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The decision to purchase disability insurance is not always easy. After all, there are plenty of other things you could do with that money. And if your budget is tight, the decision gets even harder. Most clients want to know if they are at risk of becoming disabled.

The answer: surprisingly high. And there’s no way to know when it will happen or how long it will last. If you want to avoid financial ruin, you have to be prepared. Being prepared will give you peace of mind, knowing that you’re ready for whatever comes your way.

In this episode, I discuss current disability statistics, ways to reduce your odds of becoming disabled, and how to avoid a financial catastrophe.

Highlights from this episode include:

  • Surprising news from current statistics about your risk of becoming disabled (and what you can do about it) (1:49)
  • A simple way to drastically decrease your chances of experiencing a disability (3:58)
  • Why medical problems spell disaster for your finances if you’re not prepared (4:22)
  • A common misconception about disabilities that can leave you unprepared for their true cause (5:02)

To ask questions on insurance coverage or to get a quote, please don’t hesitate to call us anytime at 704-270-2376, and I’d be glad to discuss your specific situation with you.

Read Full Transcript

Hi, I'm Billy Gwaltney and this is the CYA podcast. This show is for the physician who understands the importance of protecting everything you've worked so hard to achieve. Each week I'll bring you tips and advice to help you cut through the clutter and misinformation and show you exactly what you need to preserve your income and way of life. If you're ready to achieve the peace of mind that only financial security can bring. Let's get started.

Hello, welcome to today's episode of the cover, your assets podcast. This is Billy Gwaltney, and I'm very happy as always to be with you today. Today, we're going to cover an important question. What are the chances of being disabled? And I get asked that question quite often as a trainee physician or a young attending physician. So many of the clients we work with have been told at some point during their training about the importance of getting disability coverage and attending that they admire, or in some type of class setting, they've just been advised to look into their own private coverage that is important to have, but I think it can linger in people's minds about, okay, what are the chances of this really happening?

(01:14): The studies have shown that most people tend to underestimate their personal chances of being disabled while understanding that it can happen to other people. And so, as we look into this, there's a resource that you could consider to look into where I'm getting a lot of this information is called the council for disability awareness. They have a website called disability can happen.org and looking at the statistics, the numbers are the numbers currently. They're about one in four of today's 20 year olds will become disabled before they retire and disabled means lasting 90 days or longer. That's probably more than what most people think. And so let's drill down further as we look at how this plays out. If you are a female in your thirties, an average or normal height, weight, and a nonsmoker doing an office job or professional occupation, which physicians would fall into that category, there's almost a 25% chance of being disabled for three months or longer during your career.

(02:23): In fact, it's 24%. Along with that, there's a 38% chance that the disability, if, and when it occurred would last at least five years or longer. So almost 40% would last longer than five years. And the average disability for someone in their thirties, a female would be 82 months. And so let's see that's about, about seven years, somewhere in that range, my math yeah, that's right. And so these odds are increased significantly. If the same person uses tobacco or, or has a higher BMI those chances go up pretty dramatically. Females are typically more exposed to a disability than a male or more susceptible to a disability, a male, conversely, and also in his thirties, normal height, weight, a nonsmoker also working in an office job or professional occupation has a 21% chance of becoming disabled for three months or longer. And if disabled the same percentage about 38% of the time, the disability would last five years or longer, the average disability would also be 82 months.

(03:36): And so, again, we're in that seven year range. And as I mentioned earlier, same is true with males. If this person uses tobacco or has a higher height weight ratio than then those chances of a disability increased significantly. A factor that decreases the risk of disability is maintaining a healthy stress level and that's becoming harder and harder to do. And so the more stressed out we are, the more kind of burning the candle at both ends, the more wide open we're going, the more susceptible to a disability, we become medical problems contributed to a 62% of all bankruptcies that were filed in the United States in 2007. And this is a significant increase over the previous study. That was about six years earlier and medical problems contribute close to, or right at half of home foreclosures that have been filed. And another podcast I'll talk about the causes of disability is important.

(04:35): I'll say it here is important to recognize that the vast majority of disabilities over 90% are illnesses not injuries. And so it's common for physicians to think that they need coverage for, you know, surgeons refer to it as hand insurance. And if something, some kind of injury were to occur while skiing and so forth. And while those things certainly happen, the vast majority of disabilities are illnesses, musculoskeletal, soft tissue diseases, and those kinds of things. And I don't throw these statistics around lightly. I'm not here to say that the sky is falling, but I think it's important to know that at the end of the day, the chances of being disabled are by far your largest exposure from a risk standpoint, regarding things that can derail your career more so than, than a lawsuit, more so than dying, the chances of a disability are significantly higher.

(05:31): And so it's important to be sure that, as I said, if your plan doesn't work out, for some reason that you've allocated a small premium, a small amount in the grand scheme of your overall income to ensure your most important asset, which is your ability to perform your specialty. And that plan B, if you do it right, help be sure that your dreams can at least some of them can still come true that you have for you and your family. Hope you found this, this topic helpful. I want to be short and sweet and get to the point. So my podcasts are typically not that long, but we'll cover other topics and other podcasts and separate them by topic. As you do your research, please feel free to text me anytime to arrange a conversation or with any questions. My number is (704) 270-2376. Again, that's (704) 270-2376. I'd be happy to discuss your situation any time and answer questions until next time. This is Billy Gwaltney. Thank you as always for your time.

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