What is financial wellness? Financial wellness can refer to your overall financial health. But it is about more than the size of your bank account. It’s feeling good about your financial situation and knowing what to do next with your money. It also applies to your ability to withstand an unexpected money crisis — like those caused by a bad economy or disability.
If money makes you stressed, you’re not alone: 78% of workers are living paycheck to paycheck.1 That’s why safeguarding your income in the event you are unable to work is a great way to help you rest a little easier. From a retirement strategy to a college savings program, planning ahead can help with all stages of your life.
People with disability insurance were less likely to be negatively impacted financially by disability leave (38% vs. 62% of those with no disability coverage). It can help protect a portion of your short- and long-term income — and your family — as you recover if you are unable to work due to illness or injury.
Money problems affect our sense of overall health and well-being.These worries can cause mental health issues, such as depression.2 The stress can also lead to physical health problems, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or stroke.3 But you can improve your financial well-being with some level of planning—no matter what your budget or goals.
Employers are finding that they can more effectively help their employees by taking a holistic approach to managing workforce well-being. Workplaces can support financial health with a variety of efforts including broad insurance benefit options for more adequate protection, college tuition savings plans, financial education, and benefits enrollment support. They can help provide emotional wellness with employee assistance programs and work-life balance initiatives like telecommuting, flexible work schedules, and paid family leave. And they can support physical wellness with incentive programs, on-site medical centers, and return-to-work accommodations.
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Having a pre-existing health condition, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and kidney or liver disease doesn’t necessarily mean you will be denied life insurance, but it can create additional obstacles to overcome.
You can simplify the process, limit delays, and obtain the best rate possible if you understand which financial representative to work with, what insurance provider best fits your needs, and policy types. An investment in your time upfront can save you time and money down the line.
Even if you have health challenges, you may still be able to get a policy, depending on the type and current status of your condition. Your policy may cost more, or only certain benefits or types of coverage may be available. A knowledgeable professional can guide you through your options and find the right life insurance plan for your needs.
Two common ways to buy life insurance are through your employer or a financial professional who is affiliated with a reputable insurance company. Look for a financial professional who works for a company with good ratings and a long history of stability.* It doesn’t hurt to comparison shop, though policies and terms vary, so look at the details. Life insurance can be complex—especially when you have a critical illness—so it makes sense to talk to a knowledgeable professional who can walk you through the different types and recommend what may be right for you.
Critical illness insurance can help offset the costs that come with a serious illness. It supplements your primary medical care coverage, helping you pay for things it might not cover.
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Consider opening a flexible spending account (FSA) or a health savings account (HSA) that will help you put aside money in advance to cover health care costs. Review options for supplemental insurance, such as accident, critical illness, cancer, or hospital insurance that will provide you with a sum of money depending on what treatments you receive. These types of insurance may be offered by your employer, or privately.
At work, your employer may offer a disability income insurance policy as well as supplemental coverage that helps cover more than just your baseline income. Many types of disability income protection are available. Individual disability policies are available through a financial professional. When you apply while you’re healthy, these policies can be there when you need them.
Consider policies that will ensure you can pay large expenses, such as your mortgage and student loan payments, even if you can’t work. For example: Guardian offers optional student loan protection on some of our disability policies. This added layer of protection allows people with a disability, especially early in a career when student loan balances are at their highest, to continue paying their education loans.
We’re all striving for more financial confidence. But the truth is, you don’t need to make a lot of money to be able to protect a portion of your income in the event of a crisis. Talk to your employer about the options available to you to help protect your income should you become ill or injured. If your employer doesn’t offer what you need, consider private insurance options to ensure you’re covered if the unexpected occurs.
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