It’s Back to School time and many of us are sending our kids, big and small, back to the classroom or back to a virtual learning environment. We send them off with our hugs and blessings for safety, social engagement and exciting learning opportunities – in other words, parental protection. Protection is a word that carries with it a feeling of security that we all can appreciate. So let’s shift our focus a bit and think about another kind of protection our families deserve. Some of the risks that face our families are unseen and yet we need to protect our families from these risks too.
As a family protector, please consider putting a hedge of protection around your household so that unseen risks such as a sudden disability or accident, a life unfortunately cut short way too soon, a lawsuit or liability that exceeds your resources or an end of life health issue do not devastate the life you’ve succeeded in building and creating for those you love and hold dear.
In life, everything is fine until it’s not. And we rarely see those things coming down the pike. Those protections are exactly the kinds of solutions that are hard to get around to doing and easy to put off, because well, that bad thing won’t happen to ME or MY family.
Let’s consider this:
Disability: During your working years there is a greater chance of becoming disabled than of dying. If your employer provides long-term disability insurance for you, that’s great. But it probably covers only up to 60% of your salary and might have a short benefit period. But your own disability policy would provide a safety net that you choose and control.
Death: Add up all your debt and then add in planned expenditures such as a college education for each of your children. How would this be covered if you were to die? If you are married, is your spouse able to go into the job market and duplicate your salary if something were to happen to you or were you living on two salaries? There are many different types of life insurance policies at many different price points. This is a safety net that it’s dangerous to live without.
Lawsuit and Liability: If you are a business owner or a landlord you most likely have insurance to protect against common occurrences. But do you have umbrella insurance at least equal to your net worth? Lawsuit awards seem to have no cap and many times businesses must pay just to make it go away even if there is no culpability. A good umbrella policy is probably less expensive than you think and it protects against a wide range of very expensive situations.
Declining Health in Old Age: Two major things have changed over the past few decades. Very often extended families are far flung and at the same time life expectancies have increased with at least one member of a couple often living into the 90’s. When it becomes difficult to handle the activities of daily life or even worse, if dementia is an issue, Medicare does not pay for help. But a good long-term care insurance policy will give you choices and options so that you or even your elderly parent can live in safety and comfort. Similar to life insurance, there are a variety of options and costs for these policies.
Is it fun to talk about these situations? No. Is it fun to live them? Absolutely not. When you meet with your BWP financial planner next time, please consider discussing how you can increase your family’s safety net and truly become a Family Protector.