5 questions every worker should ask.
Illnesses and accidents are on the rise in America, causing more workers to miss work and lose income. At some time during their working careers, three out of every 10 workers will suffer a disability and be unable to work for a significant period of time.
Loss of income can be devastating. Today, it's more important than ever for workers and their families to understand how they would manage their regular expenses during a period of lost income and make sure they're prepared.
To help workers better understand how prepared they are should the unthinkable happen - a loss of income due to an accident or illness - below are FIVE questions every worker should be asking:
- What are my "necessary" monthly living expenses that would continue if my income stopped (e.g., rent or mortgage, utilities, food, medical insurance, etc.)?
- Would my personal savings pay for my "necessary" monthly expenses - for one month, three months, 6 months, longer? Would my savings cover my "out of pocket" medical expenses (deductibles and co-pays)?
- Does my employer have a sick pay plan or long-term disability program, or both? Am I participating? When would it start, how much would it pay me and for how long?
- What other sources of income might be available to help me pay for my expenses, and for how long? My spouse, family, second mortgage, credit cards?
- Could I afford my medical COBRA premiums, and what would happen to the contributions to my 401k account?
Answering these questions is a good start to help you and your family prepare should a disability interrupt your ability to earn a living.