Disability Insurance - Protect Your Income Understanding The Need For Income ProtectionYou probably think of a disability as something that happens to other people. But simply believing "it won't happen to me" doesn't mean at some time in your life you won't be faced with a disabling illness or injury. In fact, in any given year, one in eight persons suffers a disability*- and they also thought it wouldn't happen to them.A disability can occur as easily as a misstep on a flight of stairs, or as suddenly as an oncoming car swerving out of control. It can take shape slowly, beginning as nothing more than an ache in your back or a pain in your chest.No one expects to become disabled, but you can take steps to make sure that if you should be robbed of your ability to work, you and your family will remain financially secure.*1985 Commissioner's Disability TableProtecting Your Greatest AssetOne of the rewards of productive work is the ability to increase your personal assets and plan for the future.All of your plans are based on two factors that are usually taken for granted: good health and a steady income. Your plans may include a new car, a new home, a college education for your children, and a comfortable retirement for yourself and your loved ones. Naturally, you assume you'll be physically and financially able to make those plans a reality.But, if you were to become disabled, you could lose everything you own, as well as your dreams for the future.Are you willing to take that risk?A Risk You Live With Every DayThe chances of becoming disabled are rising. Growing numbers of women and men between the ages of 45 and 65 are affected by hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes - the four leading chronic "killers." Yet these people are living longer, primarily because of greater awareness of warning signs, improved methods of diagnosis and treatment, and increased use of health care services.Although the immediate risk of death from diseases such as these may be reduced, the chance of chronic disability may actually be increased.Could You Afford A Disability?A disabling injury or illness creates several "layers" of losses. The disability itself is either a temporary or permanent loss of good health, compounded by the loss of income. To make matters worse, expenses usually increase during a period of disability - the result of health care costs not covered by insurance. These expenses may include treatment by physicians and other health care professionals, prescription medicines, home health care and rehabilitation therapy.Would you be able to afford a disability?Look At The NumbersEveryone's financial situation is different. You're the only one who can determine whether you and your family would be provided for if you were unable to earn an income. Take a few minutes now to compare your current expenses with the benefits you would receive. Individual Financial Needs Analysis ExpensesMonthly AmountRent/Mortgage$Food$Utilities(water, heat, electricity, telephone)$Transportation(car payments, maintenance, repairs, insurance, gasoline)$Installment payments(credit cards, loans)$Insurance Premiums(life, health, car, medical)$Miscellaneous$ Total Monthly Expenses $_____________IncomeMonthlyAmountFor HowLong?WaitingPeriodCurrent disability benefits(group, individual, association)$ Other benefits(Social Security, Worker's Compensation, etc.)$ Other income sources(stocks, bonds, spouse's income)$ Total Monthly Income$____________ If you are a business owner, would your disability disable your business? Add up your monthly expenses and deduct the benefits you would receive from other sources. The bottom line is that your monthly income would need to cover your net business expenses.Where Would You Turn For Help?Now that you've determined how much income you would need if you should become disabled, the question is: Where would the money come from?ResourcesDrawbacks and limitationsSocial SecuritySixty-nine percent of all initial Social Security applications are denied.*Savings AccountHow far would your savings go? And are you willing to see it disappear?Employee group disabilityMost plans cover only base pay. Benefits are taxable.Individual Retirement Account (IRA)A penalty is imposed for early withdrawal from an IRA. If you should withdraw these savings, what would happen to your retirement?Workers' CompensationIt pays only a limited amount over a relatively short period of time.Loan from a bankWho will lend funds to you, if you can't work? How will you pay back the loan if you remain disabled?Friends and relativesThese people may be willing to help, but their resources are limited.Spouse's incomeCan your spouse continue to work while caring for you and managing the household? *Source: US House of Rep. Committee on Ways & Means � 1996.A disability can be partial or total, temporary or permanent. Fortunately, most disabilities are temporary. But, even if you were disabled for six months to two years, consider how the loss of income would affect your financial security and retirement plans.You work to provide a continuous income, whether you're the sole breadwinner or one who shares this responsibility. If you lost your earning power as the result of a disabling illness or injury, a disability insurance plan would ensure continuity of income when you need it most. For you and your family, it could mean the difference between financial distress and financial stability. A Plan That Goes To Work When You Can'tYou can't eliminate the risk of a disability. But you can alleviate the concern. A disability insurance plan provides you and your family with a measure of protection against an illness or accident that could jeopardize your income. It's a plan that can make all the difference - unless you wait until it's too late.Additional information about insurance products and terms can be accessed on http://www.life-line.org/.