As we’ve said before on the blog, investing is about growing your wealth while insurance is about protecting it. Insurance is a tool, one that not everyone needs and that can certainly be misused, but in situations where it makes sense the effects of having it in place can be life-changing.
It’s a way to protect what you have and what you’re working so hard to build. It’s a way to protect the people and relationships that matter most, helping us live with dignity and self-respect. People are our most important asset and yet it can be so hard to find the time to think about and implement actions that tell our partner, our family, and ourselves that we care.
We need to care. We need to care enough to take the time to put a will in place, to have a shareholder’s agreement that spells out our relationship with our partner in times of disagreement, divorce, or disability. We need to care enough to buy insurance so that if something happens to us and we can’t work, or we die unexpectedly, our kids and spouse are looked after, our debt is paid, and our income is replaced. We need to care enough to give ourselves options for when the unexpected undoubtedly happens. We’re all so busy with our families, businesses, and passions that we often forget to take the time to protect the very things we’re building.
I know this isn’t always fun to think about or easy to talk about, but I also know from my own personal experience with cancer how reassuring it is when the unexpected does happen. When you’re dealing with or recovering from a crisis, the last thing you want to be worrying about is if you’ll be able to pay the bills next month. If you get sick and need to take time off work, you don’t want to have to drain your retirement accounts or worry about your kid’s next tuition payment. That is not the time to be making big financial decisions or adding any more stress to your life. Insurance money can give you the time and ability to focus on what matters—you and your family’s wellbeing.
I encourage you all to make the time to take the smallest next step in protecting yourself: talk to someone (a family member, a friend, anyone you’re comfortable with) about your money and your future, your plan B if things don’t go as expected. Find someone you’d feel safe and willing to start this conversation with and make it happen. The best time to have these conversations is while the going is good. You might be surprised by how good it feels to not be in it alone and how empowering it is to make these decisions for yourself.
Libby Wildman is a Senior Partner at Davis Rea and our Head of Financial Planning and Insurance. She’s also the founder of The Collective, a women’s entrepreneurship community that hosts events here in Toronto.
If you have any questions or would like to speak to Libby about your own risk management plan, please get in touch here.