Insurance plays an important role in any wealth creation and management strategy. There is little point in accumulating wealth if you don’t protect it, or yourself, from unforeseen risks that can undermine the best made plans. Just as your wealth creation strategy needs to be reviewed on a regular basis, so too does your wealth protection plan. Every stage of life brings with it exciting challenges along with different types of risk. Let’s look at the most common scenarios. You may see yourself in some of these stories.
As the name suggests, people in this life stage are young, and generally without children and mortgage responsibilities. Whilst young people are usually fit and healthy, their age group is most at risk of accidental injury, whether from road accidents or those associated with sporting activities.
At this stage, a young person’s greatest asset is their ability to earn an income, so this is a good time to learn about income protection (IP) insurance. This will replace up to 75% of income in the event of serious illness or injury. It can provide much-needed financial assistance during recovery.
Young couples are often career-focused and working had to secure their financial future. This period often sees a greater income, matched by additional expenditure. Home ownership is often a goal, with many buying their own home, or saving for a deposit, whilst others seek to establish financial security before starting a family.
Young couples will face similar risks as young singles, but are more likely to have higher debt obligations. This is when a combination of Life, Total and Permanent Disability (TPD), Trauma and IP cover should be considered to provide financial support in the event of death, disability, illness, or injury. This insurance will pay lump sums that can be used to replace lost income, extinguish debt, and cover medical expenses.
Often families in this life stage have one spouse working full-time, whilst the other may work part-time or not at all to focus on parental responsibilities. At this stage, families often have greater debt levels including a mortgage, and are heavily reliant upon the full-time income. Stress tends to be high during this period of life, so what would happen if the breadwinner were to die suddenly, or suffer a debilitating disease that prevented them from working for an extended period of time?
Adequate insurance coverage is essential to be able to replace income, cover medical expenses, extinguish debt, and allow the family to maintain the lifestyle to which it is accustomed. Families with young children may also consider an additional feature of most trauma policies which allows families to include their children. This cover provides a lump sum to help pay for medical expenses and allow parents to have time off work to care for a sick child.
Pre-retirees can also be referred to as ‘empty-nesters’, as their children have generally flown the coop by this time. They are also usually debt-free (or close to it) and have the sole objective of preparing for retirement. While they may be well-placed to achieve their objectives, they are also least likely to be able to afford any adverse changes to their plans.
With age comes a greater risk from a range of events and illnesses including heart attack, stroke or cancer. For this reason it is important that appropriate insurance coverage is maintained to help keep retirement plans on track. A combination of Life, TPD, Trauma and IP can provide protection against these unexpected events, and deliver financial security pre- and post-retirement.
The key goal of all retirees is to enjoy the fruits of their labour. Whether self-funded or receiving government support payments, the need for insurance has generally diminished as retirees no longer have an income to protect, nor do they usually have a lot of debt. However, not everyone is the same, and insurance reviews at this life stage are just as crucial as any other time.
Many insurance providers also now recognise that a person’s insurance needs can change over time, and have included life stage options as part of their policies. These options provide an opportunity to increase sums insured without additional underwriting, and sometimes with limited evidence. Examples of life stage events which can trigger increases on Life & TPD policies include: marriage, the birth or adoption of a child, and taking out or increasing a mortgage.
Whatever your age or stage in life, insurance delivers valuable peace of mind that you and your family are financially protected from whatever misfortune may come your way. But it’s not a “one size fits all” solution. To ensure your wealth protection is appropriate to your needs, talk to us.