Below is a story that reminds us that disabilities can happen to all of us. No matter how healthy we are one injury or sickness can lead to a disability that will jeopardize ones most valuable asset: our ability to produce income. When we look at the big picture, paying around $200 per month won’t break the bank for someone making upwards of 100k per year, but in the event of disability losing an income of 100k without any protection would be detrimental to the individual and all of their dependents. In the event of a disability, changes in lifestyle would certainly be in order for someone who isn’t adequately protected. This is the purpose of disability insurance: to help battle our Kryptonite…
My husband is pretty agile. He plays on two different men’s league soccer teams, a volleyball team, and he literally runs up hiking trails for fun. He’s what most people would call “fit as fiddle,” which basically means he’s like most guys in their mid-20s. He likes to think of himself as incredibly powerful and invincible, but I assure you he’s no Superman. He’s human, like the rest of us. And just like all humans, his kryptonite is his human body.
Most of us live with the notion that, though we’re currently healthy, there’s a possibility that one day, way, way into the future, we might become disabled. But until that time, we’re Superman. We’re powerful and invincible, and there’s only a slight chance that maybe, possibly, someday down the road, we might become disabled.
But, as my husband learned last week, accidents happen. In his case, he was sore from a morning flag football tournament, and he didn’t have time to stretch for his nighttime soccer game. Tight, sore muscles plus the poor decision to skip stretching equals one very painful, pulled hamstring.
Now my husband is limping around the house in pain. And while he’s sad that he can’t play sports for a while, he’s thankful that his injury won’t affect his performance at work for too long. You see, he runs a local warehouse, where he’s on his feet 40 hours a week, lifting boxes, building tough pack cases and using his poor little hamstring.
Fortunately, my husband’s injury isn’t too serious and he’ll heal. Other than a couple days off his feet, he doesn’t need to miss work long term. And though I now have a slight chance at beating him in our upcoming half marathon, he’s going to be just fine, for now.
When consumers disregard disability insurance because they have desk jobs, or are in perfect health, we have to remind them that they’re not Superman. Our able-bodies are only temporary. As we age, our health, our strength and our bodies will deteriorate. It’s part of being human.
So why do we approach disabilities, whether by sickness or injuries, as “what if” scenarios, instead of “when” scenarios? It’s inevitable that injuries will likely happen, at some point, some day, and not necessarily in the very distant future?
For my husband, today it’s just his hamstring. But tomorrow it could be a broken leg. And maybe next year it could be a serious illness.
The point is, he doesn’t know what will happen to his body as he ages. None of us do. Because we’re not Superman. But disability insurance sure sounds like a good way to prepare for our kryptonite.