Living with chronic illness poses many challenges for the affected individual. Aside from the obvious physical demands of the illness, it also seeks for financial attention. A person with a chronic illness must know the daily financial implications of her illness. Aside from this, she must also take into account how her illness may impact her finances in the long-term.
Speaking about our own health may not be comfortable, especially if we’re not talking to a doctor. However, it is of great priority that we talk not only with professionals in white robes. Individuals with chronic illness must face her trusted financial advisor in order to ensure a plan is created to fit her needs so that the impact of her illness on her finances can be lessened if not eliminated.
Fixing your budget
Budgeting is probably the simplest form of fixing one’s finances. In any part of a person’s life, she must be able to craft her budget according to her needs and lifestyle. If a person is unfortunately hit with a chronic illness, she must adjust her budget accordingly as well. A good budget will help her with her daily needs and will serve as a foundation for her future.
A person with chronic illness must include these questions in building her financial plan:
- What are the expenses demanded by my illness? Medicine? Medical services? Particular food? Equipment?
- What are the expenses I need to incur to positively change my lifestyle?
- What do I need prepare for in the future?
- What do I need to do to safeguard my financial future?
Keep and simplify your financial records
Keeping your financial records organized and simple will help you see the bigger financial picture and will help you control everything more. You may have past investments that may help in answering your medical finances that you forgot about. Find existing health insurance policies or life insurance policies from which you can get medical support claims. Aside from possible financial support for your daily expenses, you may have policies that can give you a lump sum amount for the diagnosis of your illness.
Once you have organized your financial statements and documents, keep them in a safe place and tell at least one trusted person about it. This will be useful when an emergency happens, and someone needs to access your files.
Review your insurance coverage
Some insurance institutions will not allow you to purchase additional life insurance anymore. This is true if you’re aiming for regular policies with medical support or which need to be verified with medical exams. Some policies do not need medical examinations and will still offer guaranteed coverage.
Before getting additional coverage, review your existing insurance policies first. What do they cover? How much can they give? What are the requirements for claiming coverage? Aside from the medical conditions, you must also look at the tiny details of the whole policy to see what else you can juice from it. Look into its disability coverage as well and learn all the terms and conditions so that you can see what you can still claim.
If you believe that there is a need for you to purchase additional policies, contact your trusted advisor and ask what you can get given your specific condition. At the same time, ask her about your existing policies. Find out if your policies have accelerated living benefits that you can use.
Re-evaluate your investments
Becoming chronically ill will affect your cash flow. If you’re still young, you may have to stop working. This means that your cashflow’s income will stop, but the expenses will not. Since you will need money for day-to-day expenses for your health, you will need to have liquid money.
If you have existing investments which you can withdraw from, review them and withdraw from some if needed. If not, make some modifications and make sure that you’ll be able to get money, no matter what happens to your cash flow in the future.
Do not be afraid of estate planning. Estate planning is not for people who are preparing for death. In fact, estate planning is also recommended for young professionals who want to fully control and manage their finances.
Due to your sudden change of lifestyle because of your chronic illness, you will have to review your estate with the help of a lawyer, accountants, and financial advisors. The point of fixing your estate is to ensure that your investments are fixed if you won’t be able to take care of them. Estate planning will organize everything for your family and will basically act as your voice to the rest of the world. It will tell everyone how you want your estate fixed, partitioned, and used. A properly created estate plan will ensure that you have full control over the things you worked hard for.
Dealing with finances is not easy, and it’s certainly harder if you have to face them with chronic illness. However, do not falter. As long as you make time to manage your personal finances, it will always follow you in your favour. Make sure that you open up to your trusted financial advisor so that you get the best benefits for you and your condition.
Remember: there’s no one-size-fits-all type of investment. Your particular condition – healthy or not – can be partnered with the perfect financial plan for your bright financial future.
She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen).
Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).
Latest posts by Anna V. Haotanto (see all)
- Should I Take That Job Offer? Here’s 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t. - April 24, 2017
- Should We Give Customize Financial Advice for Women? - April 22, 2017
- 7 Ways to Trick Your Brain Into Getting Rich & Achieving Your Financial Goals - April 21, 2017