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Penny Gusner Consumer Analyst

Santa Index 2018: Santa earns his highest salary yet of $152,367

Santa's value

The Insure.com elves have made their list and checked it twice and found that Santa Claus should get a raise this year.

Every year, Insure.com compiles a list of Santa’s jobs to see how much Santa’s salary would be based on recent Bureau of Labor statistics information.

This year, despite continuing wage stagnation for many jobs across America, Santa’s salary continues to climb. For the last third straight year, the head elf has another reason to be so jolly: a salary of $152,367,  which is his highest salary yet. It seems St. Nick is rolling in more than just cookie dough.

It’s not all good news for Santa. Mr. Claus’ raises have barely kept up with inflation rates. So,  despite consistent increases in wages, Santa is paying more for toy parts, organic milk, and reindeer feed than before and, thus, probably hasn’t seen any extra money.

A piece of good news for the North Pole’s power couple though. The Kringles have accomplished something that 80 percent of Americans have yet to achieve: upper class status. According to Investopedia, the middle class is defined as those making between $40,500 and $122,000. Middle class status varies widely because of fluctuating costs of living across the U.S. The North Pole’s he cost of living is likely inexpensive at the North Pole, given it’s generally undesirable year-round temperatures and lack of Target stores, so Father Christmas’ salary likely stretches quite far.

Here is the breakdown of Santa’s jobs as he described them to our insurance elves.

The Santa Index 2018

Santa's jobBLS occupation title (closest matching)Hours per dayDays per yearHours per yearMean hourly wageAnnual earnings (rounded)Change from LY
Running the workshopIndustrial Engineers83642912$43.13$126,4682%
Professional shopperSales and Related Workers, All Other815120$19.32$2,318-8%
Wrapper of giftsPackers and Packagers, Hand1214168$12.12$2,0534%
Labor negotiator (with elves)Labor Relations Specialists0.5365182.5$31.51$5,7502%
Letter readerCorrespondence Clerks1100100$18.32$1,8321%
Sitting in mall to speak with childrenCustomer Service Representatives821168$17.14$2,8791%
Investigator (knows if you've been good or bad)Private Detectives and Investigators13030$26.48$7943%
List checker (checking it twice)Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks13030$19.76$5922%
Taking care of reindeerFarmworkers, Farm, Ranch, and Agricultural Animals1365365$13.38$4,8834%
Snow plow driver (at the North Pole)Highway Maintenance Workers0.5360180$19.38$3,4882%
Pilot of sleighAirline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers10110$77.54$7755%
Going down chimneysBuilding Cleaning Workers, All Other (Chimney Sweeper)10110$15.23$1522%
Cookie & milk tasterAgricultural Inspectors10110$21.60$2161%
Distributor (placing gifts under the tree)Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks10110$16.25$1632%
Announcer ("Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!")Public Address System and Other Announcers0.0110.01$20.07$0.20-5%

  Santa's total salary for 2018           $152,367             2%               

 

Blue Christmas

If something were to happen to Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus would be left with very big snow boots to fill, as Santa contributes the only income to the Christmastown household. Mrs. Claus contributes a vital caretaker role, managing and maintaining the North Pole.  

“Life insurance is all about planning for your family to maintain their standard of living in the event that you pass away and the family no longer has your contribution – whether financial or otherwise,” said Penny Gusner, consumer analyst for Insure.com. “If Mrs. Claus no longer had Santa’s income, she might not be able to keep the workshop open or support the elves.”

One life insurance policy is only half of the plan

Partners who provide an income aren’t the only ones who need a life insurance policy. “It’s very important to get life insurance coverage for critical caretakers, as well,” said Gusner. “If Mrs. Claus passed, Santa might be so overwhelmed with the maintenance of the North Pole properties, that he might not be able to fulfill his gift-delivering duties. If Mrs. Claus has a policy, then Santa could possible hire extra help during an extraordinary transition.”

Santa wants you to get real

The holidays can be a great time to revel in the magic of the season and embrace our inner child a bit more with delicious sweets, delightful surprises, and time spent with family and friends. But enjoying the magic of the holidays doesn’t mean we can ignore our practical duty to make the best plan possible for our loved ones. Income replacement, final expenses, mortgage payments, childcare expenses, and education costs are some of the major financial bills that can arise after a death in the family. Post-holiday get-togethers are a great opportunity to reassess your life insurance policy to ensure that if you were to pass, a life insurance policy would provide them financial stability without you.

Insure.com’s annual life insurance survey

Insure.com wants to know where people stand on life insurance. In a survey of more than 1,700 respondents, Insure.com wants to clear up some of the common misconceptions about life insurance.

Cost and coverage

Of those who said they do not have life insurance, 30 percent replied it’s because they cannot afford it and 22 percent have a policy through their employer.

“A policy can be created to suit nearly any budget,” explains Gusner. “Our survey showed that 22 percent pay between $250-$500 annually for a policy, and 23 percent pay $500-$700. Nearly half of these policyholders are paying only $20-$58 a month for a critical part of family planning.”

Insure.com’s life insurance calculator can help you estimate your life insurance policy coverage and recommend a coverage type, term or whole. If you already have a life insurance policy in place, using our Insurance Advisor can help you determine if a supplemental policy may be needed. It can also help you identify holes or gaps in your auto, home or health coverages.

Partner coverage

In our survey, 61 percent of respondents report their spouse as having a life insurance policy as well. Of those who reported their spouse or partner didn’t have a policy, 61 percent cited it was due to not thinking that the individual contributed enough financially to make it a priority or thought the main earner’s policy was enough coverage.

“As we discussed with the example of Mrs. Claus,” said Gusner, “income replacement isn’t the only reason to have a policy. Child care and home maintenance are just two examples of unexpected costs that might arise from the loss of a partner. Just because someone isn’t bringing in money doesn’t mean it won’t take a lot of money to replace the duties he or she had at the house.”

Make your list, check it twice, then tell people about it

Fifteen percent of people who have a policy reported that their beneficiary wasn’t aware of the designation. Why? Thirty-six percent cited being uncomfortable discussing the topic of death, 28 percent didn’t know how to tell them or what steps to take, and 14 percent didn’t know they were supposed to tell the beneficiary.

“It is crucial to communicate about your policy with the beneficiaries,” said Gusner. “Often it is the beneficiary who reports the passing to the insurance company. There’s no instant way for the insurance company to realize a policyholder passes. It can take months before the company follows up on an unpaid premium or tries to terminate the policy. There’s typically no law or obligation for a life insurance company to notify a beneficiary, so by not telling them, you’re putting your beneficiaries at a huge disadvantage when the time comes.”

Head into the new year with a plan that gives peace of mind

Shopping for life insurance doesn’t have to be a burden. You can get an estimation of your life insurance policy type and amount in just a few minutes with Insure.com’s life insurance calculator. It’s easy to take that estimate and then compare quotes from the best life insurance companies. You can easily have a policy in place by the time Santa calls out, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

 

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