It’s Critical

August 31, 2011

The saying goes, the best way to care for others is to care for yourself first.  It’s critical.  Think of all the people that are depending on you at any given point in time.  Spouses, children, friends, bosses, co-workers.   It occasionally feels like a circus act, with the juggling and balance required to keep everything going.

For one reason or another, we can only keep juggling for so long.  Sometimes, it’s life itself taking us down a path that we didn’t expect.  After all the wear and tear of our fast paced society, the body slows down.  Our doctor sits us down and looks us in the eye.   It’s critical.  We’ve seen it happen to others.  Priorities change in an instant and all that matters is getting better and finding a way to take care of the family.

One of the steps in a sound financial plan is opening up the discussion of how you will protect yourself and your loved ones from life’s risks.  If you were no longer able to work at your job or bring in the same level of income, what would happen to your family?  Could all the bills get paid? Would your family fall behind?  Could you deal with additional costs or lifestyle changes that an illness brings?  It’s not an easy thing to talk about.  We’re all filled with the illusion of our own immortality.  It’s uncomfortable to think otherwise.

When looking at options of how to manage the risk of a critical illness, there are really only three choices:

-Look into a temporary or permanent critical illness insurance policy and pay someone to take the risk for you.  This needs to be done when you’re healthy.  Once there are signs or symptoms that there may be trouble brewing,  it reduces your chances of qualifying and you may not be eligible for the insurance.

-Build the savings yourself. Make sure that you have enough put away to take care of a situation like this, and that it wouldn’t be putting your family into debt.  The trouble with this method is that the savings tend to get used for other unexpected expenses as they come up, and it can be hard to keep the savings at a level that will eliminate the risk. 

-Procrastinate.  This one’s the easiest to do.  Or, you can hope that the situation never occurs and that you’re one of the lucky few.   Unfortunately, this can let us down when life hands us the unexpected.

What will you do?

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