If you’ve invested any amount of time browsing around Transamerica’s Knowledge Place, you’re likely very familiar with our Wealth + HealthSM philosophy: Smart habits and positive lifestyle choices practiced today can reward you with a healthy and financially sound future.
Many apply this guidance to retirement planning, but life is full of other opportunities and challenges that emerge long before you stop working: your first home purchase, your childrens’ education, extended travel – they all require money and plenty of it! At the same time, adults need to remain mindful of the fact that life also exposes you to uncertainty and unanticipated crises.
Baked deep within serious crises are financial concerns. While trying to process any type of unexpected news, worry over money can quickly amplify the sense of distress. It can be so paralyzing that it interferes with your ability to thoughtfully absorb what has happened and decide how best to respond. Here’s a valuable Wealth + Health strategy: Saving a little each month towards an emergency fund can help subtract that financial dimension of worry out of the emotional equation. Start saving today so that you can confront tomorrow’s challenges with less worry and more confidence.
Unexpected news like a cancer diagnosis can quickly create a crisis that can be difficult to manage financially without prior saving. Consider the experience of six-time PGA Tour winner Stewart Cink. His family and his professional life were forever impacted when his wife was diagnosed with cancer.
Experiencing life-changing news like cancer diagnosis is a major life curveball, but it is not an uncommon occurrence. Over one-third of U.S. adults will be told they have cancer at some point in their lives.1
The deep distress about a cancer diagnosis is two-fold: individual health and mortality concerns collide with immediate and long-term financial implications for you and loved ones. Evading the preoccupation with health care expenses by having emergency savings can have powerful and positive impact on your cancer recovery.
Cancer care is expensive and costs continue well into cancer survivorship. Some people mistakenly believe they are immune to this problem because they have good health insurance and federal laws limit their out-of-pocket expenses. Truth be told, even with insurance, cancer patients often face unpredictable or unmanageable costs including high co-insurance, high deductibles, having to seek out-of-network care, and needing a treatment that is not covered by their plan.
It’s also true that current laws require most private insurance plans to limit annual patient out-of-pocket spending. The 2018 limit is $7,350 for an individual plan and $14,700 for a family plan.2 Sounds good, but that out-of-pocket limit doesn't include your monthly insurance premiums — and it doesn't include anything you have to spend for travel, services, treatments, and medications your plan doesn't cover.
It is not unusual for an individual living with a cancer diagnosis to accumulate out-of-pocket expenses in excess of $10,000 during the first year of cancer care.3 Having funds set aside for times like this will permit you to obtain the best available care while sustaining peace of mind.
Where will you put your monthly savings? You’re not limited to a traditional bank savings account. There are many ways to invest that permit your hard-earned savings to grow and still have access to the funds when needed. When payday rolls around don’t forget to pay yourself first by saving for the unforeseeable.
Sources: (MOST RECENT PUBLISHED DATA USED)
1 “Cancer Facts & Figures,” American Cancer Society. 2018
2 “Out-of-pocket maximum/limit,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Accessed March, /2018
3 “The Costs of Cancer: Addressing Patient Costs,” ACS Cancer Action Network. April, 2017.
Doctor Bill Lloyd is a board-certified surgeon and pathologist. He joined Transamerica Advanced Markets earlier this year as its first Health Director. Bill and his wife Mary (also a physician) live in Sacramento, California.
Transamerica is a proud sponsor of Stewart Cink.
Neither Transamerica nor its agents or representatives may provide medical, tax, investment or legal advice. Anyone to whom this material is promoted, marketed, or recommended should consult with and rely on their own independent tax and legal advisors and financial professional regarding their particular situation and the concepts presented herein.