All the doctors we work with spend years becoming truly excellent at helping their patients deal with their own medical problems. But not all doctors really think through what would happen if they were to become disabled themselves!
Instead, many doctors frequently put off serious disability insurance planning until after they have a family to protect. Yes, you might have more money after you’re out of medical school. After you finish interning. After you finish residency. After you have a down payment on the house. After you pay off the car. Once you get settled. Once the kids are older. Once your spouse graduates. Once you’re done remodeling.
But the fact is, no one gave you a contract written in stone guaranteeing that you’ll make it that far.
Consider these statistics from the Council for Disability Awareness:
- The number one leading cause of disability claims is muscular-skeletal disease.
- The average age of onset of multiple sclerosis is between 20 and 50, with loads of people getting diagnosed in their 20s.
- MS alone can knock you right out of your career as a physician, just as you’re getting started.
- Just over 1 in 4 of today’s 20 year-olds will become disabled before they retire.
- The average individual disability claim lasts for about 34 months – just shy of 3 years. Many claims will last longer. Some will be permanent.
Now, let’s walk through the scenario for your own family. Many of you who have been practicing medicine for a while will have already seen it play out in front of you with other peoples’ families. But imagine it’s you in the hospital bed, waking up after an accident.
Your family piles in and surrounds you, happy that you’re alive. Your spouse is there trying to smile. But there are some unasked questions weighing on his or her mind:
How are we going to pay the bills if you can’t work as a doctor anymore? How are we going to pay the student loans? How long can we live on savings? Are we going to lose the house? Are we going to have to take the kids out of school? Are we going to lose the car? Are we going to go bankrupt? How long can we survive? Will we have to move in with my parents? Are we going to be okay?
The reason we do this, and the reason we’re passionate about helping people plan for disability, is so that our clients can absolutely look up at their terribly worried, frightened spouse from that hospital bed and honestly answer that last vital question:
“Yes. Absolutely. We planned for this. We’re going to be OK. “
Disability insurance protects your income—your most important asset, by far—if you’re a physician or future physician with years or decades to go before retirement. If you value it, you should insure it, with a solid “own occupation” disability insurance plan.
This insurance provides you a cash income if you should get sick or hurt and can’t work as a doctor anymore.
The minute you become a client and have an approved policy on the books, you have a written promise from your insurance company you can show your whole family: If you are sick or hurt, you will still be able to put food on the table and a roof over everyone’s head. You’ll still be able to fund college dreams for your children. You’ll still be able to be a contributor and provider for your family, no matter how sick you get.
Combine it with a well-designed life insurance plan, and as long as you pay the premiums, you will be able to provide for your family in sickness and in health, and even long after you’re gone. No matter what happens to your health.
That’s the best and most valuable Christmas, birthday, anniversary or Valentine’s Day gift you can give anyone.
And you can make that happen today, with your good health. Don’t put it off. None of our clients who were worried about the first month’s premium had anything close enough in savings to cover a two year disability – much less the 34 month average or the true risk of a lifetime of disability.
The correct amount to buy is the amount you can easily afford today. And since it’s the amount you can afford, there’s no reason to put it off another day.