“If you were to become sick or injured and couldn’t work, how would you pay your bills?”
The most trusted financial advisors have been asking their clients that question for decades.
How do wage earners respond?
My group, the Council for Disability Awareness (CDA), asked working Americans that question. We reported the revealing results in our most recent Disability Divide Consumer Awareness Study.
We found that many wage earners have never even thought about, let alone prepared for, the possibility of experiencing a disabling illness or injury.
The most common response? Respondents said they’d cover their financial obligations by tapping sick pay and vacation time from their employer. That will help a wage earner get by for a few weeks, but then what? The next most popular response was “disability insurance,” followed by “spouse’s income,” “debt,” and “help from family and friends.”
What about counting on a spouse’s income? For most two-income families, depending upon one partner’s income if the other becomes disabled is a financial house of cards. Usually, both partners work because they have to. Most couples are spending the majority of both paychecks to keep things afloat while everyone is healthy.
Many families have little savings, and what savings they do have are usually earmarked for future financial obligations: buying a home, saving for tuitions or a wedding, or funds for retirement.