Forbes.com author Bridget Brennan noted in a powerful article1 “Women have a multiplier effect. They are multiple markets in one.” She goes on to explain the fact that women are multi-faceted and multi-generational caregivers. Caregivers. We care and we give. The thought of independence has been embraced and I, for one, am proud to say that this is quite the time to be a woman.
We do care, which is why many women on their own spend countless hours taking care of their homes, their pets and their families. We sit on boards. We head-up PTA’s. We wipe snotty noses while writing articles and ironing dresses! But, what do we do to help ourselves? Take a moment to ask yourself, “what have I done to protect my loved ones and assets if something happens to me?” Could someone take over or step-in? Not at work. I’m asking personally, how much do you know about the benefits you currently carry?
Disability insurance is often a topic that is shrugged aside due to it being available as it is often part of your benefit package at work. Short term disability sounds pretty good, right? For illustrative purposes, let’s take a single mother who doesn’t have much debt and has a great sales job with flexible hours due to the travel. If something happened, her family would help. But let’s really think about what could happen? As a marathon runner, this mom is in great shape, but one Sunday afternoon she suffers a fall while running and breaks her femur. She hadn’t elected any additional coverage and finds out that her current coverage is for 60% of her salary, which doesn’t include her sizable bonuses and commissions for a period not to exceed 6 months. The doctor assures her that she’ll recover over time with therapy, but it could take at least a year to regain full mobility. Even with a positive prognosis, life as she knows it has changed dramatically. This is a real life example, not a scare tactic.
Ask yourself, what coverage is needed and what can you afford. How can you come to a comfortable resolution? These solutions are not nearly as complicated as they sound. In our financial planning process at Fragasso, we evaluate the facts. We look at your current situation, keeping in mind what you want to provide in the future. Cost is always a factor. We understand this, but it shouldn’t be enough of a deterrent to at least start this conversation. We work alongside clients to provide the options you need now as well as twenty years from now.
In previous articles, I’ve highlighted the importance of insurance policy reviews. It’s imperative to express that one way to continue to assure that your well-deserved independence continues is to insure it.
I find comfort in knowing that my future wealth is protected, and my planning includes all necessary maneuvers to have it outlast me. Why? I have animals, of course! I am charitably-inclined, and I would like to leave a legacy. I also have a strong family unit that I would like to be able to take care of in the event I leave this earth before they do, or in the event I am unable to care for myself.
Long-term care is a topic of conversation that is typically left for the later years in life. It is, however, quite an important topic. At what age do you begin to think about this as well as discuss it with those who will take care of you? In my opinion, it’s never too early and especially for single women. If planning begins early, such as twenty or thirty years in advance, it can be as simple as a small budget revision. Placing your care first, as noted in the beginning of this article, also equates to planning for the care you give.
Whether you’re single, married or a parent, wills and estates are crucial to afford you the very last right to your life’s legacy. For me, it was the small cost to ensure I have the final say in my animal’s lives and my dearest possessions. Ensuring I had the last word was incredibly satisfying and something I had not given any thought to until someone asked me the simple question, “Why don’t you have a will?”
If you have garnered a sizeable estate, or simply enough to live comfortably and independent, then kudos to you! NOW PROTECT IT.
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