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Understanding the stay-at-home parent's financial contribution

An insurance policy may offer the best security.

The complexities of maintaining a home and caring for dependents—children and/or elderly parents—have led many two-income families to downsize to one income. Although the adjustment to less monthly income can be difficult at first, the benefits to your family's lifestyle can outweigh the loss of income. And sometimes forgoing hefty child-care or dependent-care expenses can save your family money.

Stay-at-home parents' contributions shouldn't be viewed as less significant just because they don't come with a paycheck. Surveys value these contributions—such as child care, transportation, cooking, cleaning, and household maintenance—at $40,000 annually.* If the stay-at-home parent were to die, the surviving spouse would need to afford the various services provided.

If you're in this situation, consider purchasing a life insurance policy to protect your family. There are affordable options that can help you replace the loss of income or leave a lifetime legacy.

Use Prudential's Life Insurance Needs Estimator calculator to determine the amount of coverage your family requires.

In addition, whether you're a stay-at-home parent or working outside the home, make sure to stay involved with your family's financial decisions from budgeting to savings to retirement planning. Work with your spouse on a joint approach so that together you can make the best financial decisions for your family.

* Investment Company Institute, "Characteristics of Mutual Fund Owners," Copyright 2010.

Insurance issued by the Prudential Insurance Company of America, Newark, NJ, and its affiliates. Each is a Prudential Financial company that is solely responsible for its own financial condition and contractual obligations. Our policies contain exclusions, limitations, reduction and terms for keeping them in force. A licensed financial professional can provide you with complete details. The availability of other products and services varies by carrier and state. Prudential Financial, its affiliates, and other financial professionals do not render tax or legal advice. Be sure to consult with your personal tax and legal advisors.