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While we’ve all heard that it is important to plan and save for retirement, many of us may not have considered the likelihood that we won’t be able to work until our planned retirement age because of a serious disability. According to the Social Security Administration, 30 percent of us are in trouble. Thirty percent of us are at risk of becoming totally disabled, unable to continue working, before we reach our planned age of retirement. Without long term disability insurance, retirement goals may be thrown entirely off course, despite a lifetime of careful planning.

The magic age appears to be 42, according to National Underwriter Life & Health. Once a worker hits 42, he or she is four times more likely to suffer a debilitating accident than to die before hitting retirement. If your focus on long term planning is only on life insurance, you may be putting too many eggs in the wrong basket.

If you have questions about purchasing a long term disability policy, talk to an insurance attorney in your area about the coverage you may need. Consider:

  • Whether the policy can be cancelled before you reach 65?
  • Whether premiums can increase or if they will stay the same over the life of the policy?
  • What length of waiting period is required before you can start collecting disability benefits?
  • Whether your employer offers group coverage and whether that, alone, is sufficient to maintain your standard of living if you are unable to work?
  • How long will your benefits last, once approved?

It is no surprise that a sudden disabling incident can completely change your financial future. According to Health Affairs, nearly 50 percent of all mortgage foreclosures can be attributed to the payer becoming disabled. Protect your future now by seriously considering whether a long term disability policy should be part of your financial planning portfolio.

Source: Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal, “Be aware of the need for disability insurance,” June 5, 2013

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