Having good health should be everyone’s number one priority, but life doesn’t always work that way. People get sick, they have accidents, and sometimes they can’t work. Sometimes it’s worse than that.
Of course we don’t want to think negative thoughts, and I am definitely a glass half full kind of girl. But to be safe in life, you need to hope for the best and plan for the worst.
But I know if something happened to me, I would be okay, because I have the right risk strategy in place.
Insure is just another way of saying Make Sure.
Insurance gives you piece of mind, knowing that if life throws you a curve ball, you can at least duck out of financial harm’s way. It pays you money, at a time you need it most, which in turn gives you time to get over your illness or injury. That’s all it does.
The other option is to get sick and broke at the same time.
You may not have ever thought about this, but your ability to earn an income is your most important asset. It’s infinitely more valuable than any car or home you will ever own. You need to protect that. You can’t insure yourself against redundancy, or job loss, but you can protect yourself should an unexpected illness or injury stop you in your tracks. And you should, you absolutely should.
“A women is like a tea-bag; you never know how strong she is until she is in hot water” – Eleanor Roosevelt
I would like to make sure you don’t get into hot water.
I was asked this question the other night at a conference:
When should you think about protecting your income?
As soon as you realise you can’t live off your savings or sick leave for an extended period of time. As soon as you know you can’t pay your rent or your mortgage and your telephone and utilities bill. As soon as you realise you can’t afford to live on Government Disability support. So the simple answer is, “yesterday”.
From 20th September 2014 Centrelink will pay a maximum disability pension of $766.70 per fortnight for singles and $585.50 (each) for couples. You can’t live on that. And neither can your family.
Unless you own your home and have enough money to pay yourself up until age 65 and throughout your retirement, you should be protecting your income. It’s as simple as that.
You should also make sure you cover any debts you have so you are not trying to pay for mortgages if you can never go back to work again.
And if you have children and another half of your life’s puzzle, then you need Life Insurance to protect them.
Ask yourself these questions?
• Could you live happily on sickness benefits?
• Do you have enough money saved so you, and/or your partner could pay the rent or the mortgage should anything untoward happen to either of you?
• Could you afford to send your children to school on one wage?
• Could you afford to live off your savings for more than six months should you or your partner suffer a debilitating illness or injury?
• Would you feel comfortable and intelligent buying an expensive car or a home and not insuring it?
• Do you buy travel insurance?
Sadly, we all know someone who has been diagnosed with cancer, was injured in a car accident, experienced a bout of depression or lost a partner suddenly.
I’m not here to scare you, but I am going to tell you there is a pretty good chance you’re going to need a hand at some stage of your life.
No-one wants to think about worse case scenarios but preparing for the worst and hoping for the best gives you comfort in knowing you and your family will be able to financially handle the dramas life throws at you.
If you’re single
Being a single woman may come with freedom, but times can get tough if you become ill or injured and have no one to rely on financially.
If you’re married and/or have kids
Even if you get married, and there is more than one income earner in the household, most families need two incomes to make ends meet, particularly if there are children. If you were to lose your income could you still pay for all of the bills? Would your family’s living standards drop? Would you need to move out of your family home? Would the kids need to change schools?
If you’re divorced/widowed
Getting divorced or becoming widowed is a difficult time for anyone, and we all know it happens. Many women fail to protect themselves from unforeseen illnesses if no-one is around to take care of them.
How much life insurance do you need?
The amount of insurance depends on your individual circumstances and should cover paying off your debts and school fees and your income needs such as your everyday living costs. Come and talk to me and I can work through all that with you.
Whatever your circumstances, you should have a regular review of your insurance policies. Don’t get caught out when it’s too late to do anything about it. And don’t just set and forget either. I’ve seen quite a few people over insured, and a lot more underinsured.