What would you do if you were unable to work for 31 months?
It’s not a pleasant thought, but this issue is important to consider. Industry studies show that the average long-term disability lasts nearly three years.
Obviously not many people have nearly three years’ of savings stashed away in case of emergency. (Don’t feel too bad, more than 75% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.)
And even fewer of us possess the ability to go off the grid and wrangle with bears (like Leo DiCaprio in “The Revenant”) for survival.
So what can we do to prepare for such a long time without income?
Make a Long-Term Disability Plan
Assuming the average yearly American family income of $51,939 ($4,328.25 per month), 31.2 months out of work would require a tidy sum of $135,041.40 to be socked away to not miss a financial beat.
Before you go frantically searching through the sofa for loose change or breaking your kids’ piggy banks, take a deep breath and have a look at our Disability Security Plan. We can help you prepare for 31 months (or more) without income. Here’s how to get started.
You can begin creating your long-term disability plan by using our Income/Expense Review calculator to get a sense of your current financial situation – and how things would change if your income suddenly came to a halt.
The Income/Expense Review leads to the next step of planning, which is finding ways to trim the fat from your budget. What indulgences can you live without? What do you really need to purchase every month? We all spend money on things that aren’t exactly necessary for survival, but it’s critical to identify what costs you’d be able to cut in the event of a disabling illness or accident.
Next, you’ll want to seek out other potential sources of income. Take some time to review our list of Income Replacement Benefits for options that may help you ride out 31 months without pay. Be sure to check with your employer to see if they offer any sort of sick pay plan or disability insurance.
Once you’ve completed these steps, it’s time to write out your personal plan.
Don’t Just Wing It
If your plan is to just wing it and hope for the best, calculate your Earnable Income Quotient to put a number on how much money you could lose if you become disabled. If you want another sobering number, take your monthly expenses and multiply them by 31.2.
The odds are that you will, at some point in your career, face the prospect of long-term disability. But you can prevent financial ruin by simply being prepared and having a plan in place to help you weather the storm.
The alternative is to roll the dice and hope you maintain perfect health. But who can predict that car accident, or that dangerously energetic nephew?
Better to play it safe and prepare for whatever may come. Be proactive to protect yourself and your family, and consider the possibility that you might face 31.2 months without income. Make your long-term disability plan today.
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