What You Need to Know
- Scott Rider once was an Olympic trial running participant.
- Later, as a financial advisor, he learned that the most valuable asset is the ability to earn an income.
- When he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, at age 47, he learned that lesson from a different angle.
Life can change in an instant, and while COVID-19 has made that clearer for more people, I unfortunately realized this much earlier when I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at age 47. As a former Olympic trial running participant, when I heard my diagnosis, I knew life would never be the same. I had been an avid runner and in great health for most of my life, which made the diagnosis even more surprising to me and my entire family. I knew that eventually the cognitive and physical limitations caused by the disease would force me to give up my profession as a financial advisor, a career that I loved.
When I began my career, I underwent comprehensive training that set the foundation for my practice and made it very clear that it was my job to help people understand that their most valuable asset is their ability to earn an income.
Fortunately, this foundation inﬂuenced my own decision to invest in disability insurance early on. It ended up enabling me and my family to continue living the lifestyle we’ve always known once I could no longer work. I truly believe disability insurance is an investment in the future, not an expense. That’s why I am so dedicated to educating others about the importance of protecting their income and honored to serve as Life Happens’ Disability Insurance Awareness Month spokesperson.
A Personal Protection Strategy
Working with clients as a financial advisor, I witnessed how disability insurance kept families intact or instances where coverage could have made all the difference in a family’s future. I would always ask, “What do you consider your most valuable asset?” Most often, people would say their house, car, or 401(k). I would then follow up and ask what made all of these assets possible, and the true answer would become clear. Without a job and income, these things would not be possible. The most valuable asset anyone can have is their ability to make and earn a living.
These experiences with my clients reinforced my belief that no financial plan is complete without disability insurance. In addition to coverage through my employer, I also took out an individual plan. As my income increased, so did my benefit.
How Disability Insurance Helped
When I could no longer work, my wife, Kelly, a stay-at-home mom, was able to continue in that role and transitioned to caregiver as my disease progressed. We were able to put our three children through college and give our daughter the wedding of her dreams. My wife and I were able to reach our retirement goal of moving to a warmer climate.