Insuring One’s Body
Two weeks ago, my lovely wife gave birth to our first child; a little boy weighing in at just over seven pounds and twenty inches in length. He is perfect (at least from a biased father’s perspective), and he came into the world screaming and healthy. What a miracle it was to behold. I became immediately aware of the great physical and emotional protection he will need on his parents’ part for some time to come. His tender skin, pliable joints, wobbly neck, delicate digestive tract and immature lungs are all going to require substantial care and concern as he ages.
So I have had the pleasure of witnessing how precious life really is, but throughout these first sleepless nights, I quickly came to the realization that although Mother Nature makes us adaptable and withstanding of outside forces, our relatively fragile bodies are susceptible to illness and injury.
The World Health Organization estimates that there are over 30,000 diseases known to modern medicine that affect the human body. Many of those illnesses are relatively benign in nature, but a great number can lead to moderate to severe infliction including temporary and permanent disablement of the body. Common maladies like cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory distress, diabetes and kidney disease make up a good chunk of the causes for disability of many working Americans, no matter age or ethnicity.
Aside from illness, the human body is easily corruptible by the ever-present dangers of injury. Our fast-paced lifestyles and frequent travel, driven by global economies and burgeoning technologies, have left ourselves vulnerable to accidents at a similar frequency to generations before us that lacked current levels of safety and operational precautions.
Considering all of these risks, why don’t more of us financially safeguard our livelihoods with disability insurance?
Most Americans suffer from the delusion that they will not be disabled during their lifetime. Unfortunately, the reality is quite different. Over a quarter of working Americans will be affected by a short or long term disablement during their career. Yet, only 31% of those working in the private sector have any form of income protection insurance. Why do we feel impervious to accidents and to the thousands of medical conditions and diseases that can harm the human body to the point of disability? Well, that is just human nature to feel impervious, and it is up to you the advisor to educate and guide your client through the proper planning not only for retirement, but throughout their income accumulation years.
And that is when most of the problems take shape, in the first two-thirds of our lives. We don’t save enough of our earned income. Evolving retirement vehicles have brought promise over the last quarter century, but Americans still don’t save enough for emergencies let alone retirement. One-third of us have no retirement savings, and 48% of us don’t save any annual income. How can we expect to financially survive in these socially and economically precarious times while supporting our families without any savings or income protection? We can’t. We need personal disability insurance. Your clients need personal disability insurance.