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Three reasons you may need holistic financial protection

To maintain our financial well-being, we often focus on discrete “things” we need: a budget, a savings account, a good credit rating, health insurance and so on. We put things in columns, bucketize our approach and check items off our financial to-do list. All good.

But it’s also critical to look at our financial situation more holistically. Each of us acts as an economic growth engine throughout our lives, and that role varies at different stages. From our first-job’s paychecks to the social security and investment distributions that flow in after retirement, we generate income that sustains ourselves and our loved ones.

Protecting every part of your growth engine is the key to living confidently. Viewing protection holistically can help people at any age build a foundation for lifelong financial security.

Consider the “what ifs?”

When you put yourself at the center of holistic protection, you begin to consider the “what ifs” that may be down the road. While you can’t prevent adverse events, you can plan for them.

1. What if my income stream suddenly disappeared?

63% of working Americans would experience financial difficulties within 6 months of losing their income.1  Almost 90% of long-term disabilities are caused by common illnesses, not injuries or catastrophic accidents.Thousands of people leave the workforce every year due to conditions like cancer, heart disease, arthritis and depression. One in four of today’s 20-year-olds will become disabled before retirement age.3

The average long-term disability claim lasts nearly three years.4  That’s a problem for over half of Americans whose savings can cover less than three months of living expenses.5  A disability could deplete your savings, drive you into debt, and put other long-term goals, like retirement, out of reach.

2. What if I require long-term medical care?

50% of people over 65 will incur long-term care costs.6 Needing assistance with essential activities of daily living — whether from disabling illness or injury or old age — can have a devastating financial impact. Of those 65 or older who need long-term care, 15% will incur more than $250,000 in costs — a burden that can quickly deplete retirement income. The effect can be far-reaching as family members often must sacrifice to help care for a family member who needs long-term care services.

3. What if my loved ones had to manage without me?

The most confident American workers are 1.5x more likely to own whole life insurance.7 Protecting family and loved ones is a top life priority for most working Americans. It’s essential to put a plan in place to help cover the loss of your income in the event of your death. How would your family cover all their costs in your absence, especially if there are children still at home?

The disruption domino effect

In considering these “what ifs,” you can see how one significant disruption to your income stream might lead to another — like one falling domino setting off the rest — and how holistic protection is a lifetime concern. For example, a disability event could disrupt your income and result in you having to push out your retirement, or you get sick late in life and leave your loved ones in financial difficulty. For someone with holistic protection, these events would be challenging, but they would be much more likely to recover without serious disruption than someone whose protection is incomplete.

Financial professionals can help

Holistic financial protection can help safeguard you and your family at different stages of life. That’s why when you’re making a long-term financial strategy, it’s a great idea to talk to a financial professional. They can help you identify  the areas you may need protection for and help make sure you don’t have any gaps. That might mean choosing several types of reinforcing financial protection tools, or finding a single, holistic protection vehicle that can help meet  your needs in one. Either way, they can help you address multiple protection needs.

All of that is why holistic protection can play a key role in helping you achieve lifelong financial well-being and confidence.

SOURCES:

1 Insurance Barometer Study, LIMRA and Life Happens, 2020.

2 Integrated Benefits Institute, Health and Productivity Benchmarking, Long-Term Disability, 2018.

3 U.S. Social Security Administration Fact Sheet, 2023.

4 Chances of Disability, Council for Disability Awareness, 2022.

CNBC, Over half of Americans have less than 3 months’ worth of emergency savings, 2021.

6 Planning for Healthcare Costs in Retirement, Vanguard Research and Mercer Health Benefits, June 11, 2021.

Planning for Healthcare Costs in Retirement, Vanguard Research and Mercer Health Benefits, June 11, 2021.

8 The Guardian Study of Financial and Emotional Confidence™, 2021.

DISCLAIMERS:

Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents and employees do not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Consult your tax, legal, or accounting professional regarding your individual situation.

Brought to you by The Guardian Network ©2023. The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America®, New York, NY

2023-157849 Exp. 07/25 *pre-approved content*

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