Shortly after I went on short-term disability two years ago I started researching disability policies for my husband. My company provides unbelievable benefits, short-term and long-term disability included, but my husband works for a small company that doesn’t offer disability benefits of any type. We purchased a policy within in a few short weeks and a few months later we finalized his life insurance policy as well. I felt extremely relieved when all of the papers were signed and the checks sent and I knew that he had coverage.
But can you ever be truly prepared for an unexpected illness? It is difficult to be prepared for every emergency situation that may arise in one’s life. A few weeks ago a friend of mine found out her child has cancer. Her employer will provide 12 to 16 weeks of leave under the Family Medical Act. Through this leave she will maintain her position, but she will not be paid.
These are the times in which an emergency fund is so desperately needed. Honestly I would have never thought about this scenario. Perhaps, this is because I don’t have children yet. But as I think about my friend I think back to all of the financial articles I have read about emergency savings. Honestly, I don’t remember ever coming across a scenario in which a child becomes ill.
As a parent you want to be beside your child during difficult treatments. You don’t want to be at work and you certainly don’t want the added stress of debt concerns. I have read so many sites promoting HELOCs, home equity loans and even credit cards as the answer to make-shift emergency funds. In light of this medical crisis I now believe more than ever that families should have a year’s worth of funds stashed away in case of an emergency. Minimally the fund should cover one spouse’s income for 6 months to a year. After all you’ll have enough concerns when the doctor says ‘cancer’, money shouldn’t be one of them.