Our Health is Our Wealth
By Andrew Wallover, Northwestern Mutual
There has been a lot of conversation lately about how fragile we are as humans. In the blink of an eye, our futures can change for ourselves, our families, and our communities. As advisors it is our duty to educate our clients in ways that can protect and foster their most amazing futures. This year has provided a unique opportunity to slow down, take stock of what is important and pour our energy into it.
As part of the financial planning process, insurance tends to be the outcast of a client’s long-term financial strategy. Advisors today spend more time trying to invest their way to financial security by differentiating themselves in portfolio performance, asset allocation and tax strategies that sometimes neglect foundational tools that can provide clients a sense of security while we execute our plans for growing their wealth.
Covid-19 has brought to the forefront the concept that our health is our wealth. During the last 5 months we have seen an increased inquiry from people looking for help in risk mitigation planning. Clients and fellow Lancastrians are calling us. We have helped our community review the key elements of a sound risk management plan, specifically around the topics of life, disability, and long-term care insurance.
A proper insurance analysis should take into consideration your vision for yourself, family, business, and community. When our families and community are reliant on our financial contributions and the risk of loss carries a negative consequence, the need for insurance is likely present.
So why don’t more advisors use this as a starting point in their plan? It is simple, advisors have a hard time discussing this topic. However, we must insist our clients mentally wrestle with seeing themselves in less than perfect health or dead. In my 15 years of serving our community, I can honestly say this is the most overlooked area of planning we come across. Here are a few questions to get the conversation going.
- Do you have enough income protection if you were to become sick or disabled and unable to go to work?
- Would your family be able to carry on the life you have created together if you were to pass prematurely?
- In the event of a long-term care need, how would you fund your care?
These simple yet effective questions create a difficult conversation for our clients and our friends to have. Yet given today’s increased concern for our health, it has never been more critical.
Proper planning in this space must be done when we are healthy. Insurance is written as a precaution about life taking an unexpected turn. Covid-19 has bought this back to the forefront of our clients’ minds.
We are all taking stock. What if I get it? Do I have enough financial resources to see my family and myself through sickness? What if I die? Will my family be ok? Many within our community cannot answer these questions with confidence.
I believe we have a moral and professional obligation to have this very necessary conversation with our clients to make sure that when we get the question, “Is my family going to be ok?,” we can answer them confidently.