Stay financially healthy even in sickness

Taking care of your finances might ease the burden of dealing with an illness.

Coping with a major illness can be overwhelming and stressful, and money is likely the last thing on your mind. But putting your finances in order might ease the financial and emotional burden of an illness so you can focus on getting better.

By taking some simple steps and working with a professional financial adviser, you can ensure that your medical costs and your family’s needs are looked after.

Know your benefits

Finding out your entitlements can help you prepare how you would cover your medical and living costs. Your benefits may include paid sick leave and insurance such as health, income protection, and total and permanent disability. Insurance can be a difficult subject to get your head around, so it’s wise to speak to a professional financial adviser to check if you can make a claim on your income protection and disability insurance, and what sort of payout you might get.

In some very limited circumstances, you may be able to access your super early on compassionate grounds. Discuss with your adviser if you might qualify

Take stock of your finances

A major health problem can weigh on your finances. Besides having to shoulder some of your medical costs, you may also earn less income. Taking stock of your finances gives you a good idea of how much money you can access to cover your medical and living costs. You and your adviser can look at your savings, expected or potential income, insurance payouts and estimated medical and living costs.

Manage your expenses

Once you have a clear picture of your finances, consider creating a budget with your adviser to help you manage your expenses while you’re being treated and recovering. This will ensure that you have the necessary funds to cover your medical and other costs, and that your condition doesn’t put a major dent in your finances.

Revisit your insurance cover

If you don’t have enough insurance, this might be a good time to consider increasing your cover or getting an additional policy. Remember that you can get a life insurance policy even if you have a pre-existing medical condition, though you may have to pay a higher premium. Your adviser can discuss options with you and estimate how much cover you need.

Seek help

Dealing with a major illness can be distressing, but keep in mind that you don’t have to go through it alone. Your family and friends can be there for you, and there are also crisis support centres that can help. When it comes to your financial wellbeing, you can always work with your professional adviser to help plan your future

Please note: this information is of a general nature only and neither represents nor is intended to give specific advice on any particular matter.
This article does not contain tax advice and it is recommended that you speak with a tax specialist about your circumstances. We strongly suggest that no person should act specifically on the basis of information contained herein but should obtain appropriate professional advice on their own personal circumstances.
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author; they are not reflective or indicative of RI Advice’s position and are not to be attributed to RI Advice. They cannot be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of the author.
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August 15, 2019

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