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I Died Yesterday… A Message to My Family

died yesterday“I died yesterday” — No, this isn’t a mysterious message from the crypt and this post won’t make it onto Ripley’s Believe It or Not. I’m still very much alive and I hopefully have 60 years of solid living ahead of me. But, this is something that I believe each and every one of us should play out in our minds. What if you died yesterday? What does today look like — for your parents, for your spouse, for your kids, for your grandkids, for your community? 

They’re all likely sad, sure. But what does their future look like? 

Will they be able to achieve what you always dreamed you’d all achieve together?

Or, are they left with tough choices like:

  • “Can we even afford these house payments? Should we sell it and downsize?”
  • “Do I need to get a second job?”
  • “Should I switch the kids into public school instead of private school?”

It’s not an easy thing to do, but picture what life will be like if you’re not around. Will everyone you love be taken care of?

I Died Yesterday… A Message to My Family

I wrote an article that was similar to this about 3 years ago. It was titled, “Dear Wife, I’m Dead. Here’s What You Need to Do?“. It was basically an instruction book for my wife to let her know what she needs to do if I ever died unexpectedly. 

You might be saying…”So Derek, you covered this already. Why write this same post again?”

Two Reasons:

  1. A lot has changed since then. She needs a new instruction manual.
  2. It’s been too long since I reminded my readers to make a plan for the future, especially if you’re not around anymore. It’s freaking important!!

To my lovely wife. You’ve got this. You’re strong. You can do it without me. And you know what? We’re financially set, so stay the course.

  • Put the kids through private school,
  • continue being a stay-at-home mom,
  • build your photography business some more, 
  • and keep taking those big yearly vacations (you’re going to need them with those two crazy kids!)

I love you. I’m sorry I had to leave. We’ll meet again soon.

The Emergency Fund

We’ve got one. It’s beefy. You could survive for a full year just on our checking account alone. No worries here.

The Kids’ Private School

We’ve been hard-charging this goal for most of 2020. We’ve got about $85k saved between the savings accounts and the investments. I figured if we got this up to $120k ($100k invested, $20k in savings), it would last us all the way through Eli’s senior graduation. We’re so close! (But don’t worry, we’ve got our life insurance and that can cover the difference).

[Don’t have life insurance? Get a quote with Bestow. You’ll be happy you did.]

The Kids’ College Fund

We’ve already got this one beefed up – ready to cover 50% of the kids’ college tuition. After the accounts grow for another 14-16 years, they should be at $100k each! Be sure the kids know it’s on them to cover the other 50% – either through scholarships or by the sweat of their brow! It’ll be good for them to have some skin in the game.

The Retirement Fund

As I write this, we’ve got about $200k in our retirement investments. Give that another 30 years, and that should grow to about $1.5 million. That’ll be a pretty good chunk of change to live on!

The Rental House

If I were you, I’d keep the rental house going. It’s really not all that complicated.

  • You advertise for renters on Facebook,
  • have them sign a contract,
  • get them in there for a year, and then
  • do it all over again.

Rents should always be about 1% of the value of the house each month. In the end, it should net you over $10k a year! 

The Website

Right now, I’m building this site to become one of the best personal finance sites out there! At the moment, it’s probably worth $40k-$50k. In the future, after I beef up the visitor numbers and start helping masses of people like I promised I would, it’ll be worth $200k or more.

[Reader: Want to start a website? I’d help you do it! Check out Bluehost to get started (my affiliate link). They’ve been great for me so far!]

I don’t expect you to run the website on your own. You should just sell it. I’ll leave you some passwords and instructions so you can do this without too much hassle.

So what should you do with the money? 

Invest it through Vanguard in a non-retirement account. You’ll probably need it somewhere between now and retirement (like for some of the kids’ private schooling if we didn’t get it fully funded before I left…).

The Insurance Policy

We’ve actually got two insurance policies – one that’s provided through work and the other that we purchased on our own. Between the two, they’re worth about $900,000.

Jackpot!! Lol.

I know it’s a lot. I just wanted to make sure the kids were taken care of (…it only cost me like $25 a month or something ridiculously cheap like that).

[Reader: If you’re looking for insurance. Check out Bestow.

They’ve got a great, experienced policy provider, North American Company for Life and Health Insurance, but they’re also new-age and don’t make you jump through a ton of hoops to get coverage. It literally takes minutes to get a quote and to get signed up with a policy, if approved.

I love them so much, I became an affiliate. I seriously recommend them to everyone I know that doesn’t already have life insurance.

Just think, if you died yesterday, would your loved ones have enough money? If not, then you should pick up some life insurance. Some policies cost only $15 a month for six-figure coverage!]

The Master Suite Addition

Alright babe. You’ve got $900k plus the amount that my website sold for. Let’s call that a million. The addition was going to cost $70k.

Do the addition. You’re going to love it.

Perhaps a Fund For Others

If, down the road, you’re earning money, you’re making it on your own, and you really don’t need a few hundred grand, consider setting up a charitable fund for others. It can be for friends, family, total strangers, I don’t care. Just pay it forward. God has blessed us so much, it’s our duty to be a blessing to others that may not be as fortunate as we were.

A Message For You, The Reader – What If You Died Yesterday?

What does your future look like? We’re a bunch of nerdy savers, so don’t feel bad if your picture isn’t as rosy as the one above. BUT, you should take the action step and apply for life insurance with Bestow. I know I’m probably getting a bit pushy here, but it’s just sooo important. If you died without life insurance, chances are that your family could be in a huge bind. You never know what’s going to happen in life. It’s worth the extra $10-$20 each month to have the peace of mind that everything will be taken care of if something happens to you.

Once you’ve got life insurance, think about how you could get ahead with everything else!

  • the emergency fund
  • retirement funds
  • kids’ schooling
  • college

Fund them as soon as you can so you can be free from thinking about them later, and so that if anything happens to you, it’s already covered! No worries!

Want to know how to start transforming your finances today? Here’s a great post to get you on track! 11 Steps to Transform Your Finances (For Good This Time!!)

What if you died yesterday? Would your loved ones be set financially? Or in a tough spot?

Money Save Money


My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. My wife would have another million because my final term policy runs out at the end of the year. I’m hoping she could at least pretend to be sad at the funeral, I mean after being married for 42 years she’d be trading me for a million bucks. That’s a pretty good trade, considering I’m an older model husband with dents and rust.

    • Haha. After 42 years, let’s be real – she’d be lost without you! She knows it, you know it. 🙂

      I’m guessing at this point you’re self-insured? If you passed away yesterday, she’d just use money that’s in your nest egg and savings to survive? She’d probably still live well, right?

      • Right, an extra million will not materially change her net worth. We are already retired with more than enough investments and no debt. Kids are self sufficient and off the payroll. Parents no longer living.

        • Figured as much. Sounds like you did things right! Hoping that we can walk in those same footsteps. 🙂

  2. To add to this, while it’s probably stating the obvious considering what you’ve written, make sure you have a financial and medical power of attorney in place. So many people don’t seem to do that. My Dad is in a nursing home in the UK and is now not able to take care of his affairs. I have financial power of attorney but no access to his accounts and there are bills to be paid. Most married people probably have joint accounts even if they have separate ones too, but situations like mine also need some forethought. If you and your spouse are not able to take care of things at some point, put someone you trust on your account.

    • Great point Melanie. I’ll have to actually look this up for us. I think it was recommended…and I THINK we did…but not totally sure. Definitely very important. Thanks for bringing it up!!

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