Thanks for checking out the final post of AVMA LIFE Trust's financial health series! If you missed our previous post, which examines transformative debt reduction strategies, you can catch up here.
Now, onto the topic at hand: insurance.
Not only can the word conjure ideas of complex mathematics and confusing jargon, but it also forces a confrontation with distressing "what if" scenarios:
What if I die unexpectedly?
What if something tragic happens to my spouse?
What if I'm struck with a debilitating condition and can no longer work?
And the list goes on.
Yet those very fears are why insurance can be such a tremendous ally—it’s always there to help during times of crisis.
And while it's true that insurance can be complicated, you aren't expected to sort through its intricacies alone.
Just as your customers trust your veterinary expertise, you can likewise lean on the bright minds that handle the AVMA LIFE Trust Insurance Program. Our team knows how to translate policy specifics into everyday language, and is dedicated to helping protect what you deem important.
Let's discover how insurance can act as a guiding light and power through some of life's uncomfortable realities.
Power 1: Helps defend your livelihood
What's your most important asset in securing a salary?
The answer is universal, regardless of occupation: good health. Despite the special training, skills, and tools any given job requires, the ability to earn a paycheck crumbles if you can't physically carry out your duties.
It's tempting to falsely believe that a disability is too rare to merit concern. But the list of conditions capable of shelving a career is extensive.
Severe allergies. Migraines. Cancer. Stroke. Spinal injury. Mental illness. Chronic pain. No matter how healthy your lifestyle, it's impossible to outmaneuver every risk.
Although 72% of Americans think disability insurance is important, only 33% have it.1 Even worse? Roughly 50% of annual mortgage foreclosures are due to a primary wage earner incurring a disability and no longer being able to pay the bills.2
The divide between the necessity of this coverage and the vast number of defenseless workers is an issue AVMA LIFE Trust is aware of—that's why we've taken steps to help you bridge the gap.
Did you know we sponsor a Basic Protection Package that includes disability income insurance and a rabies prophylaxis benefit? Or that we offer a short-term disability income insurance plan that includes benefits for disabilities due to a normal pregnancy? What's more, we make available a long-term disability income insurance plan that may allow for an upper limit of $12,500 in cash benefits per month if you suffer a covered total disability. It's a valuable policy that any veterinary professional should consider.
Power 2: Provides help from beyond the grave
What do your monetary obligations look like?
For starters, many within the veterinary community are strangled with student loan debt. In 2016, the average veterinary school graduate owed nearly $170,000.3 And that's to say nothing of mortgages, auto payments, childcare costs, and the myriad of other expenses life is happy to constantly throw your way.
There are three primary strategies for solving the financial crisis your family may face once you're gone:
- Save up a sizable amount of funds during your lifetime
- Let your spouse (or other family members) take on the family's financial responsibilities
- Have a strong life insurance policy to help replace the missing income your family depends on
Option one may be doable in a career with as much earning potential as yours—especially if you master the art of living below your means.
Yet you still have to factor in the possibility of dying before accruing an amount your family could realistically live on for the next several years. In fact, 1 in 3 households will face immediate financial hardship after a primary wage earner's passing—and many more face difficulties several months later after emergency funds have dried up.1
Short of leaving behind a relative willing, or a spouse able, to support your family, life insurance is a good method for countering the crushing blow most household budgets face after a breadwinner's death.
And if you think you can't afford the plan's premiums, consider this: Most consumers overestimate the cost of life insurance—some by as much as 250%.1
Plus, AVMA LIFE Trust provides $25,000 in life insurance coverage for eligible veterinary student members at no cost to them.4 We champion the idea of young veterinarians beginning their career with the proper safeguards in place—especially since the longer you go without it, the easier it is to put off securing coverage until it's too late.
Power 3: Purges doubt from your mind
Some people have no problem ignoring thoughts of future tragedies. But once you spend time considering how they could someday impact you and your family, the story changes.
It can feel like Pandora's box; after considering the monetary fallout these calamities cause, it can be near impossible to block the worry. Knowing you could be taking steps to help prevent these challenging financial situations can gnaw at the back of your mind until you finally take action.
No matter your priorities, the vast array of insurance products on the market allows you to customize your mix and shore up risks on whatever you value most.
Are you concerned about planning for a loved one who needs care from an assisted living facility, keeping in mind a private nursing home room costs over $90,000 per year?5 Long-term care insurance will help.
Want to ensure you can afford regular trips to the dentist? Dental insurance has you covered.
Concerned about the high cost of contact lenses and eye glasses? Yep, there's coverage for that too.
Nobody needs to face life's economic demands alone. Enlisting the help of insurance products, like those offered through AVMA LIFE Trust6, provides you with a hidden hero. You can go through each day with certainty, knowing you and your family will be taken care of during the darkest of hours.
That's all for AVMA LIFE Trust's financial health series! We hope these informative posts have empowered you to take control of your financial destiny.
1Durham, Ashley. "2016 Insurance Barometer Study." LIMRA. N.p., 2016. Web. 27 September 2016.
2"Paycheck Protector: Long Term Disability Income Insurance - Series 3."American Fidelity. American Fidelity Assurance Company, 2016. PDF File.
3“Financing Your Veterinary Medical Education.” AVMA, American Veterinary Medical Association, 2017. Web. 28 December 2017.
4Must be a full-time SAVMA member in good standing to receive this complimentary life coverage. A student member in “good standing” means that a student’s SAVMA membership dues have been paid and are up to date by November 1 of the academic year (or April 1 if a student is beginning school in a winter term). If membership dues are not up to date no benefits would be payable. SAVMA members include the incoming freshman that have been accepted to attend veterinary school. Must also be a resident of the United States and must be: (1) at least age 18, but less then age 65; and (2) a full-time veterinary student at a veterinary school designated by the Policyholder. This life coverage ends upon termination of SAVMA membership. If you are not currently eligible and received this offer in error, please accept our sincere apologies.
5Genworth Financial. Genworth 2015 Cost of Care Survey. 2016. PDF File.
6Learn more about the insurance programs available to you, including features, costs, eligibility, renewability, exclusions, limitations, and carrier information.<,/p>
The purpose of this article is to provide information, rather than advice or opinion. It is accurate to the best of the author’s knowledge as of the publication date. Accordingly, this article should not be viewed as a substitute for the guidance and recommendations of a retained professional. Any references to external websites are provided solely for convenience. The AVMA LIFE Trust disclaims any responsibility with respect to such websites.