Life Can Change in a Moment
August 01, 2019
By Steven Buttice, Founder and President, Living By Your Design, Inc.
Do you know anyone whose life changed in a moment? Maybe it was a promotion, or learning that they would be a mother or father. Other times it could be a terrible accident, a lab test, or an abnormal x-ray. It’s nice to be able to prepare for such things as having a child and it is wise to prepare for an event that could affect your earnings—your life.
In our business, we have worked with many parents of new babies. We have also worked with many people who have experienced that “moment” of a disabling accident or illness. For those who depend upon their income, there is the stress of the loss of income or a paycheck. Just to mention several “moments”—a business owner having a routine physical with no signs of any medical problems having an abnormal chest x-ray, a gentlemen falling off a ladder while fixing his porch, a seizure, an auto accident, or a farmer experiencing a devastating injury. None of us are immune to having a “moment.”
How can you pay your mortgage, utilities, and groceries (MUG) if you have this accident? Does your spouse work? Would her or his income be sufficient to meet your family’s needs? Social Security Disability could help, but since a person would need to show their disability would last at least one year, normally SSDI would begin no earlier than the 6th month of disability and may not be enough income for your needs. You can dip into savings or pension but once they are spent, they are gone.
So how can you protect your income? First, check with your employer to see if they offer a disability plan. Then talk with your insurance agent. If you put it into perspective, a plan that would pay your mortgage, utilities, and groceries (MUG) can be more affordable than you may think. Here’s a good way to look at it—to use round figures—let’s say a person with a spouse and two children has two job offers:
- Annual pay of $100,000 ($8,333 monthly) and no disability coverage. Therefore if they would become sick or hurt and not able to work, their pay would end.
- Other job offer is $95,800 and would include a plan to pay 50 percent of your income if you became disabled. Monthly figures on offer number two are $7,983 in earnings and $350 a month to protect those earnings against a disability. Which job might make the most sense for your family?
For family security, it’s probably offer number two. Most people do not believe they will become disabled; do you? Statistics from the Society of Actuaries states the odds of a 35 year old having a disability that lasts three months or longer is 41 percent. Who do you know that has had a devastating accident or illness? How old were they?
This article is intended to provide you beginning knowledge and an idea of a way you can protect yourselves. As most everything, it is best to plan for situations that could affect your life. If your employer does not offer Disability Insurance (DI), you can purchase “paycheck protection” from an insurance company. These plans vary from company to company and it is advisable to secure help from a qualified insurance agent. He/she can help you identify your needs and offer the plan and benefits best for you. Think it can’t happen to you? Ask one of the 41 percent of the 35 year olds if they thought it would happen to them.
To gather information on disability coverage, who needs it, and how it would work for you, see the following resource www.mrms-inc.com/income-protection-insurance
. DI is an area where you will, most likely, need the assistance of a professional insurance agent. Having your medical bills paid by insurance is good, but having money to live is critical. Feel free to contact our office for questions or additional information concerning your situation.
For more information, contact Living By Your Design, Inc., focusing on the issues of the elderly: legal, financial, free guidance for residential placement and healthcare issues. Call: 309-285-8088. Website: www.LivingByYourDesignInc.com. Location: 809 W. Detweiller Dr., Peoria, IL 61615.
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