AS WE merrily peruse the shops for the perfect gift to the tune of ‘You’d better watch out, you’d better not cry, you’d better be good, I’m telling you why… He knows when you’ve been bad or good’ I can’t help but think of life assurance and critical illness cover.
What? I hear you cry – are you the Christmas Grinch? No, more like the Fairy Godmother bringing five, not three, Christmas wishes (I am generous like that!)
- 1 The clearing of mortgage debts
- 2 Financial security for your family
- 3 The freedom to complete your bucket list
- 4 Ownership certainty for your business
- 5 A steady income stream to pay the bills, feed and clothe yourselves
As we tick off our festive shopping list and search for that perfect gift, financial protection should make it on your list.
I know it is not as romantic as that sparkly necklace that caught your eye. But what can demonstrate real care and love more than saying your security and independence matter to me and, to prove it, I will spend £30 a month so that, if I die before retirement you will receive over £500,000?
The last two years have reminded us of how important our health is to enjoy the festive season, spend time with our loved ones and to cherish those around us. Having myself had Covid-19 but being fortunate in avoiding hospitalisation, I have a greater appreciation of how precious this is.
Sadly, in 2018 there were globally 18.1 million new cancer cases and by 2040 it is anticipated that this number may reach 29.5 million.
This is why, like many, I have committed to funding critical illness cover so that, should I face serious ill health again, I can have a fund not to pay off a mortgage or a debt but to spend on making memories with those I cherish.
Over the weeks ahead we may enjoy nostalgic Christmas movies and, yes, I will watch ‘Elf’ but ‘A Christmas Carol’ is my favourite. Three characters resonate with me – Tiny Tim, Jacob Marley and lastly the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come.
The journey of Tiny Tim and the struggles his parents face to provide care for him and his siblings reminds me that his story is increasingly shared by so many families.
In fact, there were 64 child-related critical illness claims with Royal London alone in 2020 with the average age for the child at the point of claim being 8.3.
Among those children, sadly 34 were diagnosed with either cancer or a brain tumour. I cannot imagine the worry, fear and pain those families have and are going through but, unlike the Dickensian Cratchits, I hope the £35,000 or £50,000 they received from their insurance policy allowed them to take time away from work, to be there for their children, to nurse them through the discomfort of chemotherapy and hopefully enjoy their recovery.
The opening scenes of ‘A Christmas Carol’ with Jacob Marley weighed down by the oppression of his avaricious and selfish life also make me reflect on our own financial responsibilities, be it rent, mortgage payments, utility bills or debt that too often dampen our free spirit.
For many of us, having a cash reserve to fall back on is easier said than done and ill health or injury can all too easily result in a financial crisis. That is why the security of income protection, which provides a tax-free regular income of approximately 60% of salary appeals to me.
It may lift those chains from your shoulders, ease the burden and give you the capacity to re-negotiate costs and adapt to what could otherwise be a very difficult situation.
While I love the ghost of Christmas present, I am drawn to the warnings of the spectre of ‘Christmas Yet To Come’. Yes, he sends shivers down my spine, but I am drawn to the macabre warnings and the call to change, to do something better in the future. Is that not the point? To cause discomfort, reflection and to be stirred to change, to take action and avoid what could otherwise be a truly miserable fate.
For many, this time of year is one of preparation, reflection and anticipation. For others, it may also be a time of concern and isolation. So maybe, this is the time to take stock, look at our families and our businesses and ask ourselves: ‘What if I was not here? How would my family cope? What if I received troubling health news? What would it mean for us? How do I show I value my staff and business partners?’
And in reflecting upon these questions, take comfort in the insurance solutions which may offer hope, security, and confidence, with the support of a trusted financial partner to help you face the challenges of the new year ahead. If you would like to discuss your own situation, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 837837.
We can offer you a confidential and discreet service.
With Christmas rapidly approaching, the directors, advisers and staff at Alexander Forbes Offshore wish you all a happy, peaceful and joyful festive season and a fulfilling, prosperous and healthy new year.