This past July 4th marked the 20th year in our home. TWENTY YEARS.
Holy cow, I don’t know where the time has gone. With my oldest having just graduated from high school, I seem to be saying this a lot lately. Cue the tissue box.
When we first bought our home, we had my dad around for all the newbie homeowner’s advice we needed. One thing he always said was to buy the service contract for the furnace. His advice has proved prudent over the years!
I’m sure I’ll be giving the same advice to my kids someday when they become homeowners, but as a homeowner or not, there’s a much bigger investment that often goes unprotected and has the potential to cost you a lot more than an unexpected furnace repair.
What is this investment? I’m glad you asked!
YOU and your EARNING POTENTIAL are your single most valuable asset, yet many fail to properly protect this asset.
Most carry some level of life insurance, especially if they have a spouse or children, but that’s not what I’m talking about here.
The protection that is most overlooked and often skipped altogether is DISABILITY protection, which protects your income if you are unable to work due to injury or illness.
Let me ask you this. Is your monthly income instrumental in supporting your day to day living essentials? I’m talking things like food, gas, a mortgage or car payment?
If you answered yes, and I’m guessing you did, then you should have disability coverage.
And a misguided perception is that if your employer offers disability coverage, you are good to go. You’ll keep getting your paycheck should you go out on disability. You’ll receive something, but not necessarily an amount that can continue to cover all of your expenses.
I review employer benefits for my clients during open enrollment and often see disability benefits that provide less than adequate income replacement, especially if your employer pays the premium. This is where I would recommend a private policy to supplement your employer plan.
If you happen to be an employee in Massachusetts, there is a newish program that was rolled out in January 2021 called Paid Family Medical Leave, or PFML, not to be confused with the Federal program FMLA, which is unpaid leave.
PFML offers compensation for up to 26 weeks, of course with a special mathematical equation used to calculate how much you will actually receive.
Who pays for this program? Well, the state of Massachusetts of course! And you know what that is code for: YOU are paying for it, along with your employer.
As the saying goes, nothing in this life is free.
If you are not sure if you are covered by this state run benefit, take a look at your paystub. If you are paying into it, you will see a small deduction each pay period for “MA PFML”, or something along those lines.
MA resident or not, state coverage like this or basic coverage through your employer are often not enough to most effectively insure this risk. Look into what you have and take steps to insure your most valuable asset.
Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.