I grew up in an affluent neighborhood in the northeastern part of the country. My father was a pilot and made enough money to afford a sizable home with an inground swimming pool in the backyard. My mother stayed at home to raise my brother, sister and I. She handled the budget, paid the bills, and took care of the various household requirements. Right around the time my little sister was born, she took a careful look at my dad’s life insurance coverage through his job. At that time, most basic policies from employers only paid out about $30,000, which certainly wasn’t enough to support a family for very long. My mother took the time to calculate how much we would need to get by if something horrible were to happen. She took into account our living expenses, mortgage, and inflation. My mother insisted that she and my dad take out an additional term life policy to cover him, and a whole life policy for herself, which would cover college educations for us kids. My mother had no way of knowing at the time that this would turn out to be the smartest financial decision she would ever make. A little over three years later, my father was in the middle of a routine flight when he radioed the tower, saying the right engine of his plane had caught fire. Within a few minutes, he returned to the radio, saying the engine had broken off and he was caught in a downward spiral. My father did not survive the crash of his plane. While my family went through a very difficult time, we were able to keep our home and way of life. My mother spent a lot of time adding up numbers on her calculator and was very careful with our budget, but we never went without essentials. We were very fortunate that my mother insisted on the extra life insurance policies. With the meager insurance from my father’s company, we would have been in serious trouble.