By Finbar Garcia LUTCF, FSS, MFA
Welcome back. Having started this column, I received many emails, and I am happy to assist. This week I want us to focus on our lifespan. There are three segments as follows:
However, before we get there, let’s take a closer look at the middle segment, age 25–65, your earning years. This area is critical to every person. We experience many life-changing cycles during this time of our lives. Having discussed budgeting last time (CN Mar 1), it is even more important during this period.
Let’s look at some of the changes. You would probably have your degree at age 25, looking to land that perfect job, maybe get married, start a family, purchase your first home, upgrade your vehicle, save for children’s education, invest towards your retirement, purchase another property as an investment, looking for upward movement in your career, focusing on tertiary education for the children etc.
I know it sounds crazy, but it’s what many persons experience and prepare for during this age bracket.
One of the most fundamental downfalls that affects many of us is not planning for any unforeseen events. If you want to achieve all or most of those I mentioned, then clearly you would be considered the breadwinner(s) of the household, and I mean both working spouses.
There are three main hazards in life that can cripple your financial goals, and some families have experienced these. It is dying too soon, living too long or disability.
Dying too soon would create a void in all your plans for your family. Living too long….well, this can be a tricky statement, as we have no control over how long we live, but how well we live financially; and disability, suffering from some critical illness can wipe out all your savings.
I want us to focus in on the disability portion of our working life. What is a disability? It is an ailment or illness that would incur some financial loss. In some cases, the disability can cost you your job, total loss of income and independence; you will now become totally dependent. Your family would have to make major adjustments, you may even have to downsize your home.
There are many illnesses that can cause this financial disability, these are some of the major ones: heart attack, stroke, cancer, coronary artery disease surgery. Have you ever considered the cost of these at our local private hospitals? It’s very expensive, and if you are thinking about overseas the cost just tripled, and you must also consider accessibility of the USD.
Being diagnosed with any one of these major illnesses can wipe out your entire family savings. Looking at these, a person would in most cases have pre-medical exams (diagnosis), then the actual procedure and the post-medical treatments. All of these cost money.
How prepared are you financially to withstand any of these, or are you going to have a series of fundraisers? Now is the time to revisit your Critical Illness policies or invest in one.
“The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings”—Henry Ward Beecher
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