Are You the Family Breadwinner? How to Make Sure Your Family Is Protected

By Brett Gottlieb

A lot of pressure comes with the role of being the family breadwinner. As the main income-earner, what would happen to your family if you suddenly died or were incapacitated? Would they have to sell the house? Move to a cheaper neighborhood? Switch schools? Would your family have enough money to last a lifetime?

Your family’s entire world could be turned upside down if a crisis happens. But rather than worry or give in to fear, take these 5 steps to help protect your loved ones should something happen to you.

1. Get Life Insurance (or Update Your Existing Policy)

As your family’s primary source of income, you should have the largest insurance policy. When determining your life insurance coverage, you should take into account your family’s unique situation, including mortgage, income, debt, final expenses, and dependents (including future education costs). If you don’t have enough coverage, you risk your loved ones facing financial stress down the road.

To determine how much coverage is best, take these considerations into account:

  • How much would your beneficiary need to invest to generate an income equivalent to what was lost? Be sure to account for how many years the income is needed. A young person may need to replace income for 30 years, whereas someone about to retire may need to cover just a few years.
  • If debt is a concern, add up not just what you owe today, but consider whether you would like to cover future debt obligations like the children’s college, wedding, etc.

Don’t be afraid to dream big financially. You have the power to achieve your goals by proactively An advisor experienced with insurance policies can offer you guidance on the products available to you and how they can integrate into your other financial resources.

2. Don’t Forget Disability Insurance

While you’re updating your life insurance coverage, don’t forget about disability insurance. If you were sick or injured, how long could your family survive financially without your income? For 51% of Americans, the answer is less than three months.[1] That’s where disability insurance comes in. In the event of an accident, illness, or injury, disability insurance would pay out around 60% of your income.[2]

Your employer may offer long-term disability insurance, but these plans are often limited and inadequate. As your family’s primary provider, look into a private long-term disability insurance plan that can fill in the gaps left by your employer’s plan.

3. Keep Your Beneficiaries Up to Date

Anytime a major life event happens in your family—such as the birth or death of a loved one, marriage, or divorce—it’s time to update your beneficiaries. This is especially crucial if you or your spouse were previously married. The last thing you want is for an asset to go to your ex-spouse instead of your current spouse or child because you forgot to update your beneficiaries.

4. Set Up Your Estate Plan

Most people know that having an estate plan is crucial to protecting their loved ones, yet only 33% of Americans have drawn up estate planning documents.[3] This means more than half the population is leaving their family and assets at risk should something happen to them.

  1. Gather a team of professionals, such as an estate lawyer and financial advisor.
  2. Choose trustworthy people to act as your executor, primary agent, and healthcare proxy.
  3. Create a will that spells out how you want your assets to be distributed and who will become your kids’ legal guardian, if applicable.
  4. Consider setting up a trust fund for your heirs to help ensure your legacy is protected and your assets bypass probate.
  5. Organize your financial documents and keep them in a fireproof safe, along with electronic copies. Don’t forget to update them periodically.

5. Meet With a Financial Advisor

A cookie-cutter financial plan won’t cut it if your goal is to protect your family. Everyone’s situation is unique, and while the steps outlined above are a good start, it’s beneficial to also meet with a financial advisor to make sure you’ve covered all your bases and left nothing to chance. The benefits of partnering with a financial advisor cannot be overstated. They can review your current financial plan, talk through your concerns, and offer a holistic perspective for helping protect your family.

The good news is that though theWe at Comprehensive Advisor know you’ve worked hard to build your wealth, and we welcome the opportunity to help you manage and protect it for decades to come. Schedule an introductory meeting by emailing us at or calling (760) 813-2125 so we can discuss your questions, concerns, and goals.

Any references to protection benefits, safety, security, lifetime income discussed in this article generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investment products. Insurance and annuity product guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company.

About Our Advisors

Brett Gottlieb is the founder of Comprehensive Advisor and a financial advisor with nearly two decades of industry experience. He graduated from California State University-Chico with two bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration and Economics. Brett is Life Insurance licensed in several states. He is passionate about guiding his clients on retirement income planning, helping each client pursue their specific retirement goals and defending the assets his clients have worked so hard to achieve. Brett is a California native and currently resides in San Elijo Hills with his beautiful wife and three children.

With a combined experience of over three decades in the financial services industry, our advisors hail from some of the largest independent broker/dealers and banking institutions in the country. They have dedicated their professional careers to creating personalized financial solutions for individuals and families who seek successful retirement planning and currently offer investment advisory services through AE Wealth Management, LLC. Our advisors take a common-sense approach to the planning process and work with clients to create a retirement road map to help ensure their assets are protected and they receive the income needed to enjoy their future. Based in Carlsbad, California, they work with clients throughout San Diego County and beyond. Learn more by connecting with Brett on LinkedIn or email them at

Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). AEWM and Comprehensive Advisor are not affiliated companies. C.A. Financial & Insurance Services, CA Ins. Lic. #6000262. This material is intended to provide general information and is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. Neither the firm nor its representatives may give tax or legal advice. Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. Any references to protection benefits, safety, security, lifetime income, etc. generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investment products. Insurance and annuity product guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. 1161472 – 12/21





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