Every year I go to a life insurance school in Banff to listen to speakers from our industry that have experienced the illness, disability or loss of a loved one and the negative impact that it had on their family, their lives and their finances.
One such speaker was Jane Blaufus. She became a widow in sixty seconds when her 39 year old husband was killed in a tragic accident. Her daughter also lost her father at age12 and has now spent over half of her life without him. Considering her profession and expertise in the life insurance industry, Jane had always thought that if the unthinkable happened, she would be well prepared and better equipped to handle the unexpected, but she found out that she was wrong!
Jane went through this life changing process, so as a result she is now on a mission to spread the word about the importance of making sure that if this happens to you or your family; that you have a formal plan in place to be able deal with the all the issues that come up after the event!
What if I told you that here in Canada many of us reach adulthood without a realistic sense of our family’s finances, plus have not had the necessary conversations about money because information based money discussions are off limits? While you could stop reading this right now, I hope you won’t! I am on a mission to help people to get started with these courageous conversations and get their personal and financial lives in order while they still can.
Think about this for a moment; how prepared would you be for some of the harsher realities of life such as suffering a critical or terminal illness, or the disability or sudden death of a loved one? At this point you might be thinking, why are these conversations so important to have with my family, spouse or children and why should I care?
What if I told you that here in Canada:
If the primary wage earners were to die, 30% of families with dependent children will immediately have trouble meeting their everyday living expenses.
27% say they would only be able to cover living expenses for a few months.
Of all adult Canadians who suffered a disability in 2012, 14% report still being limited in their daily activities – five years later.
30% of Canadian households admit they don’t have near enough life insurance.
Over 40% of Canadians do not have a will, power of attorney or a personal directive and of the balance that does have wills – many are out of date and a ticking financial time bomb!
Would these stats make you stop and pay attention? Or better yet, do something about it – now?
Every week I run across couples with young children who have little or no backup resources if a family member died, became disabled or suffered a critical illness. As well, they are without wills, personal directives or powers of attorney on each other. Today, my goal is to dispel the myth of “it might happen to you but it won’t happen to me” because inevitably something will happen to all of us. The phrase “Death and taxes” comes to my mind here!
I want to thank Jane for her courage and her dedication in traveling the world to help encourage advisors like me to get proactive and spread the word. In the words of Jane Blaufus “we have an obligation to ourselves and to those we love to make sure that we leave this world in an organized manner”. If one person or family acts as a result of reading this article then I will have helped to validate her mission and that person, family, business or farm better prepared to deal with the consequences!
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