Sabtu, 07 April 2012

He's Where? The Call You've Been Dreading

It's coming up to the end of the Financial Year again and that means a time of high stress for many families. Especially for those that work in white collar finance professions, are self employed or like me, both.
You've seen the signs every year around this time, a man whose business hours seem to have no end, a mum who has been so busy trying to pick up the slack of an unavailable husband that she's late picking the kids up from after school care. For the second time this week.
Worse still, is the bags under the eyes, the short fuse and the tension. Oh, the tension. You could carve the air with a knife it's so thick. You know for a fact that he's been eating greasy takeaway food when he's away late and you suspect he's started smoking again.
But every year, you all seem to scrape through and in early July, your family goes for a weekend away. Nothing too far away though, because after all it's only July and he may get called back urgently, but at least you can all take a breather before you wind down towards the new stress of Christmas.
This year for some reason, the hours have been longer, the stress has been higher and the knife edge, keener than it ever has before and then you get the call. That call! The one that breaks you out of your annual reverie.
Your husband has just had a heart attack and has been rushed to hospital in an ambulance.
By the time you get there he's been stabilised and the immediate threat of death is dissipating.
And this is the time that your fear, really sets in because you know this man. You know that despite what his cardiologist tells him about relaxing and taking some time off work, he's already starting to worry that he's not doing his bit to help the team.
This is the time, that you know that, if he doesn't rest now, he'll have another attack and the rest will be permanent.
People in the medical fraternity tell us that many people can return to work 4 weeks after a heart attack and some as early as 2 weeks.
If I ever have a heart attack, I can assure you that the chances of my wife letting me go back to work in such a short period of time is remote.
There'd be a 3 month holiday at Musket Cove,my favourite resort in Fiji. There'd be consultations with a dietician and post heart attack exercise specialist. There'd be massages and you can bet your bottom dollar that the chances of her letting me sit down in front of a computer are equally slim.
Sure, we'd still have all the expenses of home to pay while we're away. Loan repayments, memberships, insurances etc etc.
While it would be nice to have enough money to pay for all this just sitting around, the truth is that we're a family like most others. Most of the money we earn goes to support our lifestyle, pay our bills and save for retirement.
What we do have though, that many families don't is Trauma Insurance. Also known as critical Illness cover, Trauma Insurance pays out a lump sum in the event of a major illness.
Heart Attack, Cancer, Stroke and Open Heart Surgery are the major causes for claims in Australia but there are lots more.
Unlike Private Health insurance, you get to decide how much you want to get as a payout depending on how much Premium you're prepared to pay.
The trick is to work out how much cover your family would need. This is where a Financial Planner like me with insurance specialisation experience can come in handy. Not all Financial Planners do, so be sure to ask.
What are you doing to prepare for the 1 in 3 chance that your family will be hit with a major medical event before age 65?