Do you think it’s unlikely that you’ll ever suffer a disability? You’re not alone. According to the Council for Disability Awareness, American workers on average think they have only a 2 percent chance of suffering a disability during their career. The truth, though, is that the average worker has a 25 percent chance of missing work because of disability.1
There are many health issues that can cause disability. Accidents are a common cause, but so too are serious illnesses, like heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s. You could have chronic pain that becomes so severe it prevents you from working.
As you might guess, an extended leave from work due to disability can have a significant impact on your finances. How would you support yourself if you suffered a disability? You might think you could rely on Social Security disability benefits. However, Social Security disability benefits are often capped and you may find them insufficient to support your lifestyle.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect yourself against the financial risk of disability. Below are three such steps you can implement today to minimize the disability threat:
Identify expenses that you can quickly cut.
During any emergency, it’s often helpful to scale back on unnecessary expenses. To do so, you may want to create a budget so you can see how you currently spend your money. Then, identify spending categories that could be cut if you faced a financial crisis.
For instance, you might be able to cut back on certain discretionary spending items, like dining out, vacations and shopping. You could even look at larger spending items such as the cost of your home. You might consider downsizing to a smaller home that would have a lower mortgage payment and reduced costs for things like utilities, maintenance and more. Identify these areas in advance so you can immediately implement changes if a disability should occur.
Maintain available credit.
Debt can be a dangerous component in any financial plan. However, sometimes debt is a necessary part of life. That’s often the case during a financial emergency like disability. Although it may not be ideal to use debt to fund your lifestyle, pay medical expenses or cover other bills, it’s possible that debt could be your only option in some instances.
Identify a credit tool you have available that could serve strictly as an emergency resource. For example, you might have a line of credit on your house. If possible, keep that line open so you can use it in an emergency if you have no other resources available. Perhaps find a low-interest credit card you could open and save strictly for emergencies.
Consider disability insurance.
Disability insurance may be the most effective way minimize the financial fallout of a disability. A disability insurance policy pays you a monthly benefit if you are ever forced to leave work because of a physical ailment. It acts as a replacement for a portion of your lost income.
There are short-term policies that pay benefits for several months, and there are long-term policies that could pay benefits potentially all the way up to age 65. Disability insurance policies have a wide range of adjustable features, so you can create a policy that meets your needs and fits into your budget.
Ready to develop your disability protection plan? Let’s talk about it. Contact us today at Spicer Wealth. We can help you analyze your needs and develop a strategy. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.
Licensed Insurance Professional. This information is designed to provide a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered and is not state specific. The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting or specific advice for your situation. By providing your information, you give consent to be contacted about the possible sale of an insurance or annuity product. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting insurance professional. The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change at any time. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, presenting insurance professional makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax or investment advice.
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