Last week, I was playing golf and something caught my eye that inspired me to write this article. The ninth tee was my destination. There was a bench that you could use to rest your tired bones and help you analyze your game. It was simply turning up at the course.
On this bench, however, was a plaque that belonged to a deceased club member. It turned out that I knew the deceased. I knew him from a time when he worked in Finance. On the golf course, he had suffered a fatal heart attack. A wife and two young kids survived him.
Without sounding too flippant, I think he would have wished he had a better game. He probably wouldn’t have gone on that day to play golf. He would have taken himself to the emergency room for expert assistance in the event of a heart attack. He didn’t have a crystal ball. He didn’t expect a heart attack on that day. He didn’t expect it. He was just 36 years old.
However, I’m convinced that many of my clients and others I talk to need it. They are generally in agreement with me when I ask them about Life or Disability Insurance.
“You know that your insurance payments will be required to cover the mortgage and provide income for your surviving relatives if you die,” I tell them.
They reply “Ofcourse”, nodding in agreement. “We will definitely be looking into this at our next year’s review.” Or “After we return from holiday.” Or, you could say “It’s something that I’ll worry over when I get older.”
Similar absurd comments are made when I discuss income protection insurance. They ask, “Income protection insurance? What’s that?”
It replaces your income when you are unable to work due to illness or injury for a prolonged period of time. I respond sagely.
They say, “I don’t need that.” “I have never been sick in my entire life!”
My old mate, affectionately called Groggy, was not there. In the thirty years that I’ve known him, I have never witnessed him sick. He never had a hangover. This is remarkable, especially when you consider that he was not nicknamed Groggy accidentally.
Groggy fell awkwardly from the back of a Ute one day. Groggy badly injured his knee. After further examination, it was determined that the injury was very serious and that he required a total knee reconstruction. If all goes well, he will be out of work for some time.
But it didn’t. He was hospitalized for an infection that led to blood poisoning. After 18 months of treatment, he was still unable to work. His wife needed to find work while he was at home caring for his daughter.
Groggy would have one of those crystal balls. He might have been more cautious about stepping down from the Ute. He could have had income protection insurance to provide some income for his family while he was recuperating.
We don’t know what the future holds. I urge you to speak with your advisor if you have any debt obligations, such as a mortgage, family or other financial obligations. Also, make sure that you have sufficient insurance coverage. It is your duty to yourself and to your family.