way or another.

Maggie Germano 5:33
I think that that part’s really important, too, because I know at least from myself, as a financial coach, hearing from clients, and even just hearing from friends and family that they worry about being pushed in one direction by someone who has a financial incentive, because of that company even working with a financial advisor worrying about like, do they have a kickback from the company? Or is it really what’s best for me? Is it really the best price and coverage. So that’s good to know that sure, vested gives multiple options. It’s not like you’re just being supported by one company, it sounds like,

Jessica Lepore 6:08
completely completely. And I feel really strongly about allowing the client to be in the driver’s seat of their financial decisions. And I’m sure you like for your coaching and planning, everything like that. I think it’s so important to feel comfortable and knowledgeable and empowered by making those financial decisions. And that’s ultimately what will lead someone to make the right ones.

Maggie Germano 6:33
No, absolutely. And so, you know, we’ve started talking about, you know, the, that people should be getting life insurance and kind of how the process can be confusing for people sometimes, but can you tell us a little bit about what life insurance is and why you think folks should get it just for anyone who hasn’t already looked into this?

Jessica Lepore 6:53
Absolutely. And there are 1000s of reasons why purchasing life insurance is so critical. But it really boils down to being the ultimate security blanket and what I think you need to realize it’s so difficult to imagine life without your parents or your significant other or your business partner, the list goes on. But what I think is so overlooked, beyond the emotional impact is the impact that comes financially. And could you continue to live in your home? If you’re on a single income? Could you continue to live your lifestyle or raise your children or plan for the future or pay back your loans? The list can go on forever? And more often than not, the answer to that question is no. So getting life insurance is truly the greatest gift you can get. Because it’s so beyond just a simple payout. Its financial security that the people in your life are going to be taken care of, and content can continue to live their life even without you in it. So the reality is no amount of money could ever replace someone important in your life. But removing that kind of financial burden, makes it whole world friends.

Maggie Germano 8:08
I I totally agree. And that’s something that I hear from both in my own like, not personal experience, but people that I know and people that I don’t know that I’ve heard about just through kind of conversations with people where someone dies. And instead of being able to focus on your grief, and focus on getting through what might be the hardest time you’ve ever gone through emotionally, you then have to worry about being able to pay your bills, being able to afford a funeral or just being able to pay back maybe there were medical costs associated with this person’s death. And I just I feel so deeply that money should be the last thing that you’re thinking about in those moments. And that Yeah, for me, that’s why life insurance is so important to

Jessica Lepore 8:59
absolutely, and it’s really not something you think about until it happens. And then when it happens, it’s unfortunately too late. And it’s that the financial impact that can come from losing someone is it is so beyond even like the first thing that you think of it’ll, it just stacks up so fast. And really, when you are grieving someone that should be the last thing you worry about.

Maggie Germano 9:24
Agreed. And so what do you think, tends to kind of hold people back from getting life insurance?

Jessica Lepore 9:32
Yeah, there there are so many hesitations in the whole life insurance purchasing process. It’s unfortunate, but I would say the ones that I see most often is first and foremost. It is an uncomfortable topic to bring up and thinking about someone close to you, passing away, especially someone young and healthy is not only a difficult conversation to have, but it’s usually one that falls to the wayside. It’s you know, the whole thought of that’ll never happen to me and I I really feel life insurance should be spoken about, alongside your other financial conversations. The same way you talk about a joint bank account the same way you talk about retirement, it really should go handy personally is just kind of like the lack of information and comfort level around it. And life insurance is important because you are making a commitment budget wise, however, I feel the majority of people know little to nothing about life insurance, and what it does or how it works, and what options are out there. And really, that it is affordable. And it’s when you’re not knowledgeable about something, you don’t feel as comfortable pursuing it. And that’s why we wanted our site to be really education forward. Because I truly believe by educating people on what their options are that you kind of realize on your own how important it is to have it.

Maggie Germano 10:51
Yeah, no, I’m with you on that. And I totally agree that the education piece, it gives more of that power, like you’re saying back into the into the customers hands, and it isn’t this like, abstract thing that they feel like they just have no idea. And they’ll never understand it, like giving them the basics about what it is why you need it. And then and then giving them the tools to actually purchase it. So purchase. Exactly. Yeah, yeah. And so can you tell us a little bit about what life insurance actually does? I feel like a lot of people probably only really, they know about it when it comes to like, I don’t know, I’m just thinking of true crime stories, like someone taking out life insurance without the person knowing. But it’s, I feel like that is the most rare thing. So can you tell us a little bit more about what it actually does for you?

Jessica Lepore 11:41
Sure. Um, so it’s, it is as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. What it does is it offers a financial amount upon someone’s death. Now you could there’s two major types that you’ll encounter, and that’s term and then that’s whole life. So term is something that will exist for a 10, 20, 30 year period. It’s not to think that, Oh, I’m only going to live for that certain amount of time. It’s sometimes people have a financial commitments such as a mortgage that they want to protect. Specifically, I tell people, often, especially first time homebuyers, if you’re going to take out a mortgage, let’s say a 30 year mortgage, which is pretty typical, to take out also a 30 year life insurance term policy that if something were to happen to you or your spouse, who contribute to the mortgage, that at least you know, that portion of the mortgage the staying in your house is taken care of. And then you can have other life insurance policies that might either pay back a debt or help you continue to live your lifestyle. But there’s so many reasons why you would get a policy for a specific period of time, but the majority of people tend to go for something that’s more permanent. And what’s great about life insurance is you can you’ll either have it for your whole life, or it also gives you the ability to accumulate something called cash value. And what that is, is money that you can actually borrow against at a later time if you need it. So it’s really seen as a commitment to you know, your loved ones in the way of taking care of them with the payout, accumulating the cash value, and it can serve so many purposes that I think it’s as life goes on and your needs change, you can also make changes to your policies. So I think it’s so beyond just, oh, if someone passes away, and you get to track, it’s really something that you can see as planning for your future the same way you would would anywhere else.

Maggie Germano 13:42
Yeah, I like that. And I like that, I know that when I, my husband and I were shopping for life insurance ourselves, knowing that we could always come back and change it as needed, whether, you know, if we relocated to a more affordable area of the country, and we wouldn’t necessarily need as much in life insurance, or if we wanted to extend the period or switch over to that whole life insurance tool. And so having the option to change it instead of it being like you sign up, and that’s what you have for the rest of your life that made me feel a lot better, because it wasn’t a permanent decision

Jessica Lepore 14:16
completely. And that’s a big common misconception too, that like, Oh, no, I’m signing up for it. I’m a healthy, you know, 30 something. But what if my needs change? What if I have another kid or what if I don’t have any kids? It’s really as flexible as you want to make it. And that’s something so important to realize that it’s, it’s really it’s a benefit and not like a burden in terms of your budget.

Maggie Germano 14:41
Right, exactly. And I’ve seen that it actually is fairly affordable considering how much of a payout might happen if you did lose your loved one, or if they lost you. It’s it’s actually not that crazy to build into the budget from what I’ve seen.

Jessica Lepore 14:57
No, absolutely not and what I tell clients All the time is people spend so much money per year protecting their car, and they will spend no money protecting themselves. I was like, and you are your most valuable asset not only to you but to your family and I was having a conversation with someone else recently who it was a, the husband was working, and he was the one primarily contributing to the mortgage. And the wife was not. And she stayed home and she cared for the kids. And it’s like, oh, well, why would we get life insurance on her. And I was like, well, that is the biggest reason I was like, because imagine having to compensate for childcare, and all the other benefits that she brings that maybe it’s not a traditional profession, but that monetary value is more often higher than the working professional in the family. And it is so important to take those type of things into consideration when you’re pursuing life insurance and purchasing it that it’s, it is. So such a like an overall, like lifestyle decision. Now, mostly, you know that you really want to get it to protect your entire lifestyle.

Maggie Germano 16:06
Right. And I’m so glad you just said what you said about getting life insurance for the stay at home parent as well, because that was going to be my next question. Because I’ve heard that a lot. And even that even when my husband and I were looking into life insurance, I was a new business owner wasn’t making a ton of money. My husband was the main breadwinner. And so it was kind of like, Well, you know, doesn’t make sense for me to have life insurance. And our financial advisor was talking about how there’s so much more that I’m contributing to the household. You know, we were running a rental property that I was the one managing and I, you know, was taking care of a lot of like the household management, and now we have a kid and I’m still running my business, but I am the main like daytime caretaker, and, and even my sister, she’s doesn’t work full time. But so she doesn’t have life insurance. And I’m kind of like, Yeah, but what would your husband do if they were to lose you and they, they’re, I mean, there’s so much beyond just childcare that she contributes to her family. And I think it’s so important to remember that, that it’s not just about them actual physical money that you’re bringing into the household, it’s everything else you contribute to.

Jessica Lepore 17:21
Absolutely. And it’s, it’s figuring out what needs to be replaced in your world if you weren’t in it. And like for you, like just mentioning what you said, You’re working essentially five different jobs at the same time. So it’s like, imagine you received income for all five of those different jobs, because those jobs still need to be done, even if you weren’t there. So I think it’s one of the most important things is the you know, caretaker, the family and regardless of who the traditional professional is, it’s so important to have that type of coverage for somebody who contributes things that really can’t be replaced simply with money.

Maggie Germano 17:58
Yeah, I totally agree. And I think framing it that way. And making sure to talk about it that way can also be can make it more empowering the way that you’re contributing, especially for women, like historically being the caretakers. And even if they are working full time, like still having caretaking responsibilities fall on them generally. But framing it more around what that contribution is and how it is still a job, even if it’s not getting a paycheck, I think that can make that conversation more empowering to

Jessica Lepore 18:29
absolutely, and it’s such an important conversation to have. And like I said before, one of the hesitations regarding life insurance is people, you know, feeling uncomfortable about it or thinking that it’s not going to happen to me or it’s not important because it’s it’s not something that you pay into that you see right away the same way you contribute to your retirement account. But when the time comes, like when retirement comes, it is so important that you made that decision at the right time. And no matter who you are in your family or within a business partner or really any type of relationship that you’re in where someone else depends on you. It is so important to have that type of protection.

Maggie Germano 19:11
Yeah, I agree. And it’s kind of like how you mentioned how we pay so much to insure our car. We have homeowners insurance, renter’s insurance, health insurance, car insurance. Yeah, and for most of that we’re paying for that insurance hoping we won’t need it. We hope we don’t get in a car accident. We hope we don’t get sick or injured. We hope our house doesn’t burn down or flood. But just in case we have that and so I think it’s the exact same approach with life insurance where Oh my God, I hope my partner doesn’t pass away or I hope I don’t pass away early. But if I do I know I at least have that peace of mind that they’ll be financially okay.

Jessica Lepore 19:52
Absolutely. And I I always try to encourage clients that I talked to the you know, the younger and healthier you are The less expensive it is. So if you’re a newly married couple, or you are even, you know, for single people preparing for the future is, I always suggest take it out now Do it, do it now at least have one policy now. And it can really make all the difference. 10 2030 years down the line. So don’t be afraid to make that type of budget commitment now, because it’s really going to be so much less than you really think it is. When you’re younger and healthier. And when people realize how important it is down the line when they’re older, that’s when things get started, you know, start to get a bit more expensive. But people do it anyway. Because they realize how important it is. So it really, it’s all about having that conversation and being comfortable around it. And I think being familiar with life insurance and familiar with it saving aspect. And what can really do for you is why you’ll understand how important it is to have.

Maggie Germano 20:55
Yeah, no, I’m totally with you there. And, again, just starting to have more of these conversations, building it into those general financial decisions. I know we, we, I think we purchased our life insurance. When we bought our house, it was like that was the big decision that was like, Oh, we should probably do this. And you know, getting married and then having a kid like that then starts other conversations of like, is this still enough? Does this still feel good for us? So yeah, building the life insurance conversation in with those other topics, because I think it fits perfectly in with those.

Jessica Lepore 21:34
Absolutely, it’s always, life insurance purchases are generally triggered around life events, whether that be purchasing a house, getting married, having a child a death in the family, and any like one of those major changes is really what makes people kind of reevaluate all their finances. And I think, the same way, like I said, you evaluate everything else you have and all your other savings is the same way you need to discuss the life insurance.

Maggie Germano 22:02
Exactly. So is there anything else that we haven’t touched on already that you want to make sure listeners know, either about sure vested, specifically or about life insurance overall?

Jessica Lepore 22:15
I would say like, my biggest takeaway, no matter where you end up purchasing life insurance, is don’t be afraid of life insurance, have the conversation, do the research, ask questions. It is far worse to have this type of conversation when it’s too late than it is to feel uncomfortable while having it. So places like sure vested and you know, what we provide for our clients is, we’re here to help you through the process. So it’s like if you want to, you know, go through it on your own. When you feel comfortable, or you don’t feel comfortable speaking to somebody, you can email us or chat us, if you want to talk it over. Or if you have questions. We’re available through the phone. It’s I think making people more comfortable in the purchasing of it, is what’s going to make more people get it. And I really think that taking ownership of your you know, financial journey, so to speak, is so important. And life insurance is just another part of that. And I hope it becomes just a more normalized practice, because I have never once had to give a life insurance check that someone didn’t say this is so absolutely needed right now. And I think just understanding that and feeling comfortable about it is not only a great decision, but a super empowering decision as well.

Maggie Germano 23:34
Right? I’m sure there’s no one out there who regrets having had life insurance versus not

Jessica Lepore 23:39
completely, completely I’ve met I’ve never seen that type of reaction.

Maggie Germano 23:45
I yeah, I can imagine. So how can folks learn more about your vested find you online? Or if I don’t know if you’re on social media?

Jessica Lepore 23:55
Yeah, absolutely. So we’re on you know, all social media, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. But definitely Our website is the best place to start and whether or not you’re ready to purchase life insurance, or you just want to toggle around quotes, what we do is we have a ton of information on the site where you can read up about different policy types, and what they mean and even just life insurance basics, and mainly some reasons why you might need it. But also, if let’s say you want to get some ideas of how much it costs, we don’t ask for any personal information unless you’re really ready to submit your application. So I find that if you’re able to toggle around and play around with the quotes and kind of see like, oh, if I had this much coverage at my age and health, like how much would it be without feeling the pressure that oh, I have to put my email and have to put my address and all this stuff down. So I really wanted our site to be so education forward and like I said earlier, when you feel educated and feel comfortable with the information, then you’re gonna make the right decision for yourself. So definitely come to our site. read up about life insurance, if you don’t know about it, reach out to us. We You know, we love to talk it over. If you’re not sure what’s right for you, we can help you with that too. But really, you know, just, we’re here for you. And I think that’s the biggest thing to know.

Maggie Germano 25:11
That’s great to hear. And I love that there’s no expectation of a commitment, you can do that research, you can get that education, you can look around, and you don’t actually have to give your information until you’re ready.

Jessica Lepore 25:22
Absolutely. You can even apply for policies, wait for your approval before putting a single dollar down, you really don’t pay until you every you go through the whole process, you’re approved, ready to go. There’s it’s absolutely pressure free, and we’re never going to harass you or you know, try to find you, it’s you will make the decision when it’s right for you.

Maggie Germano 25:43
Great, awesome. That’s great to know. And I will share the link to your website and your social media accounts. And anything else that we’ve discussed, I will make sure to link all that in the show notes. And I just really appreciate you coming on to talk about this today. I think it’s a really important topic.

Jessica Lepore 25:59
Great. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

Maggie Germano 26:02
Of course.

Thank you so much for listening to the money circle podcast this week. If you like the conversations we’re having here and you’d like to go even deeper. Join the new money circle community. In this safe intersectional feminist space. We will break down money shame and build community and safety for everyone so that you can find the support you need to gain control over your finances. Visit Maggiegermano.com/moneycircle to learn more. And to join. If you’d like to get more connected with me, subscribe to my weekly newsletter at Maggiegermano.com/subscribe. To learn more about my financial coaching services, my speaking and workshop offerings or just to read my blog visit Maggiegermano.com. You can also follow me on instagram and twitter @MaggieGermano. I look forward to hearing from you. Bye bye