With few exceptions, staying alive is what all of us on Earth want. It stems from our basic survival instinct. Our need to survive is hard-wired into our primal being. But most of us want more than that. We want quality of life; a more complete enjoyment of our time alive.
Quality of life has many dimensions and generally, it has to be worked at. Although it is a very subjective and personal concept, there are some common elements, including:
- A good home
- Love and companionship
- Good health & vitality
- Safety & security
- Happiness and fun
- Financial prosperity
In Western society there is no doubt that financial prosperity underpins a quality life. Although money is not everything, it does provide the means for basic subsistence and discretionary choices. For example money provides opportunity for higher education and a wider range of repair options for damaged health.
One of the certainties of life is that things will go wrong from time to time. Whilst we all hope it doesn’t happen to us, it is foolish not to be prepared for the worst case scenario.
From my own experience I can say with certainty that, when something goes wrong, it can be severe and there is very little warning. One day you’re healthy, next day you’re not. As my wife so eloquently phrases it, “A rooster one day, a feather duster the next!”
When the good health and vitality we have taken for granted for so long finally breaks down, life can change suddenly. We are forced into alternatives. Quality of life quickly reverts to survival mode. For most people, a reversion to survival mode means trying very hard to stay alive whilst finding the money to live.
On top of that, medical bills can be quite draining even with comprehensive health insurance. You don’t realise until surgery time that Medicare and top hospital insurance between them will still only cover up to the AMA recommended fee. Many specialists charge above this level and impose non-reimbursable charges such as booking fees. It also adds to the out of pocket costs when the help most needed cannot be found locally.
Regardless of whether the afflicted person is the breadwinner or not, the family focus immediately narrows onto saving the life or health of one of its own. Priorities change overnight! That which seemed important yesterday becomes totally irrelevant today.
The financial problem that most people face is that there is very little spare money to fight the battle ahead. The bank account is usually a few thousand dollars at best. After that, credit cards are maxed out, investments are sold down, personal loans are arranged or money drawn against the home equity.
Not only does financial prosperity come to a grinding halt, it actually goes backwards.
I have never been able to work out why our first instinct is to insure our house, car and boat, all of which are inert and replaceable, ahead of ourselves. Apparently we can’t live without them, but we instinctively baulk at purchasing a safety net for our family.
Whatever you think about insurance – “Waste of money, premiums to high, or nothing will happen to me”, personal risk insurance serves one purpose and one purpose only. It provides a war chest of money for those times when life deals one of its unexpected and devastating blows.
So when it happens to you, come back and tell me I’m wrong!
Business coaching Brisbane