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The Father’s Day Index 2015: Dad's value climbs, but still trails Mom's

Your father may be a champion to you, but the typical dad’s work around the house is still far less valuable than the typical mom’s, according to the 2015 Insure.com Father’s Day Index.

Insure.com finds that the proper annual wage for the typical Dad’s household tasks is $25,709. That is the highest value yet in the five years of the index, but it is still just 39 percent of Mom’s “value” of $65,284, as revealed in the 2015 Insure.com Mother’s Day Index

The Index calculates Dad’s worth based on Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) wages for household tasks fathers commonly perform. Dad’s value doesn’t include salary from an occupation outside the house, nor does it count the household duties of the typical stay-at-home dad.

Here is the annual value of Dad’s tasks in previous years:

  • 2014: $24,103
  • 2013: $23,344
  • 2012: $20,248
  • 2011: $20,415

BLS data show that pay for all but one of Dad’s household tasks increased in the last year. The big movers were mowing and lawn maintenance (up 10.4 percent), scout leader (up 27.7 percent) and being the family’s “taxi driver” (up 12.8 percent).  (See all tasks and wages at the bottom of this page.)

How much do you think Dad is worth?

In a recent Insure.com survey, men and women were asked how much dads should get for their contributions around the house (if they were paid for them). The majority, 58 percent, picked an amount of $50,000 or less. Nearly half of that group – 25 percent of the total respondents – picked a value of between $25,001 and $50,000.

 Here is a breakdown of how much respondents thought Dad should be paid:

  • Nothing: 4 percent
  • Up to $10,000: 10 percent
  • $10,001 - $25,000: 19 percent
  • $25,001 - $50,000: 25 percent
  • $50,001 - $75,000: 21 percent
  • $75,001 - $100,000: 11 percent
  • $100,001 - $200,000: 5 percent
  • Over $200,000: 5 percent

Men and women agreed to some extent on what they thought fathers should earn for their at-home tasks. Sixty-one percent of women said dads should get paid $50,000 or less, compared to 55 percent of men who said the same.

However, 38 percent of the women who responded in the Mother’s Day Index said moms should receive $75,000 or more. In the Father’s Day Index, only 19 percent of the women said dads were worth that much. 

Considering Dad’s worth

While it can be fun to compare the value of Mom’s and Dad’s household tasks, both the Mother’s Day Index and the Father’s Day Index also speak to a serious topic: a family’s need for life insurance.

Life insurance shouldn’t be determined based on wages alone, but also household contributions –however big or small. All those small chores that Dad may do in his “spare” time add up and would have to be handled by someone else if he were gone. 

“It’s impossible to measure a dad’s real value through money alone,” says Robert Beaupre, managing editor of Insure.com.  “But the value of Dad’s contributions around the house and his annual salary are real figures that will need to be covered if something were to happen to him.”

The 2015 Insurance Barometer Study by Life Happens and LIMRA found that 30 percent of Americans believe they need more life insurance than they currently have.  The respondents’ reasons for not purchasing life insurance varied, but one of the biggest ones was cost.

Yet the Barometer study found that 80 percent of consumers misjudge the price of term life insurance. Millennials (those born between 1982 and 2002) overestimated the cost by 213 percent and Gen Xers (those born between 1961 and 1981) overestimated by 199 percent.

According to the study, the average cost for a 20-year, $250,000 term life insurance policy for a healthy 30-year-old is just $13 a month – less than half of what a family of four would pay to go the movies once a month (the average movie ticket price is $8.17, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners.)

“If you can skip going out to eat at work a couple of times per month, you can probably set aside enough money to pay for a term life insurance policy and give your family that peace of mind,” says Beaupre.

The Father's Day Index 2015

Dad's job BLS occupation  Hours per week Weeks per year Mean hourly wage Annual value
Family finances Accountants and auditors 0.5 52 $30.90 $803
Plumber Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters 2 3 $30.53 $183
Helping with homework Other teachers and instructors 10 40 $27.40 $10,960
Coaching a team
Athletes, coaches, umpires, and related workers
4 10 $24.35 $974
Handyman Maintenance and repair workers, general 8 6 $20.30 $974
Car maintenance Automotive service technicians and mechanics 2 10 $18.43 $369
Assembly of toys, bookshelves, etc. Miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators 3 10 $15.83 $475
Pest removal (spiders, gross bugs) Pest control workers 1 4 $16.33 $65
Scout leader Recreation and fitness workers 5 10 $17.90 $895
Driving Taxi drivers and chauffeurs 9 52 $15.23 $7,125
Moving furniture Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand 2 3 $13.65 $82
Barbecuing Cooks 3 52 $10.40 $1,622
Mowing the lawn, landscaping, snow removal Grounds Maintenance Workers 2 52 $11.35 $1,180

Dad's 2015 value: $25,709

Wage source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Methodology

“Dad’s value” is based on occupational wages from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and does not include a salary from work outside the home. It is calculated using a list of common household tasks that fathers often perform.

For the data on what people think fathers should earn if they had a salary, Insure.com commissioned a survey of 1,000 married men and woman age 25 or older. Op4G conducted this survey in February 2015.

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