Go into 2020 with peace of mind
In this week's blog: Why insuring yourself against the risk of illness is one of the most important things you can do
This will show my age, in more ways than one…
Do you remember a film called “Regarding Henry”?
Made in 1991, it featured Harrison Ford as a cutthroat lawyer who takes a bullet when he interrupts a robbery. Suffering from amnesia, he struggles to regain his life.
He has to learn to walk and talk again, and despite trying, can never really go back to work. Eventually, the family has to downgrade their beautiful Manhattan apartment.
Of course the story has a happy ending – Hit-by-a-bullet Henry turns out to be far nicer and more ethical than cutthroat-lawyer Henry, and his whole family is far happier living a simpler life.
I hadn’t thought of the film in nearly 30 years. But recently, it popped into my head again….
And it has something to do with my age.
You see, back in my 20s, when I first watched this movie, I didn’t know any “Henrys”.
And even today, I can’t say I have many friends who are unethical lawyers who have been hit by bullets… or who have suffered from amnesia.
But I’m in my 50s now, and suddenly, all around me, I do have friends and acquaintances who have been hit by debilitating illnesses which have significantly impacted their lives – whether it be cancer, heart attacks or even strokes.
Perhaps you do, too.
Everyone has put a brave face on it. Everyone is “fighting”.
But it’s plain to see - they are going through tough times (and if this has affected you personally, I know how difficult this can be to discuss, but I ask you to please bear with me – because it’s important).
There’s the health aspect, which I hardly need go into. It’s frightening, exhausting and sometimes physically painful.
But there are other difficulties which I never really appreciated when I was younger and which rarely get talked about.
Even those who recover (thankfully the majority) may not be able to work properly, for many months.
And this creates its own stress. My friends worry about whether they’ll have the energy to go back to work, what kind of work they’ll be able to do – and how they’ll support themselves and their families if their earning power is affected long-term.
In a few cases, the pinch has been immediate. Not everyone has significant savings to fall back on.
And their spouses and partners may not be able to work properly either. After all, there are appointments to go to, care to arrange and often children need extra attention. All this takes up so much time and energy, they are forced to cut back.
Now thankfully, I don’t know anyone who’s had to move out of their home (unlike Henry).
But I also don’t know anyone who (like Henry) has come out a happier person from all of this. For most people, it’s not a question of living a “simpler” life. It’s about paying the mortgage, managing the bills…and even paying for groceries.
No one needs those worries when times are bad. (Or even when times are good…).
That’s why insuring yourself against the risk of illness is one of the most important things you can do to keep yourself, and your family, financially secure.
In short, it means that if you were diagnosed with something serious, you'd have the financial support and flexibility to take some time off work while still paying your mortgage and meeting your essential living costs.
That will take a huge amount of pressure off you and your family at a difficult time.
It will make it a bit easier for everyone to cope, and give you the best chance of a swift recovery by keeping your stress levels to a minimum.
No matter what your age, it's worth exploring whether insurance cover for serious health issues might be a good idea for you.
And now – towards the end of the year – is the perfect time to make this small financial tweak, so you can go into 2020 with confidence and peace-of-mind.