Thursday, October 26, 2017
Make it Your Goal to Protect Your Money
When it comes to Goal Setting and money, protection often falls near the bottom of the list. We all like the sexy things like growth portfolios, tax efficiency and real estate investing. What if I told you protecting your money was almost as important as making it in the first place? Doesn’t sound so fun, does it? Here’s the problem: People get wiped out on the daily. It’s no joke and it isn’t fake news. You know at least one person who has been touched by cancer. You know at least one person who can’t work because they got hurt or sick. You know at least one person who lives a meager existence because of health issues. In this post I will talk about why protecting your money is almost as important as making it in the first place and I will give real examples of people I have seen have injuries, illness or death affect their finances. This post will get a bit deep, but it’s time to start thinking about what’s important when it comes to goals.
Protect your ability to work
Recently the Ontario Government under Liberal Kathleen Wynne announced that they would be bringing forth legislation to make prescription medication free for anyone under the age of 25. Here’s what I say to Wynne when it comes to this issue: Bravo. It’s about damn time! In my humble opinion, prescription medication should be free for everyone in this province, you know, actual universal health care. Before I get off track, let’s get back to the subject. This is why this matters to me and should matter to you. Prescription medication is very, very expensive. I have one client that pays an outrageous $50,000 a year for his prescription drugs. This medicine allows him to work, enjoy life and live without extreme pain and discomfort. This person was my very first client as a Financial Advisor. He is a smart, young, ambitious and quite handsome.
Okay, you probably guess I am talking about myself. Yes, I am on auto-immune medication that controls my condition Ulcerative Colitis, a condition I have had since I was 16. The bill for this medication is huge, but luckily I have coverage. Before I was on these meds I was sick constantly, losing extreme weight, on dangerous steroids, and in extreme pain. Since being put on this medication I work like a dog in the area of 70 hours a week. It is this medication that has allowed me to do that. If you don’t have coverage, you might be forced to make a nasty choice: Live in sickness or pay out of pocket for medication. I had to make that choice when I was 25. I chose to live in sickness because I had no choice, I was poor. You and your family shouldn’t have to make that choice. Being sick because you can’t afford medication, sucks big time. I’ve been there. Believe me when I say that this medication changed my life. I would not be writing this post if I didn’t have it. If you don’t have Health Coverage, get it!
Protect your livelihood
I’ve said it many times before, the most valuable possession you have is yourself and your ability to make money. What does that mean exactly? It means that you need to be able to work to achieve your goals and dreams. What stage of life are you in? Are you just getting started? Are you gearing down into retirement? Are you right in the middle juggling bills, debts, kids and everything else? Here is the problem: Illness doesn’t give a shit about where you are in life! Cancer doesn’t take a rain cheque until you have time to fight. In fact, it always seems to come after you when you are least ready. 1 in 3 people will get cancer, have a heart attack or stroke in their lifetime. 1 in 4 people diagnosed with cancer will die from it. I have a client that developed cancer last year. He went through numerous surgeries until they finally got it under control. He hasn’t worked in about a year. His workplace is screwing him around for benefits and also not allowing him to work. Now he is living on a fraction of what he made before all because assholes with no heart care more about a little money than his livelihood. This topic infuriates me beyond belief! A good hard working man, given the shaft by the powers that be. He won the first battle, he made it out of the hospital and is back in action. Then came the battles with his employer, benefits provider, and the government. His war will be long and hard with many battles along the way. I’m rooting for him.
As I write this, I am listening to the Tragically Hip, and we just lost one of my heroes Gord Downie to this nasty disease. Gord announced he was diagnosed with cancer on May 24, 2016. We only recently lost him, on October 17, 2017. He lived more than a year as his health deteriorated. How was his last year on earth? How would your last year on earth be? We don’t all have the luxury of money to enjoy our time in illness, and for most of us, the goals would end. Your boss won’t help you and the government won’t help you. You have to help yourself.
Protect the ones you love and their goals
We all know that Mortgage Insurance is a garbage product. We may or may not have adequate coverage with our employer, and as I just mentioned they sometimes will fight you to pay up. We are constantly being fought with over dollars while the banks make millions. What happens when we die? Does our family move on after grieving? Is our death a pain point financially? Why is personal life insurance important? I am going to tell you why it is important to me, and why I got it. I love my family, more than anything in the world. I know I haven’t always been the best son, grandson, cousin or nephew in my life. I know I haven’t always made the ones that love me proud. I know that despite that, they still love me. I know that if I’m gone, they will hurt. For me, easing a bit of that pain with a financial benefit is important.
Helping my parents pay for my funeral is important to me. Helping my cousins go to college, without dealing with the hardships I dealt with, is important to me. Giving my younger family members a down payment on a house is important to me. When they get together for Christmas and I’m not there, they will remember the step I took to make their lives a little better and hopefully the moments where they weren’t as proud will be gone. I don’t have a wife and I don’t have kids. I do have loved ones who would miss me. Is that worth a little bit of money every month? It is worth far more than what I pay for my life insurance policy. It’s worth everything. I can’t think of a price.
The moral of the story is this: No one is going to help you, you have to help yourself. It’s gross, it’s nasty and it is not what anyone wants to hear. I see it every day, however. Families being torn apart by unexpected injury, illness or death. Some say: “It is what it is.” I hate that phrase! 5 words that mean nothing and accomplish nothing. It only is what it is if you do nothing about it. Should you protect your goals? What are your goals worth to you? I know if I didn’t have mine, there wouldn’t be anything else worthwhile to protect.
Thanks for reading our post today and don’t forget to tune in tomorrow as we wrap up Goals Week at Budget Boss. We will also be going live on Facebook, as we do every Friday, to recap the week at Budget Boss. Join us with Six Five from Innovation Works in beautiful Downtown London for what promises to be a great show. Shoot me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to find out how to protect your goals and dreams. Have a great day!
“There’s nothing more important than our good health – that’s our principal capital asset.” – Arlen Specter
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