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An Aunt's Perspective

By Jennifer Frederiksen-Browne

I can’t describe how it must feel to hear a doctor tell you “your child has cancer;” But I can give you the perspective of an Aunt whose niece was diagnosed with cancer at just ten years old. My first reaction was shock, and a kind of numbness, which of course led into being petrified of losing a precious piece of my family. Most of all I wondered to myself, “how the hell do I make it go away?” Of course the answer was, I couldn’t.

There were so many thoughts running through my head, I couldn’t even imagine what must be going through the minds of my sister and brother in-law as parents, but, as a financial professional, I couldn’t help wonder how they would manage paying all of their (now increasing) bills. Of course, I am sure the last thing they were thinking about is money, work, or who will look after their other two children while they are focusing on care and treatment for their sick child so I started asking the questions no one else was thinking about. Do you have extended benefits? Will EI cover any kind of missed work? Do they have anything else in place to minimize these risks, like critical illness insurance? I wanted so bad to tell them everything would be ok, but the reality is that, even with extended benefits and EI in place, they would still be left short financially as each of these plans, though helpful, only pay a portion of what your normal income would be.

This is where I say to myself, if only they had a Critical Illness insurance policy, doing so would have taken away some undo financial stressors. It would have eliminated the need to set up a “Go Fund Me” account (putting the owness onto other individuals to come up with money for support) and having to organize ongoing bottle drives. Sadly, the simplest and easiest thing to do would have been to manage the risk ahead of time.

In order to manage this type of unforeseen risk one needs to either have large sums of money set aside (in most cases this doesn’t happen for many reasons), or you can purchase an insurance product designed for these types of unforeseen circumstances called Critical Illness that would pay out a tax free lump sum of a predetermined amount of funds when the unthinkable happens. You may ask why you would take out a Critical Illness policy on the off-chance that you or a loved one develops either cancer, or any other number of life-altering illnesses. Well, the answer is simple.

These things do happen, we may feel like it will never happen to us but the reality is that you or someone you know has probably been affected in some way by cancer or any other unforeseen illness, and the unfortunate part is that once the diagnosis comes, it is already too late to act. There is so much stress involved just thinking about someone you care about dying, or even just having a long of recovery after a life-altering illness the best thing anyone can do for themselves and their family is to manage the risk as best as possible ahead of time and reduce as much future financial stress as possible. So, here is the good news!

It only takes a minimal dollar amount per month (the earlier you get a policy, the less it costs). If my sister had done this, it certainly would have made it easier for her to concentrate all her energy on her family.

Remember, even if you have been lucky enough that something of this magnitude has not happened to you or a family member, it does not mean that it cannot happen in the future, so please take the steps to minimize your family’s risk and think ahead for the unforeseen circumstances.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to Contact Me to discuss your situation.


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