The Cost of Living in Oregon and How Life Insurance Can Help Protect Your Family’s Future

cost of living in oregon

You’re not alone if you cringe every time you open up your bills and see the totals staring back at you. You’ve felt the cost of living in Oregon growing and can still be less than excited for that stack of bills. 

In 2021 alone, the consumer price index, a key indicator of inflation and its associated effects on the cost of living across the United States, had risen nearly 400% from 1.4% up to 7%. This increase was felt across all financial standings and positions throughout American communities and throughout all sectors of the economy. 

But exactly how does that look here in Oregon

And how can a life insurance policy help provide security looking forward to the unknown landscape of what other changes may come?

Cost of Living in Oregon 

Oregon is ranked as the 7th most expensive state to live in the United States. The 6 that come before it? Those would be Hawaii, Massachusetts, California, New York, Alaska, and Maryland

It was said best by Joelle Jones, 

“The Pacific Northwest has long been called a nature lover’s paradise, but does all that green come at a price?”

In some ways, it really does. 

The average cost of living in Oregon is roughly $48,000. That is seen in housing at around $9,000, in healthcare at around $8,000, and non-restaurant food and beverage at around $4,000. That also includes the extent of “other personal expenditures” at nearly $26,000

There are so many statistics to wade through to answer the simple question, “How do people and their families even pay for that?” A simple way to peer through it all is to look at the cost of living wages and how they stack up to having a family.

The living wage for a single, working adult with no kids is $19.38 

What about those with a family, though? That’s a bit different. 

For 2 adults, when both are working– that doesn’t include the common stay-at-home parent arrangement nor does it include the cost of childcare– the living wage with no kids becomes $15.04 

With 1 child, $21.26

With 2 children, $26.46

With 3 children, $32.35

Each cost of living wage sits above the Oregon minimum wage of $13.50 by at least 11% and at most 140% 

Cost of Living in Oregon and Protecting Your Family’s Future 

Looking forward, and looking at the family you want to grow, now you might be wondering, 

“What can I do for my family and our future?” 

With volatility surrounding the economy and inflation seemingly padding every cost and expense, it’s hard to know what that future cost of living in Oregon may be. In the decade from 2010 to 2020, the cost of living in Oregon increased by 22% – that’s more than it has risen in the two decades prior. 

The cost of living in Oregon even sits 17.7% higher than the majority of the nation.

Despite the numbers, and the inevitable worry that might come with them, there are still actions you can take to protect your family’s future when the time comes to pass on the wealth you have created, saved, and secured to your growing children. 

It may not be the first idea to come to mind when looking forward, but life insurance policies act as an investment in the future that will give you and your family peace of mind in the event you are no longer there to provide and care for them. 

The Difference Between a Will and Life Insurance

In looking toward end of life planning, a few things tend to come up. Wills are a common go-to for securing something to pass on, but life insurance is a ready second to be considered.

A will is a legal document that delineates how your assets and property will be distributed to those you have named in the document as beneficiaries. 

A life insurance policy is an investment in the form of a contract made between the insurer and the policyholder. This contract states the agreement made by the insurer to pay out a specified sum of money to a designated beneficiary

A will and a life insurance policy are not mutually exclusive. It is of sound mind and future planning to engage in the forming of both. 

Your will distributes what you have earned, gathered, and saved over the years. A life insurance policy is a pay out that you have paid into. Much like all good investments, this is a sum amount that exceeds what you have paid premiums towards. 

Over years of life, debts are acquired, some of which mount most towards the end of life with the cost of care and needs being met. With finite assets in a will, there is the risk of assets initially being liquidated in order to pay these end of life bills, and may never make it to your beneficiaries. A life insurance policy payout helps to alleviate the end of life costs and allows the focus to remain on celebrating a life fully lived, rather than a stack of bills filling the countertop. 

What Type of Life Insurance Should I Get? 

There are few different elements found in life insurance policies. Often the initial decision to make is to choose between a term life insurance policy, and a permanent or whole life insurance policy. 

What’s the difference?

A term life insurance policy is the policy commonly chosen by those who are simply looking to provide benefits to their loved ones and chosen beneficiaries in the case of death. This option is commonly chosen for a reason– its straightforward and easy to understand. It does have an active term though, meaning there is a set timeline in which the policy is active. It can be reactivated when the term closes.

A permanent or whole life insurance policy, on the other hand, is a policy with no set expiration date. These are the policies that are best suited for individuals with more uniquely detailed financial portfolios, or specific intentions associated with their assets. This can include funding a trust with life insurance or having a lifetime financial dependent like a special needs child. 

To know which policy would work best for you, your family, and your beneficiaries, talk to your insurance agent– they have the right answers to questions you may not even know you have yet. 

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