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How much is a stay-at-home parent worth?

Posted August 27, 2014 in Advice Column, Waukee

Imagine the cost of hiring a part-time housekeeper, a personal chef, a day care provider, a nurse and a driver. You’d have to be pretty wealthy, right? Stay-at-home parents perform all these jobs, and they do it without getting a paycheck. Sometimes they don’t even get to take a sick day.

Imagine how much money a stay-at-home mom or dad would make if he or she was paid for the work. Think about the amount of time spent on housework, cooking, transportation and childcare. According to a recent study by, the average amount of time spent working as a stay-at-home parent is 94.4 hours per week. That would be a lot of overtime compensation if this job actually paid.

The value of a stay-at-home parent is often overlooked, even among the parents themselves. The situation could turn into a huge financial stress when surviving family members realize the cost of replacing those duties is too expensive. Losing a loved one is bad enough. You shouldn’t have to suffer financial pain in addition to the emotional pain.

Even if stay-at-home parents earned the money he or she is worth, chances are he or she wouldn’t get adequate insurance coverage. A 2011 Country survey shows that nearly 40 percent of Americans express uncertainty in the ability of their families to maintain their quality of life if they were to die or become disabled. Other costs associated with death like funeral expenses, attorney fees and final medical bills can also weigh heavily on families of the deceased. The average funeral alone can cost between $6,500 and $10,000, not including cemetery fees.

One of the most important things you can do to protect your family is to make sure a stay-at-home parent is insured. If a stay-at-home parent in your household dies, will your family be able to afford the expenses of childcare, housekeeping and cooking while the surviving parent works outside the home? Meet with a knowledgeable financial representative for an insurance and financial review, and take charge of your family’s financial security.

Information provided by Nick Harklau of Country Financial, 650 S. Prairie View Drive, Suite 200, West Des Moines, 515-223-7182.

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